Remember when you were eight years old and it was generally assumed by your parents that you would get along swimmingly with another child purely based on the fact that you were both 8 and 1/2??? Recall how these age-related arranged friendships, while sometimes resulting in a true meeting of the minds, all too often quickly devolved into arguing about whose turn it was, who was cheating, and sometimes even a good old fashioned physical altercation?
So often, I hear people saying how being a new mother must facilitate making loads of new friends. And yes, having the common connection of motherhood has no doubt opened the door for meeting many interesting other women and mothers. HOWEVER, there is also this weird unspoken pressure (and also awkwardness) that you are just supposed to be compatible friends sheerly because of the mommy connection.
I find this totally bizarre. In Milan, I was less aware of it due to the expat situation already having its own assumptions about becoming friends (even if superficially) based on the commonality of being away from home. But back here in NYC, it often cracks me up how people assume that being a mother instantly catapults all women into the same file. You are a hardcore conservative with a penchant for stamp collecting??? No problem!!! Let’s be best friends!! You used to be a high-class prostitute and have settled down?? Can we start a playgroup!!!
No, but seriously. There have been many times when the mommy factor is just not enough. Maybe there is something about mothers needing new shallower types of friendships because they need to devote more energy to the home?? Maybe??
But maybe the idea is more imposed, like when we were 8.