Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Playdate Reciprocity and the Working Mother

I struggle with this issue a lot as a full-time working mom:  Playdates.

Do I let my boyz go?  Knowing that I probably won't be able to reciprocate right away?  Or do I decline (and then deal with the incessant "Whyyyyyyy Moooom?  Why can't I just goooooo?")?

Eldest, at age 8, does a TON of playdates.  (Mostly with boys from his football team whom we've known for 3 seasons now.)  Obviously I'm biased, but he's a prime playdate candidate.  He's pretty calm, laid-back and mild mannered, so other parents don't mind having him around.  But I'm starting to get a complex because he's always being invited, yet he rarely has a friend over to our Trenches.  Do you think the parents notice this?

Middle and Baby, on the other hand, are at that weird age.  5 and 4.  They haven't played organized sports yet, and I'm never around to do drop-offs or pick-ups from school, so I'm not familiar with the parents of their friends.  But they are DYING to play with their friends.

Yet I can't force that task upon my nanny.  That wouldn't be right. 

And weekend playdates?  Ugh.  (Double ugh when it's winter.)  Weekends are Family Time.  I should probably be more flexible with this.  Maybe in the spring...

But this Friday, all the stars have aligned.  I am scheduled to be the Mystery Reader in Middle's kindergarten class from 1:30-2:00.  And after that?  I am free for the rest of the day.

So it's time for me to pony up and take one for the team.

Each of the 3 boyz is having a friend come over Friday afternoon for a playdate.

6 boys.  Ages 8 and under.

I figured the snow is almost melted - they can all run around outdoors; play baseball; play basketball; ride bikes. 

And then I checked the weather forecast for Friday:

Pouring rain.

Go me.

24 comments:

Angella said...

You can do it!

Or at least go down with a fight. ;)

for a different kind of girl said...

Good for you! That's a lot of activity under the roof at one time!

I work part-time, but it's still a struggle to extend the reciprocity. I have grand plans of doing so, and I will, I swear, but there are days when the hours fly by and it seems impossible to fit one more thing in. However, I'm going to give it a go yet this week.

Good luck with your Friday adventure!

Rebekah said...

Oh lord. Rain? And six boys? Is it too much to hope that they'd all agree ona single movie to watch?

J said...

I used to nanny during summers in college and it was definitely normal to me for the kids to have playdates once in awhile. So I don't think you should feel bad about it if your nanny is okay with it.

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

I'm afraid I laughed when I read the weather report for Friday. Oops. No worries - I bet the boys will have fun quietly playing with toys... :)

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

OMG. You know what? I am SCARED for the day when my kids are old enough to ask for playdates. I think it's because I loathe babysitting, and I feel like that's exactly what playdates consist of. Hopefully I'm wrong?

Good luck on Friday!

erica said...

Thank you for posting this... I was just talking to someone about being a Working Mom and how there are certain things that other moms just need to understand when they are at home.. and we are at work.

Granted by babe is not old enough for play dates, but it will come up...

Good Luck with Friday... I am keeping you in my prayers- I mean, thoughts!

Michele R said...

We get so busy that I forget to have other kids over. But when we do, having other boys over is easy if not easier than the 3. They get occupied and you can actually get something done. I say Yeah! to you for having 3 over at once!

Amy @ Original Coupon Coach said...

I struggle with this too! My husband is home with the kids during the day and most moms look at me like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears when I suggest their kids come over to play. I suppose it's just not the same with a man in charge. I can't say I blame them.

But it is really hard to work and reciprocate the playdate!!

I'm sure you'll be fine on Friday even if it does rain. Kids are pretty creative. Let them build a fort or something =)

Heather@PixieDust said...

i had a nanny growing up and had friends over all the time. I'm also one of three and it was just part of life that she would drive us to friends houses and we had friends over too.

Jen said...

I say just keep sending them until someone asks you to host and then say, "Are you crazy?'

;)

Manic Mommy said...

I don't mind the playdates but I hate having to entertain the moms. Drop-off playdates are totally the way to go.

Shell said...

6 boys? In the rain? I would be claiming that one of mine was sick...

amelie522 said...

You shouldn't feel bad at all, and I'm sure the other moms don't think anything of it. And you know what? If they do, screw um. You work full time, and if they don't understand that, then they aren't very aware of what that entails. As for Friday...that's a lot of boys, and I will be pulling for you. Just kidding, it will be fine! They're at the ages where they'll be content playing with one another, and they won't need much to stay occupied. It might actually be nice, you'll get a break, right? Sending you my good juju :)

Frugal Vicki said...

Ummmm, I am totally not at the playdates without parents yet. Can I send them to the corner when I get bored with them? NO? Nope then I am not sure I want to do it.

BTW, I really like your header! That is awesome!

Eclipsed said...

I'm not at the playdate stage, but the thought of giving up my weekend to have someone else's kid over to my house makes me wanna vomit. I guess it's a good thing I'm not at the playdate stage yet huh.

countryfriedmama said...

People MUST draw a distinction for working parents, right?

I'm rotten at reciprocity, mainly because I hate cleaning my house so someone else's kids can come over and trash it.

Park date, anyone?

Michelle said...

Sarah, my friend, you are a saint and a lunatic all rolled into one beautiful package. I can not wait to hear about this one.

angelpeach838 said...

I wouldn't feel bad. I'm fairly new to the land of playdates and all, but I wasn't even aware that reciprocity was the rule. Oops. That's awful! Maybe on some level, but I'm just not good at 'hosting.' Oy. Now another thing to worry about :) But you shouldn't! Adding in work you have a whole 'nother thing going. Keep your weekends for yourself :)

happygal said...

You are a brave soul. But as a fellow working mom, I agree. The last thing I usually want to do on my precious little time at home is add more kids and more noise and more mess to the mix. So I am also not great at playdating back. I have gotten to a point where I kind of just put that out there. That my husband works much of the weekends, that I have three boys, and please know we'd love to have them over, but it's just hard to find a time to make it work.

Hope the rain passes you by.

Emma @ embracethechaos said...

Here's the thing: I am WAHM and I don't care if the working moms reciprocate cuz if my kids (4,7,10) have playdates over they don't bug me and I can spend my time reading blogs and stuff...
And we also used to be anti-playdates on the weekends but now we let the kids have friend over and my hubby and I read the newspaper!

Maureen said...

I don't think anyone is expecting reciprocity. Stay-at-home moms like that another child is entertaining their child, and most every one feels as though weekends are family time, whether both parents work outside the home or in.

As for today, I am hoping you are done with your cleanse so you can have a drink when they leave. You're going to need it!

Maureen said...

I don't think anyone is expecting reciprocity. Stay-at-home moms like that another child is entertaining their child, and most every one feels as though weekends are family time, whether both parents work outside the home or in.

As for today, I am hoping you are done with your cleanse so you can have a drink when they leave. You're going to need it!

NotJustAnotherJen said...

Why oh why did you agree to all 3 having a playdate at your house instead of dividing it out? I'd suggest having a girlfriend over with their kid(s) and making it a Mommy & Me Happy Hour. Hopefully they will keep each other occupied and you won't have to referee too much. Good luck!

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