Two-thirds of my kids are too old for play dates, and one-third is on the cusp of appreciating such a concept. Back in the day when my bigger ones were small and I spent nearly seven years of my life as strictly a stay-at-home-mom we sure did create some memories. Those times were scheduled for my kids as times for them to socialize with their little friends, but they were just as important to my sanity as a budding mother.
Those times were spent in the company of other women also trying to manage their homes, juggle their family’s schedules, and feed their sanity in the company of fellow moms. It was a different time for me. Life has changed a lot since then, but with a number three I see that time approaching again, and I know what kind of fun it has in store for both he and I. It’s not just about breaking up fights of sharing toys with neighbor kids or cleaning up crunched up snacks from crevices and juice spills with a smile. That time - play date time - is all about community and losing yourself in it like Calgon.
You prep your home by cleaning knowing full well that it’s about to be toast in a matter of minutes as the little hands are quickly diverted from the toy boxes to the television, walls, glass doors, windows, and anything else they can smear. Those smears still remain here and there in our home, and they make me smile. They’re signs of a good time. A time of less worry, less stress, less extracurriculars, less planning, and less work. Don’t get me wrong I am not diminishing the work of a mom with tiny tots - it ain’t easy!
I look back on my kids in car seat carriers and recall how stressed I was taking them out to eat and such, being worried that they’d cause a fuss, and generally not enjoying a single meal. That was naive. That was an easy time compared to now. They’re now walking, talking, sitting in seats, ordering their food, throwing their food, belching, shouting, etc. in public. Their play dates today consist of less time for moms to decompress together and more time for moms to get things done! Today we moms of older children love it when other kids come other to entertain ours as we use that time to tackle things that didn’t get done before they came over like vacuuming. Things we used to do when they were tiny tots before their tiny tot friends would come to play.
My point here is that we moms need playdates. We need them perhaps more so than our tiny tots (& even our big kids). We deserve them, too, right? Cheers.