I absolutely hate them.
Now, don't get me wrong .. my kids get plenty of socialisation, and basically, I think about 70% of my life is dedicated to making them happy .. as opposed to simply fed, clothed and cleaned.
It's the ME factor. Yep, despite the fact about 1% .. ok, maybe 2% of my life being dedicated to me being happy .. I still feel like a horrible old shrew with every playdate I turn down.
I'm tired. real tired.
I work, mother, do all the cooking and cleaning ( got a great husband, but he's always working too .. lately, he was overseas for a month ).
Recently a pair of my pants disintegrated and we realised I was wearing them in images of my firstborn at 6months old.
I don't go shopping for me. I have a 3yr old. When I get babysitters, it's so I can work, not flit around shopping.
It's not much fun at the moment, but I figure my time will come ( I look forward to being alone in a changing room again )
Every day after school, I let my kids play with other kids for on average an hour, in a park near the school. Let them run, climb, have fun.
On Saturdays there's birthday parties, and Sunday is my husband's day off, so that's family day.. if i'm not working.
On top of this, they want playdates.
Other parents want playdates.
In that impossibly small window where I have to prep dinner.
I mean, the park is easy, it's on the way home, so it's a no brainer to stop in and play.
There's a variety of other parents if I fancy a chat, but not the one-on-one pressure of a stranger, over tea or coffee and biscuits.
I'm not good at small talk with people I don't know well. And I don't really enjoy tea & biscuits. At the park, if i'm not chatting I can watch the trees change colour, think pleasant thoughts, enjoy the waning sunshine and actually rest my mind.
So lovely. So rare.
Playdates are for holidays. Blocks of time unbroken by school, by swimming lessons, by birthday parties.
Blocks of time when the trampoline gets boring and you want to fight with someone other than your brother over Lego.
Blocks of time where your mother doesn't have to get everyone dressed and make lunches and do the school run every single day by 8.30am, so maybe, just maybe she will feel a teeny bit more refreshed and welcome a change to routine.
But not after school.
Give this mother a break.