Recently The Today Show covered some of these new apps, using the unfortunate title "New 'mommy friend' apps help lonely moms find friends."
Great job. I'm sure those ladies appreciate being referred to as "lonely mommies." This will do wonders for their self-esteem. What an awful way to present what is a really great idea. When you couple the term "mommy" (something I hate with a white-hot passion) with photos like the one of two women toasting each other with cupcakes and three women holding hands while ice-skating (all of whom are, by the way, founders of some of these apps), what you do is infantilize women and portray the desire for moms to have mom friends as something that is adorable rather than important. Which it is.
When my twins were 3 months old, I joined a PEPS group with other moms of newborn twins. That group and those women saved my life. In my experience, there is nothing more powerful than talking to other mothers about parenting. Nothing makes you feel saner or more comforted than having another woman say, "I get it. I'm going through the same thing." In fact, just yesterday morning I got teary-eyed with relief while talking to my hairdresser about our respective 7-year-olds, all of whom, as it turns out, have become total a**holes over the summer.
These new apps, which can help women locate other moms by such identifiers as region, number of children, interests, etc., are fantastic ideas. The MomCo App allows women to connect via a forum through which they can arrange playdates. Hello Mamas creates matches for moms based on "similar interests, schedules, families, and personalities." Smile Mum is free on iTunes and also connects women with local moms with the same interests.
These kinds of apps are long overdue and, I'm sure, much appreciated by the women who use them. One of the best parts of these apps for introverts like myself is that they aren't Speed Dating for Mom Friends, which is, apparently, also a thing people who don't suffer from social anxiety can do without vomiting. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea for people who aren't me, but I'd rather be text-messaging on a Wednesday night with the mom across town while we watch The Bachelorette and ignore our children.
So bring on the mom friend apps! But please, don't call me "mommy." And don't invite me to go ice-skating without our children. That's a waste of an hour we could spend sitting, not wiping butts, and drinking wine.
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