Calling all suburban mothers of children under the age of 10; I’m here to rally us all together by making a cry for help for us to find a manageable way to take back the “play date.” What I mean is, when our mothers were our age and we were the ages our children are now, mom and her friends didn’t sit around us in a circle and watch us everything we had playmates over. In fact, the word “play date” is a relatively new one; it used to be called, “Jana is having a friend over to give mommy some mommy time.”
As we got older and began having our own children, I’m not sure which of us made the decision to invite the entire neighborhood over, kids and moms included, and sip apple juice and munch on veggie chips until it’s time to get home for dinner and the 2-hour long bedtime routine.
I’m not suggesting we go back to the 70s and 80s parenting approach of locking the kids in a room and not checking on them until 4 hours later when Jenny’s mom arrives to pick her up. I’m not even suggesting dropping all of the kids at one mommy’s house and taking turns for whose life is going to be tortured while the other moms manage to run some long overdue errands or read a chapter of that book she’s been milking for the last 3 months.
I’m talking about all of the moms getting together and collectively stepping up our play date games! Just because it’s 3 p.m. and a Thursday doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be partaking in a much needed glass of wine, nibbling on some chocolate, and having conversations that don’t involve little Charlie’s allergies or baby Nadine’s baby yoga class progress (oh, she rolled over again? That’s great.) As the kids laugh and play, let’s engage with one another and interact as adults do and should, even when our kids are present.
Drinking this wine is going to make the kiddos jealous? Too bad, they are kids, and we are adults, and they should know this. Eating this dark chocolate is going to make them whine and beg for something less healthy too? Guess what, when mommy was a kid she didn’t eat chocolate at 3 p.m.; now mommy is an adult and she and her friends will do as they please, now go play on that jungle gym and let me be!
Rest assured, in any attempt to “update” the routine of moms’ interactions among their children, there will always be a judgmental ninny who cries about not being able to say “that” in front of the children. Regardless of what “that” is, if it doesn’t have to do with the kiddies, it seems to be off limits in suburban stay-at-home mom circles. In my opinion, this naysayer is the most juvenile of everyone at the party, children included.
As inspiration for the next time you host a play-date for the neighborhood, shop some coupon sites like Frugaa and get great discounted savings on bottles of wine, cheese boards, chocolate and fruit baskets, candied popcorn, and more little bites and treats that allow the mother’s to relax as the kids get crazy on the backyard.