When I moved to Jacksonville in 2007, I had a tiny baby, and I was trying to navigate the stress of a new city, a new home, and trying to make new friends. One of the best things about having a little one is that they give you the perfect opportunity to make new “mommy” connections.
My neighborhood had a “Mommy Group” and between the Gymboree classes, library story times, and park play dates, I was able to meet some really awesome women. Then I realized I was referring to many of these awesome women as “Sara’s Mom” or “Cooper’s Mom.” Our kids were the center of these new relationships, so our identities were being created from our children’s point of view.
Not only that but even our morning coffee talks or Panera lunch chats would be focused solely on our kids: Have you picked a preschool yet? How’s potty training going? Why are they giving up their nap? How can I get my kid to eat non-beige foods?? And even though the kids grew, the conversations still centered around our post-baby bodies, exhaustion over our kids’ schedules, or worries about a school bully. It would take months (years!) before I learned one of my friend’s true passions (custom jewelry designer on Etsy!) or another one’s amazing pre-Mom life (financial expert!)
So, I decided to put more effort into getting to know my “Mommy” friends. I thought if I could help shift our conversations, then we could all learn a little more about one another. Over the past few years, I’ve figured out five conversation starters that have absolutely nothing to do with our precious kiddos. Sure, we all love and adore our little munchkins, but getting to know one another on a personal level will help secure the bonds of friendship. And that helps make us better Moms. Awesome.
Five “Moms’ Night Out” Conversation Starters:
1. Who is the coolest person you’ve ever met?
I love this one because it can vary from a celebrity to your college professor to your husband. You might find out your quieter friend waited eight hours in a hotel lobby to meet Donnie from New Kids on the Block (*cough* not ME *cough*) or someone still thinks their Grandma is the “bomb diggity.”
2. Where were you on your 21st birthday?
You might learn for the first time where some of your Mommy friends went to college (Go, Terps!) or where others spent time abroad. Maybe someone was too shy to admit they never went to college, but rather had an awesome life experience. And, of course, I love to hear about the wild party sides of my conservative friends.
3. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Mine would be the ability to knock out all germs, so no one around me ever got sick. Yep, I’m a serious “germaphobe.” It will be fun to learn about your friends’ secret passions or quirks.
4. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It’s a tough question, but it gets you talking. Who will pick a raunchy comedy and who will pick The Passion of the Christ? I’d have to say When Harry Met Sally because I’m a hopeless romantic and I believe funny is the sexiest thing a man can bring to the table. And you may have that one friend who says they never watch movies, and that’s a whole conversation starter in itself.
5. If you could relive one day of your childhood, what day would it be?
This one is great because it won’t bring down the conversation. Sometimes delving into a friend’s past, especially over vodka martinis, will not have a happy ending. But everyone has, at least, ONE day in their childhood that makes them smile. I know I’d love to hear about it.
Click on the conversation starter “cheat sheet” below to download and print out for your next “Moms’ Night Out.” You might be surprised what you’ll learn about one of your “Mommy” friends!