Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Defense of Anti-Playdate-ism

I acknowledge that I never, ever initiate playdates, and I truly hope none of my friends think I'm rude or don't really want to hang out b/c of it!!! If you invite us over, we would LOVE to come; but I really just have a playdate block when it comes to scheduling any, myself. Both kids now are in school and entertained this year every morning Monday-Friday; when they get home, they are content playing together whenever we're not running errands.

[Sidebar: I *LOVELOVELOVE* running errands! And I LOVE taking the kids with me! I have always purposely waited to do errands until they are with me. (If I have free time, I want to spend it watching not-child-friendly TiVo or online! Not doing stuff I can do WITH them!!!) But apparently I am not normal, and most moms loathe running errands with their kids. They see it as a hassle, but I see it as free entertainment, where we can be out & about and even shop with a purpose! It's FUN!!! And no, I don't think I'm insane. (On this point, anyway.)]

So when my kids are so entertained with school, errands, and then themselves, it's just never on my mind to schedule anything else. They see their friends at school. They see church friends on Sundays and dance friends on Fridays. It's just not on my radar to add anything else to the calendar.

NOT saying that we don't enjoy getting together with friends, b/c I LOVE it!!!

But the other part is, I don't really ever want to hang out at my house. If I'm home, I want to get my own stuff done. If I want to socialize, I want us to go somewhere fun & *do* something! But that always seems to be more of a hassle, b/c most of my friends are still juggling nap schedules (Hahaha! WTH are those???) around 2 PM, which is right when we're raring to go after school. I always enjoy hanging out at other people's homes for playdates, but then I feel guilty b/c I never invite anyone over here. But, we were at their house, b/c it made naptime easier for them, and that's totally awesome with me! I still feel guilty, though, that I don't really ever reciprocate; but I don't want to hang out at my house! I want to run around; but that doesn't usually fit into their schedules, so...

It's a vicious circle. :-P In the end, it just seems like more of a PITA than it's worth. Is that bad? I guess I just feel a bit disconnected from "normal" at this age, b/c none of my other friends have their 3-year-olds in preschool 5 days a week (it's a Montessori thing & we have LOVED it - both kids & me!!!) so my friends still need something more those other days. We don't. ...But I admit, it does make me feel a little weird to read about this playdate or that playdate on FB and think, "Maybe I'm missing out a little on that connection time with my girlfriends?"

...Eh, in reality, for the most part probably not. It takes 3 hours to have a 5 minute conversation when you're wrangling kids on a playdate! That is why, even with both kids in school now, MOPS is still *such* a huge priority in my life! It's not about the kids at all - it's about quality, uninterrupted, kid-free time for moms to actually talk & connect! :-)

BTW - all this anti-playdate-ism only applies during the school year. Summer is a whole different story! The key factor in playdates not being important to us is that the kids are entertained with school. After that's over, not only do we NEED to schedule stuff to do, but it's also not nearly as big of a hassle, b/c we're actually available in the mornings, unlike now where we only have an afternoon window.

Pressing on:

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. - Romans 5:5

IN YOU, O Lord, do I put my trust and seek refuge; let me never be put to shame or [have my hope in You] disappointed; deliver me in Your righteousness! - Psalm 31:1
 

Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God - Psalm 42:5b

5 comments:

  1. My little one is in "school" and she's little! She loves it though with all that goes on there and she doesn't need play dates outside of that. She gets Mommy dates instead (where we do a lot of running errands--love it, too but just bc i want her with me!) My girlfriends who don't work outside the home, do play dates a lot but just as you said, for entertainment for the kids. Every Mommy is different and it sounds like what you are doing is working for you and your children and that is what matters most! Mommy guilt comes in all forms and hits you hard when you least expect it! Terrible stuff that Mommy guilt! And may I also point out that if you have play dates at your own home you need to clean up a little and who has time to do that?

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  2. EXACTLY!!! And there's *nothing* that I hate more than cleaning!!! The dust bunnies haven't killed us, yet, so why bother? ;-)

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  3. psalm 42 is one of my favorite psalms! you said it, "i will yet praise you, my savior". its a decision, no matter what is happening, "i will praise you". good for you! keeping those scripture verses flowing!

    since i'm not a mom, i can't empathize with you on this but from what you've shared, it sounds like you are doing exactly what needs to be done. kids need socializing but they are getting that at school, and then they need mommy time, which they get afterwards. its not that you're against play-dates, they just don't fit into your schedule as easily as they do others'. i think you should not feel bad about this at all! good for you for guiding your kids' schedules so they are not crammed full of stuff.

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  4. Praising IS a choice! So true! :-)

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  5. I'm discovering that everything is a choice! Through trials, I choose joy. Through persecution I CHOOSE to follow God. Reminds me of the song, "Blessed Be Your Name" by Matt Redman.

    I wish I lived closer to people for play dates. The downfall of living so far from church :(

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