Top 5 Reasons Playdates Give me Anxiety

Picture with cake pops. Reads, 5 reasons they give me anxiety.
Picture of cake pops that shows article title. Playdates 5 Reasons why they give me anxiety.
The idea of playdates may immediately make you think of fun. But playdates may also be overwhelming for some parents.

Why can’t scheduling playdates be simple?

I must admit, until recently, my children have never had playdates with children we didn’t already know. So playdate etiquette was never even a thing I had to consider. ButTwo boys standing in a park smiling. now that we’ve moved to a new neighborhood and my children are making friends in their new schools, playdates seem to be “the thing”. (Whoo-hoo, insert sarcasm here) They come home all excited about a new friend’s number and tell me how I need to call the child’s mom to set up a playdate. Not to mention, they have all the particulars planned out. Even my three year-old comes home and tells me how he and his best buddy are going to Disney tomorrow!! And here is where the confusion begins.

Don’t get me wrong, I know we live in a different era. Gone are the days where you send your child out front or to the neighborhood park. For me it was an all day affair with the strict reminder to check in every hour and to be home when the street lights came on. But things just aren’t that simple now.

Am I showing my age?

I’m old school. I grew up in an era where we played with the neighbors’ kids, my parents’ good friends’ children and family. That’s it! The only time there was an attempt to call or reach out to other parents was when there was a birthday party to be invited to and even then it was limited. Other than that…it didn’t happen. So I must admit, this idea of “random playdates” gives me anxiety and here’s why:

1. Who makes the first call? I mean, do I call the unsuspecting parent and say, “Hi, you don’t know me but, my daughter and your daughter have conspired to have a playdate and I wanted to see if you were available to make good on the arrangement.” I mean let’s face it. That initial phone call is super AWKWARD and borderline stalker-esque.
2. Where should these playdates take place, my house, theirs or the park? Did I mention I’m old school? I don’t quite like the idea of inviting complete strangers to my house. Kids playing on a merry-go-round in a park.I’m not one of those people who invite everyone over all the time. Maybe I’m strange, you can say it, (Trust me it wont be there first time I’ve heard that), but I just don’t like the idea one bit.
3. How long should a playdate last? One, two, three hours? Like most moms, my life is crazy and time is limited. But I just don’t know what’s a realistic timeframe for a playdate. And let’s not mention adding one more thing to try to get out of the house on time for.

I’m a talker, I can talk to just about anyone…

4.  But what happens if you and the mom don’t hit it off? Does that mean no more playdates? I’m sorry, if you haven’t met my children, they are pretty damn persistent. So no more playdates is not a viable option.

Let’s say all goes well…

5. Who’s responsible for arranging the next playdate? Is it done on the spot or do you wait?

As you can see, such a simple effort to get children to play together turns in to a major planning event. The reality is playdates are inevitable. So for now, sounds like I’ll be working off of trial and error.

Are you an old playdate pro? Got any tips to make planning a playdate easier? Please share below. As you can tell, I could really use some help.[/wr_column]][wr_text]

35 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons Playdates Give me Anxiety

  1. I’m not a pro either but I stick to Chic Fila and public places where we can easily leave if needed. If we go to houses, it better be someone we know well 🙂

    1. I love Chic-Fil-a and so do my children. What an awesome option nothing better than meeting at a neutral place, that offers some of your favorite food. I mean worst case scenario, I can just keep shoving food in my mouth should I decide me and the mom have nothing in common to talk about. JK…marginally. Thanks for the tip!

  2. The first call! Even if it’s not about kids, I really hate calling people I don’t know – even if it’s for business!

    1. I agree, the first call is always uncomfortable. Glad to know I’m not the only one. And I agree…it’s difficult for business as well. I have to pull out my sales hat and my big girl panties and go for it.

  3. I was moved by all the colors on this blog. This totally resonates with me. I have a 6yrs old son and he is always coordinating his own play dates. I hate feeling like I am using him to make friends. Fortunately I am super friendly and know how to switch things to save myself the embarrassment lol

    1. Kurline. Thanks, the blog is work in progress. If using him to make friends work, then work it. I’m a different being so it doesn’t always work for me. I only wish it was that easy for me. Don’t be embarrassed, do what works. Thanks for visiting.

    1. Emma you’re right. I guess I’m so caught up in the moment, I didn’t think about that. Now that you mention it, that could serve as a good ice-breaker. Thanks for the insight!

  4. I also hate these things. It’s so awkward and unnatural.
    I often feel that those of us who move into the new area are far more friendly and welcoming than the people who have lived there their whole lives. Good luck.

  5. This post brought back all the good memories! I remember my mom who used to stress out for playdates! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Yeah you nailed it? It is kind of an akward process, but on the up side, once in a while it actually introduces you to some new person that could become a great friend for yourself also. Motherhood?

  7. I love play dates and have to say I don’t feel any of these anxieties, however I do worry that I may be the creepy over-zealous mum who’s frantic chatter and sudden over-bearing friendship might be intimidating and off-putting to others.

    1. I’d rather someone who talked a lot and was up to planning the dates. I always worry, I’m being too pushy…Seems like a catch 22 Go figure!

  8. I actually have never scheduled a play date. We have organic friendships and we hang out with other families, but we don’t schedule hanging out with strangers.

  9. Yeah we just always ran around with the kids in the neighborhood. This all does seem odd to me ha

  10. i can so relate to this! i’m ashamed to admit it, but i usually just hold them at our house because i’ve been to other parents homes which are awesome people, but their method of babyproofing isnt always the same, and I have such anxiety over stuff like that

    1. There are so many “questionables” about having a playdate at someone else’s home, please don’t get me started. I often wish some things could just be they way they were when I was growing up – a lot simpler.

  11. When your child goes to someone else’s house you then have to consider what questions you will ask to make sure that your child is safe in their home and without you. First (and even beyond) is best with a parent or each child in attendance.

  12. This is a great post! Love your blog keep up the good work. And make sure those babies come home when the street lights come on LOL

  13. It’s a HARD NO! This didn’t exist when I was young and I made friends just fine seeing them at school. The only way I would be down is if I’ve managed to hit it off with the mom while we are patiently waiting at pick up from extended day…. Otherwise, you’ll see little Jimmy at school on Monday!

    1. I felt the same way. Some moms are relentless. There are a few that is was a resounding no. They were too much with expectations. There were are few times I gave in and still chat with these ladies now. You just never know.

  14. Great write- up! I’m the mom who just simply doesn’t like play dates and I managed to avoid them with my older children . I have 2 little ones and in this day and age, playdates are a must for them. I agree to once per month and they are always excited and looking forward to the next one.

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