Parents and Play Dates: Whose Friendship Is More Important?
For parents of preschoolers, play dates can be tricky. Just a few years back, when your child was a baby, you flocked to the mommy and me groups and found yourself gravitating towards the other mommies that you liked. Your attraction had nothing to actually do with their child or yours-- you didn't say, "I like that woman because her son spits up like my son, or has a hard time standing up like my son..." In fact, other than age, it was too soon to tell if your children had anything in common... other than essential needs like eating and sleeping.
However, you continued to flock to them for plans and play dates but at a certain point, once mommy and me was over and real preschool began, you saw that your children were in fact different (like- one is a boy, and one is a girl. One likes Star Wars and one likes Snow White.) It started to not matter that you and she loved hanging out for three hours while the kids played, because your child was disinterested in hers (therefore making your gossip sessions nearly impossible). YOUR child started to request play dates with other children (in their class)... Other children that you were unfamiliar with. Other children who's parents, gasp, you were unfamiliar with (as in, not friends with).
Does this mean you'd have to sit for three hours and talk to them while the kids played with legos? What would you talk about? You have your crew, your group, your girls... Now you have to talk to some other kid's mom about bullsh*t like nap schedules, eating schedules, what you make for dinner, vacations (that you don't take), private vs. public school, blah blah blah???! This is crazy. This is insane. This is unfair. What happened to calling the shots for your child? What happened to lovely coffee dates as your child sat in in their stroller staring into space. Growing up sucks.
Okay, fine. Maybe I'm being a little dramatic. Maybe I'm being a little bit selfish. Maybe I'm even being a little bit bitchy. But I know all moms with preschoolers can relate to me on this. Preschool play dates are tricky. They're just plain tricky. My child is now 4 years-old -- many of his friends are starting to get dropped off on play dates for a few hours (meaning, one of the parents watches while the other one takes off). As a working parent, this is tricky for me because on the days I am free to go with him on a play date, I'd like to be with him to spend time with him, buuuuuuuuut not necessarily with the other parent.... aaaaaaand not necessarily watching someone else's child too. (Are you judging me yet?)
So tell me, moms: When you schedule play dates, do you take your relationship with the parent into consideration? Or do you schedule based entirely on the friendship/ connection your child has with the other kid? Also, if your child is in preschool, do you do the play date drop off yet? Share your thoughts here! Please!