Play dates are an important part of motherhood. Play dates allow you to form closer bonds with other mamas, whilst also allowing your baby to become friends with the other babies. Play dates are less chaotic than your average baby group, making them the ideal way to socialize when you’re struggling due to lack of sleep. Some play dates are better than others. Here are the five key ingredients of the perfect play date:
Motherhood is tough, and the people who understand that are the ones worth spending time with. Whether you’ve been up all night thanks to teething, are onto your third outfit today thanks to some projectile vomiting or are feeling fed up of cluster feeds, you want play date buddies who care. Not ones who’ll offer unsolicited advice or judge your parenting choices. No, you need to surround yourself with women who understand. Compassionate women who support your choices and are always there when you need them.
Baby groups are not relaxing. You’ll spend the whole time worrying that one of the feral toddlers is about to stamp on your baby. Soft play centres are not relaxing. It’s only a matter of time until a manic three year old pushes past your crawler at the top of the slide. Play dates, however, can be relaxing. Held at home with just a couple of like-minded friends, the play date can be pretty zen. You don’t need to watch your babies quite so carefully or worry about older children causing havoc. Instead, you can sit back on a comfy sofa, enjoy a warm drink and chat until you’ve got nothing left to say. By the time you leave, you should feel like you’ve spent a weekend at a spa.
- A safe space
The play date should be a safe space. Nothing said of a personal nature should ever leave those four walls. The play date is your safe space for you to admit that you almost listed your baby on eBay at 3am or that you sometimes put her diaper on backwards. It’s ok for you to say these things because your play date buddies are saying them too. This is a judgement-free zone.
The most important rule when it comes to play date club is if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Parenting is hard. It’s exhausting, relentless and consists of about 80% vomit. It’s not pretty. The trials and tribulations of motherhood can be approached in one two ways. You can either cry constantly because you’re exhausted, fed up of changing diapers and haven’t showered in weeks. Or you can laugh because you accidentally flashed the postman, got peed on in public and are so tired you forgot your husband’s name. Laughing will make it easier, so laugh.
- Healthy Snack
A snack, because they make everything better. Always take snacks with you to a play date. It’s the play date equivalent of a bottle of red. You’re sure to be invited again next turn if you’re the one who turns up with a selection of healthy snacks.
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.