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Don’t keep mum about making new mates

By Emily Bridgewater | Talking Point | Published:

Swipe left. swipe right. View profile. Add friend. Send private message. Set up date.

You think I am talking Tinder, right? Wrong.

Welcome to Mush – the app for ‘mum dating’.

And no, I am not talking about a place where you trade in the father of your kids for a newer, less knackered model (although there’s probably an app for that too). Mush is an app for mums wanting to meet other mums in the local area.

Who knew such a thing existed? Not me, until I had the existential crisis that comes when you find out you’re discovering baby number two.

Mush

Flashback to baby number one and there are NCT birthing classes, pre-pregnancy yoga groups, aqua-natal sessions where you have the opportunity to strike up friendships with other parents-to-be. But with subsequent pregnancies, you’re left to your own devices. Yes, you can still go to aqua-natal classes but who really has the time – or motivation – to thrash about like a feral whale in a municipal swimming pool after you’ve wrestled a two-year-old into bed? Not me.

And what’s the likelihood of existent mum friends being in the same position? Slimmer than Victoria Beckham on Slim Fast. They’ve either popped one out already or have vowed never, ever again after returning to some semblance of a ‘normal’ life.

One thing I’ve gleaned from the blinkered world of motherhood is that you only flock to people in the same ‘phase’ as you; once it passes you don’t wish to return there, and you have nothing to contribute to those surviving future stages.

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So with the prospect of maternity leave looming – a year is a long time without similarly exhausted pals to call upon for coffee and solace – I downloaded the app. I absolutely can’t entertain the idea of sitting through another baby music class without having another mum to help stifle my giggles and share a pastry with afterwards.

Are you using the app for ‘mum dating’

A newbie, having never even dipped my toe into the world of internet dating, I’m currently finding my way around.

I’ve read profiles, scrolled pictures and uploaded my own too – taking as much care as if I’m hoping to attract a life partner, although I’ve realised I’ve talked too much about myself rather than my child. Mum fail, or not such a bad thing?

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Probably, much like Tinder, there are the members – for me at least – to be avoided: the mums who use the platform to endlessly complain about their ‘scumbag’ partners; the ones who embellish their profiles pictures with too many Snapchat filters; the ones who list ‘home schooling’ as an interest.

There are 16-year-old first-time mums, women with broods of five, world-class breastfeeders, co-sleeping champions; as in life, it appears there’s someone for everyone.

I haven’t struck up many lasting friendships just yet but I am hopeful after swapping messages with a mum in very similar circumstances to me.

Maternity leave part two suddenly isn’t looking so frightening after all.

Emily Bridgewater

By Emily Bridgewater
Weekend Supplement Editor

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