So you’re working your way around the bases with another mom, or maybe you’re fourth-basers but things are starting to seem yawn-worthy or you leave mom dates feeling just as stressed as when you sat down.
Sometimes as moms we can get sick of talking about our kids. I’ve had some big things happening in the child-raising department for the last few months and I need to process it all and get advice and vent. And I’m so thankful to have safe people with whom to externally process. But I’m beginning to hate my own mouth sounds and find myself needing to talk about NOT MY KIDS, if only for my own sanity and renewal.
Maybe you can relate. We are moms, and that is awesome. But we are multifaceted women with all kinds of stuff up in here. What else can we talk about when we need a break from parenting? Here are 10 things to talk about besides your kids.
1. What are you working on?
My friend Chantel asks this, and I love it. Because mothers work in a vast array of locations and fields, from working at home to working in an office, volunteering at school to creating in a studio, “What are you working on?” encompasses all the different things another mom could be doing. Sometimes I answer that with the book or article I’m writing or the mission trip I’m planning or the freaking laundry pile I’m diminishing. It could be anything.
2. What are you learning?
I love asking this question, because the answers are so interesting. Maybe she’s learning something about parenting or maybe she’s learning something about God. Maybe it’s a new responsibility at her job or something she’s figuring out in her marriage.
3. What shows are you into?
Has she binge-watched anything lately? Do you have any shows in common? What does she recommend? Can she talk about the latest character to get killed off on The Walking Dead or does she get weepy when she talks about the Parenthood series finale? (for me, both of these things)
4. What do you do for yourself?
Something inside of me feels eyeball-rolly about the term “self-care,” but yeah, let’s stop treating ourselves like crap and hella self-care. Ask her what she does. Maybe the answer is nothing, and you process that together. Maybe she colors in a coloring book filled with puppies made out of flowers or gets her nails done or plays music and reads with her morning coffee or has a yoga class she loves. Maybe it’s running. (or enjoying a sitting shirt)
5. Tell me a story about you and your husband. (or if she’s not married, then a story about her mom or her partner or her big brother)
Maybe it’s how they met or a fun trip they took. It depends on how much you already know. Maybe it’s their first date or that crazy night when they got a flat tire in an area where a serial killer was at large and they thought they were going to die. (oh wait that’s me)
6. What are you reading?
This can be anything from a scholarly journal for work to the latest fiction book that everyone’s talking about. It could be a morning devotional or, let’s be honest, Facebook. We are a product of the books we read. They influence our thoughts and sometimes the trajectory of our lives. I’m trying to read 50 books this year (dammit, I told you so now I have to follow through–wait just one more episode of Jessica Jones on Netflix).
7. What’s something you wish you knew in your early twenties?
What would she say to her former self? What would she do differently? I have conversations with my former self all the time. I was so precious. I knew so much. I curled my hair for work every day and thought Travelers Pants from Chiccos were the coolest invention ever (I should’ve known I’d embrace yoga pants.).
8. Where would you want to travel if you could go anywhere? Without kids? With kids?
With kids, someday I want to take everyone to Ethiopia and Latvia, so all our kids can experience Evie and Ana’s homelands together. Without kids, Transylvania. I’m dying to explore the land of Vlad the Impaler. (pun waaay intended) I’m sure it won’t suck. (almost done) I’ve always had a taste for adventure. (aaand scene)
9. What are you into these days?
Jamie Ivey asks the guests on her podcast, Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, what three things they’re into, and I always look forward to that part of the show. Whether it’s a snack that someone loves or a lipgloss that’s completely life-changing, it’s so much fun to get recommendations from other women. I’ve started asking the people in my real life what they’re into and I love hearing what and why.
10. Talk about the news.
This one can get dicey if you guys are diametrically opposed, so keep it respectful. But seriously, sometimes when we’re in our parenting zone we can go days without knowing what’s going on in the world. I’m trying to do a better job of scanning headlines on my phone, clicking through, and having at least a hazy idea about the rest of the world, our highly entertaining and/or disturbing election cycle, and some of the pressing concerns for our fellow humans. I like talking about this stuff with other moms because it makes me feel connected to the world at large and not just on my own laundry-laden island.
Okay, that’s ten. What else? What’d I miss? What do you like to talk about on mom dates besides your kids?