Monday, January 4, 2010

The Play Date Conundrum

I have never been one to fully dive into the play date pool. Perhaps, it’s a factor of being a mother of twins. I have a built in play date for my children any time I need one. And the bonus is that I don’t have to watch, monitor, or entertain anyone else’s children.

We are swamped with our schedule as it is. The kids have loads of activities where they get to see their friends. These range from soccer, basketball, brownies, religious ed and ballet. They see their friends at the practices and then at the games each week. Some of the kids overlap activities. So, with a practice and a game per sport, we are seeing these children at least four times a week outside of school. Yet, it never fails that the parents will ask for additional play dates.

Is it me or does this seem excessive?

I am pretty protective of our family time. T works and travels for work during the week. His time at night is limited with the children. He gets maybe an hour or an hour and a half before they go to bed. So, the bulk of his time falls on the weekends.

We spent Christmas break avoiding the phone. Family was in town. It was the holidays. We had parties, activities and fun things happening with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. Traditions that the five of us were taking part in together. Yet, the phone would ring. Every single day. The phone would ring.

I am grateful that they have friends and that we’ve met so many great families at school. But, I do get the looks when I say no we can’t do this or that’s not going to work time wise. Sometimes, I find myself rushing them out after a game on a Saturday just to avoid the dreaded play date request.

I just don’t want them booked out every single day. I don’t want someone over here constantly either. They need time to decompress. To play with their siblings. To do their homework. Time to just be kids. They shouldn’t have a schedule at their ages. I still believe that they need to be bored sometimes in order to use their imaginations and creativity to figure out what to play or do. They rarely get that time as it is. I don’t want to lose the last tidbit left.

So, we’ll continue to hold the play dates at bay-for now at least. Wish me luck. I'm hoping I don't get pushed in!


  1. I agree...I try to have the playdates at my house if possible so at least I get to be with them!!!

  2. I totally agree! My daugther is 3, and her playgroup (that we joined when she was 9 months old so I could meet other moms) wanted to get together the week during Christmas and then again this week. I feel like such a kill joy about not wanting to go, but I am EXHAUSTED! That aside, trying to schedule it with her in school 2 days a week and my 9 month old son still taking 2 naps a day, is too hard. I feel like this time with them both home is so fleeting. Anyway, I hear ya!

  3. I am conflicted about playdates as well. On the one hand our schedule is packed enough and play dates just mean they will stay up later than I would like in order to finish homework.

    On the other hand, I feel like they need some alone time with separate from their twin sister with a classmate in order to develop some friendships.

    It's a tough call for sure.

  4. OMG, I am the same way. If my kids have playdates, it's usually because the other mom called. It never even crosses my mind!! It's not that we're antisocial, but I agree, we have so many activities, can't we just do NOTHING sometimes? I never worried about it until last year, when I started to realize that my oldest daughter's friends get together all the time and I wondered if she was being left out. But still, there are so many years for her to bond with her girlfriends. Sigh...