I want to stop dating... as in playdates

  • Hi,

    This is my first post.  My name is Karry,  I am a stay at home mom of 4 ages 11, 5, 3 and 6 mnths.  My problem is my older ones always want someone to come over to play.  It is driving me CRAZY!!!!  I tried letting them each have a friend over. Big Mistake!!!!  Every toy was taken out, they drove each other mad.  The younger followed the older and the older ones tease the younger ones.  Then there was snack time.  They were not happy with the pretzels and water I put out.  Sorry but I cant afford to feed 6 boys goldfish or granola bars.  Juice is quite costly as well.  By the end of the day I wanted to hide in a corner curled up in the fetal position never to see the light of day.  But I couldn't because I still had dinner, bath and bedtime.

    Next I tried letting one at a time have a friend over.  Well this is just "not fair, he has a friend and I dont!!!!"  I have to listen to the two other boys complain about being bored.  They quickly forget thier turn, past and future.  My oldest has many friends in the neighborhood he can go out to play with, but this apparently gets boring as well.

    I also get very frustrated when I am the only mom calling for playdates.  Nobody else seems to want to return the favor.  I almost feel like a pain in the backside for always asking.

    I feel like I am being a very selfish mommy.  But with 4 kids I really dont want to do the playdate thing any more.

    Any suggestions on how to stop the maddness or how to help me cope with the chaos of having playmates of for my children???????

  • Wow! I'm feeling miserable just reading that! Six children is a lot to watch. How often do they have company? Is this just come over and play company or spend the night? Depending on where you live, you could have them play outside.

  • Hi Karry! Your story makes me long for the days when I was a kid and my mom would tell me to go outside and play -- and that was that. Because the days when you could safely let your children play outside on their own are long gone, we now have the playdate. It's the scariest word in the world, IMHO. 

    You are not a selfish mommy. Because I don't want to deal with playdates, I simply don't send my kids on them (or accept them in return) except on rare occasions. My kids get enough interaction at daycare or school. When they're home, it's family time. On the weekends, we get chores done, and though I often work, we either relax together or go out and play. There's visiting family or heading to the playground, etc. Either way, playdates just don't really fit in with our lifestyle, and I don't think my kids will grow up traumatized for it -- at least, that's how I rationalize it to myself.

  • I know what you mean writemommy. I do allow playdates whenever he asks, but I am very cautious about outside play. We live where everyone knows their neighbors (they all keep an eye on the kids) and we have a pretty big backyard. We've fenced it in as well. I usually sit outside with the children and watch them. When I am trying to do something in the house I open all the blinds on the backside of the house and watch them that way. I've put a sandbox, swingset, a mini construction site with rubber mulch, and a tire swing out. It helps them burn energy and keeps my house from getting wrecked. I have several friends who live further out in the country than we do. They have huge yards and could safely let older children play outside with less supervision.

  • For the 5 & 3 year old I have to call the moms to invite the kids.  My 11 year old has a few kids in the neighborhood to play with, but he likes to call friends from school also.  I have limited it to non-school days for the 5 and 11 and during the week for my 3 year old.  And it NOT overnight.  I would really be a blubbering idiot if I did overnight LOL!!!!

  • Ahhhhh Memories!!!  My mom would kick us outside also.  We could not go in except to go to the bathroom or eat lunch.  We had a peach tree in the yard which we could snag a fruit if we were hungry.  Sometimes she would cut a watermelon (which we also grew in our yard in GA) and put it out for all the kids.  If we got thirsty we turned on the hose!

    I am lucky, my neighborhood is great.  All the moms watch out for all the kids.  Our backyards are all together like the show Backyardigans so we can see everyone all the time.  The big kids usually watch the younger ones for a little bit.