playdates and a friendly little reminder

playdates have been on my mind.

but wait, back up.
i really love to share, with you, my thoughts.
you, that one person that needs to hear what i'm writing.
i know when i claim to not care about numbers on my blog, you don't believe me.
and it's not like i NEVER get sucked into competition.
but the real, deep down me does this blog in hopes that just one person might remember that they're not alone.
to inspire just one person to see beauty in their lives by looking for it instead of looking through it.

that's what my pictures are about.
there are plenty of sad, lame, hard, embarrassing things happening with me every time i take a photograph, but i am choosing to focus on the beauty in front of me instead of that crap.
just for a minute.
then back to life.
and alot of the "crap" just isn't sharable.
i'm sure you know what i'm talking about, right?
most of it involves another person and i don't have the right to blab about them or our relationship.
my kids, my husband, my friends, my siblings, my dad...there is a story happening with all of them and me....but all of it isn't sharable.

i can share about my mom because she can't reprimand me anymore

so just my quarterly reminder that you MAY NOT get tricked into thinking my life is COMPLETELY made up of baby chicks and vinagey surfer girl moments.

i've never loved them.
i haven't had many real playdates.
i mean, i've had plenty of the ones that are  just MY friends coming over with their kids.
but the ones where you don't really know the mom very well and you are just inviting the kid over since he/she is the same age as your kid....those....
well, i happen to think that those aren't really necessary.
i mean, especially if your kids are super little.
soon enough they will be in school with giant groups of their peers.
(grouping children according to their age is kinda bizarre , right?)
have you ever had a family over that has kids about the same age as yours?
i have.
and most of the time the kids find children that are the same age as their siblings.
it's funny.

i happen to like being at home with just my kids.
they sometimes fight and we HAVE to get out for a while, but lots of the time there is a fine balance that one other person can really just disturb.
do i sound anti-social?
i don't mean to say we don't need to hang out with other people, i just am trying to say that you shouldn't stress if you don't feel like you want to do it all the time.
i have talked to a couple moms lately that seem like they think they should do more of that for thier kids and feel sorta bad about not wanting to.
so i am here to tell you...
let. it. go.
if you have extra energy to spare use it to plan some "mommy playdates"(you know, lady dates, like a movie and dinner or shopping with a friend)
i am SURE that is way more needed than trying to make 4 year old interact nicely.

once your little guy is in preschool you start to see how there are some moms that are keeping thier little children constantly interacting with other kids and you may feel pressure to do it too.

my boys have always had each other, so i know i've been sorta spoiled.
playdates have been sorta sad for them since it just means that one brother is waiting all day for time with the other one, just to find out that his best pal is super into "random kid's" program instead.
it more work for me and is it really needed?
he was just at school all day!
with that kid.

ella is my last child (as far as i know;)
and i have stressed the least about "socializing" her.
she has VERY FEW friends that are her age.
she plays with her brothers everyday.
and me.
and in a few weeks (deep breath)
she will start preschool (deep breath)
and will learn to get along with children that are her peers.

(and i will be alone for a few hours a week.
all alone.
leaving behind this phase of "child attached at the hip every moment."
it'll happen for you too.)

she'll be fine.
she has had a good life before preschool.
carted around after her brothers activities...but still she is very well adjusted.
with very few baby girl "playdates" to speak of.
and when she is NOT at preschool this year i will be soaking up those last few days that i have as a mother of preschoolers.
no other kids aloud.
just me and ella.

so there is my two cents about that subject and also a bit of my story so far in this journey of motherhood.
how bout you?
do you have input or experience in this area?
do you like playdates?
do you think i am a crazy woman?
do you want to shield your kids form my "un-socialized" monsters?



  1. I 100% agree with you.
    I am a loner by nature and we spend a LOT of time at home, much to the frustration of others. They just don't get it.

    I also think (read: know) after years in education of children that there is little correlation between the amount that children go on "playdates" and how they are socialized. It's a farce.

    The over-socialized and over-scheduled child is the norm these days and I am going against the grain.

    We can hold hands together.

  2. oh i soo hear you on the playdate thing. i homeschool my kids, so they're like REALLY unsocialized ;) but my boys have each other and you're right, when one goes away it leaves the other one sad...my little girl is the one that needs to learn how to entertain herself better. the boys are so into their boy stuff, it kinda leaves her in the dust....but it seems like every 6 months their stages and interests all change anyway, so it's all good :)

  3. In a week and a few days my baby will be off to 1st grade(sniff, snot, sob)and my "big girl" will be heading to 3rd grade(sniff sniff, snot snot, sob sob) and I will be teaching/working outside of the home for the first time in eight years. I am terrified of these new changes because I know its over. The bliss of being home with my babies, the simplicity of life,etc... Im wishing I appreciated those days a little more when I was in them instead of longing for the days ahead(where I now find myself).
    Perhaps Im just totally babbling and making no sense. But change is hard.
    And I will need a break 3 weeks into teaching. Thank God for BlogSugar!:)

  4. I love this post...I have unsocialized homeschooling kids too ;) but I love that they can happily interact with people of all ages. Those play dates can be really awkward and sometimes we get so hung up on doing what other moms are doing that we forget that we need to do what's right for our own kids. We are happy to spend time simply at home, I think life is more peaceful that way.

  5. This post is all me. All of it! Even my baby going to preschool which I am so not looking forward to. Thanks for writing it. I know too many people that over socialize their kids and frankly, it stresses me out to see how busy they are running from one playdate to another.

  6. I agree; I'm not a fan of playdates either!

  7. I'm happy to read a couple comments here from homeschoolers. The #1 concern I've heard from people since we decided to homeschool last spring is "What about socialization?" It's interesting that we put such a high value on that. We have a very tight circle of friends and we will continue to have those friends even though we're homeschooling. Other than that, I'm so looking forward to being home with my boys!

  8. I can't imagine what life will be like when I am ALONE again. Wow. Littles can be so all-consuming sometimes. Have fun with the girl time!!!

  9. Wow, I'm so glad I'm normal. I can't handle more than one scheduled playdate a week (if that). I'm quiet and like to be alone and my daughter and I like to play tea parties and run errands and read *together*. I dont doubt her social development will carry on just fine, but i was starting to think something was wrong with me, though, because almost alll my friends have things planned almost everyday. I just can't do it. And now... I'm ok with that :)

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  11. I'm not a mom but I WAS an "unsocialized homeschooler" and honestly I turned out just fine. =) I grew up on a farm 15 minutes outside our town of 6,000 and only had a handful of friends my age (mostly from church). I really don't remember any playdates to speak of, mostly I played with my brother and sisters out on the farm and non of us turned out to be introverts, honest. ;) Once I got to the point I could drive then I was a socializing queen. Enjoy the kiddos at home while you can!

  12. Oh man!! I am tearing up reading what handbags n pigtails wrote...I am a SAHM of four boys who are now 6 and three that are 4...and SO many times I wish for the future to be here and I can return to work & they'll all be in school....her comment gave me that "ah ha!" moment of PLEASE JUST LET IT SINK IN & FEEL IT & ENJOY IT!!!! I need to enjoy this time more as it too shall pass & I will miss these days. The days are long; the years are short.

    As for playdates - I don't like 'em! I don't like the small talk, the chit chat about your kids, I believe kids grow from the daily hum drum of just livin'...hanging out at the park, doing errands, library, etc. Yes, my kids have their siblings to hang with - but we Mamas have to remember to treasure the time when they are home - bc it's very very short!!! and oh so precious!!

    Thank you for the reminder!!

    Love your blog. Keep it real.

  13. I love this post! I have had issues with this as well. For the first 4-5 years I had my girls it was just THEM and once in awhile their cousins and then 1-2 good friends that they had over ONCE in ahwhile, not very often at all. I loved it!
    then we moved about an hour away, lost those connections, but they didn't miss it, they had one another. and for the whole first year we lived here, there were 3 girls who lived close and they came over EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF EVERY SINGLE Day, ate our food, drove me crazy...I finally put a stop to it when my husband was burned really bad and was in the ICU, he came home from the ICU was home only 1 day and one of those girls shows up to PLAY!!!!!! her mom was THERE when my hubby was burned, so she KNEW what was going on. I told that girl to go home and not come back for 3 weeks, she never came back again. then I put up a new rule, my girls could NOT HAVE friends over during the school week. it has made our lives soooooo much better! the bad part is all 3 of those girls then totally ditched my girls so they only have one another now, but that's okay, they are BEST friends!!!
    so I totally LOVE this post. when I was little all we did was PLAY with our siblings and cousins that lived up the road from us!
    amen to that!

  14. totally in agreement. when did "playing" turn into "playdate"? don't force it, unless there's a specific need (mom works, so kid doesn't have much hanging out time with kids other than daycare friends; or mom's friends don't have little kids so she has to set stuff up; or you move to a new place and don't know anybody)

  15. i totally agree with this, too (mom of two homeschooled kiddos here)! BUT how do we gently turn down those who REALLY want to have one of those awkward play dates with us?? especially if they are persistent?? i have trouble with that and welcome any suggestions.......

  16. I love your blog because you are honest about life! And I loved this post. I am a homeschooling mama and my kids love playing together and they love playing with their cousins. But when we do get together with friends...they also love that! I think its important to have a balance.

  17. Yes!!! I think you have hit a nerve here! I'm a pretty laid back person, but having my kids' friends over makes me just a little uncomfortable in my own home. Glad to know I'm not alone! We love our neighborhood friends, but I often institute the "only outside" play days. It helps!

  18. I appreciate the honesty of what you said but as a Navy wife who moves every two to three years - playdates (usually awkward ones) are an unfortunate necessity if I ever want to meet and make friends myself. I am a social person and when you live thousands of miles away from other friends or family - what else can you do?
    Yes, I've now lived through many awkward playdates with Moms & their kids that I've met at the playground but some of those awkward moments have turned into true friendships - something that's a necessity - at least to this SAHM. Especially as I'm getting closer to going into labor with my second child and will need to call on friends to watch my 2 year old!

    Maybe down the road when my girls are older and play together more I'll feel differently...

  19. we all have those things behind the pictures. it's hard.

    i hope you can share those things. one day? i don't know. i share too much some times. i say it's therapeutic.

  20. i think because it is summer, a lot of the school friends assumed it would be play-day city. we haven't had a single one. i've been soaking up the moments with my own kids, doing our own things we've been waiting to do together. i just plain don't want to share them. and they haven't asked for anything different. i do get flack though - the neighbor who has a child my child's age (and who was clearly expecting we'd be available all the time) asked if we'd moved away, with a laugh and hefty dose of condecension. i said (with a tight smile) nope, we're here, just doing our own thing...

  21. tomorrow morning i am taking my first born to COLLEGE, WHAT??? Yes I am...take this advice...soak up e.. v.. e.. ry minute of alone time hangin out, coloring, taking pictures, making cookies, playing army guys, playing astronaut (especially that one for us).... WHATEVER because I can not express to you how fast it goes...EVERYBODY told me that too...but really..it is just surreal..you just keep going along every day...and all of a sudden it's just here...and he's leaving...and wow..i don't even know what to say..sniff

  22. i know i only have one babe, but i so enjoy my time at home with him. it's really hard for me to have a decent conversation with an adult when children are climbing on couches and miles is putting every toy in his mouth. i guess i felt like i was the outcast! thanks for sharing. :)

    looking forward to meeting you soon! loves.

  23. You are so right that just hearing someone else feels the same way makes you feel better. I don't like play dates AT ALL and avoid them all the time. I chose to have only two kids and when they each have a friend over, I think to myself... THIS is why I didn't want more kids! It's too much work! I have enough work taking care of my two kids, I don't need to bring in other people's kids (who I can't discipline). If only one friend comes over, the other sibling feels sad and left out and I just hate that. I know I should do it sometimes, but I just feel so much PRESSURE from the other moms to have their kids over. It makes me not want to let my kids go to other people's houses either, cause then I know I am going to have to reciprocate! Ugh. Thanks for saying this out loud.

  24. dear shauna reed,
    can we be real-life neighbors and not have play dates together? please? ;)
    i get it that some people enjoy play dates but a lot of the time i think it is because they think they should be having them and/or that they feel that their children need to be occupied and entertained every.second.of.the.day. meeting up with people i don't know and trying to make our kids friends is weird to me--and yeah, that's just me. you can call me anti-social, cause i do. thanks for sharing this!

  25. Thank you! I've had the same thoughts about this myself but everyone I know is really into PD.I have 3 year old twin boys who get along great with each other but when we throw in someone else it gets to be work. I love knowing that I'm not the only one who thinks playdates don't have to happen. Thanks again for sharing!