“We should get the kids together?!” “Want to have a playdate?” “Let’s meet up for the kids to play!”
I wont lie…every single time someone says these phrases to me, sheer panic shoots through me. I’m not a “playdate” kinda gal. The concept is great. Love the idea of connection with a fellow mother while we blissfully let our precious littles frolic and play together.
But let’s be real. That’s not happening.
I stress about getting there. What activities will be done? I have toddler boys. Their interests vary by the second. We haven’t mastered sitting still. Also, this concept of sharing goes over just as well as quantum physics. Toddler rules stand: I see it, therefore it’s mine. So, the whole time, I feel like were negotiating peace while on the brink of nuclear war.
The comparison trap inevitably comes up quickly followed with all the unsolicited advice. It’s human nature. As moms, we brag on our kids. As moms, we worry our kids aren’t meeting the milestones. Having twins has shown me that children develop in different areas at different rates. Plus, if you’re doing therapy work, you celebrate different milestones.
I cringe at all the times I hear “well if you did…” or “have you tried”. Please do your homework and I’ll do mine. Trust me, I bug our pediatrician, therapists and nurses to no end with questions. Disclaimer: I understand that more than likely no one means ill intent, but sometimes just gracious support goes further.
I put pressure on myself to look like I have it all together. But I seriously don’t. Just like I’m hoping everyone else feels. So the thought of having to make myself, my children and or the house look presentable at the same time can be daunting. Only one of the three is making it out at once. If all three are looking good, I’ve been body snatched. Please send help.
Who we are as we are.
There are now only a select few friends that I’ll agree to or even suggest we do “playdates”. I know when we’re invited over, they accept us for who we are as we are. I can walk in with serious coffee breathe because they know I have a severe coffee addiction. So, they’ve prepared another pot just for me. They know once I finish all my coffee, I’ll brush my teeth there. I love you friends.
These people help village parent. I have an explorer. In parking lots. In libraries. ANYWHERE. They don’t offer to help, they just jump in. “Don’t run away from your mother!” Also, there’s an understanding that these tiny humans have bad days and moments. I never cringe when we aren’t sharing well, or we have a meltdown because why is brother standing so close to me!? They extend grace to my children as well as to me.
There’s mutual respect for each other’s parenting styles and decisions. If that is what helps you be the best momma then you DO IT! Parenting is a deeply personal decision, and we understand we may not be privy to all the closed door information. We still share frustrations with each other. I’m not fooling myself that they have some private opinions, but they’ve never offered unsolicited advice. They’ve simply been there to chill while we let our children be little. No one becomes offended when their children aren’t directly interacting with each other. Our children have their own opinions and can choose when they would like to play with one another. It doesn’t keep us from fostering the friendship.
So right now, I say no to lots of playdates. I just choose not to put the anxiety or pressure on myself. Instead I seek out my kind of people. The ones whom are truly sincere when they say come as you are: no makeup, coffee addiction and little explorers in tow.