Now that we’re two months into the new school year, I’m reflecting on all of my parent-to-parent school relationships. I wonder how I rate on the playground? Is there even such a thing?One area which I’m still getting a handle on is play dates. Since my kids are young, they want me to stay with them while they get to know their new friends. As a result, I end up chatting with lots of moms I hardly know.
Typically, after the kids have gone off to play, both moms look at each other and I’ll hear the inevitable polite question “would you like some tea or coffee?” And we’re off – away we go down the rabbit hole of “what type of parent are you?”
It really is like a first date or put more crassly, it’s like two dogs sniffing each others bums. Both parties are trying to determine if we are going to hang out on the playground after school or just wave politely.
I often wonder what we’re going to talk about – our ages, our parents or our parenting skills? I’m pretty chatty and like to think of myself as easygoing so I’m game for any topic. I don’t have anything to hide, I don’t think. My kids punch, scream and hit each other. I yell at my kids, and will freely admit it doesn’t work but makes me feel better. I’m just trying to stay sane while I tell my youngest to aim in the toilet bowl for the millionth time and to stop punching his weenis.
I will say that I’ve had some lovely conversations with lots of great moms. We’re all doing our best with the parenting skills we’ve acquired along the way and the more tips I can get the better.
But let’s not forget to mention that there have been some misses. A certain topic will come up and you’ll have two very different points of view. This is usually followed by an awkward silence. I’ll try to cover it up by re-directing the conversation back to my kid since that’s why I am here anyway.
I’m also learning that some moms who have older kids don’t want to ever have you over to their house. Your kids – great. You – no thanks. Quite frankly, they have enough school parent friends. Their school parent friend bucket is full. I’m down with it.
There are also some moms, I’ll never have play dates with. They just drop their kids off at school and then sprinting back to their cars for 5-6 hours of well-deserved freedom. Or there are the moms who you just don’t have anything in common with. It happens. We can’t all be besties.
My light bulb moment with regard to play dates happened a couple of weeks ago when I realized there’s no need to rush a parent-to-parent school relationship. Realistically, you’re going to see these parents for the next seven years on either the playground, at birthday parties or on play dates. You need to take it slow or else the magic is gone is less than two play dates and then you’re screwed.
So where does this leave me? No clue, but I have re-learned this – always be nice to others.
Leave a comment below and let me know how you feel about play dates.