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Need peace? Try a play date

The other day I was completely exhausted and my to-do list was a mile long. I had a work deadline rapidly approaching, the kids were arguing with each other, and the house was a mess. And all I wanted to do was read my favorite magazine.

So of course, I did the only logical thing I could think of and picked up the phone to invite a few more kids to come to the house.

When the kids were toddlers and preschoolers, hosting a play date meant a lot of work for me. I had to straighten up the house because a parent usually came along, think of a few activities to help occupy the kids and then carefully supervise the little ones.

After the visitor went home, I usually had hours of cleaning up the tornado-style mess that was littered through my house. But now that the kids are older, I have realized that a few extra kids in the house can actually give me some peace and quiet.

A few knocks on the door later, and the squabbling was replaced with happy sounds of kids playing. I began tackling my to-do list and even sat down to relax for a few minutes.

As I heard the boys wrestling and the girls planning a fashion show, I sighed at the thought of what my upstairs would like after they were done. But at least the kids are old enough now for me to make them clean it up.