Back when I was a mom with (three) kids not yet in school, play dates were a normal occurrence. My girlfriends and I would get together and manage to squeeze in a few sentences of conversation between diaper changes and fights over toys and the requests for MORE Goldfish crackers.
Fast forward a few years and I’m back in an office full-time and my kids have friends who are not the children of my friends and despite having spent six hours of every day (Including two recesses and a lunch!) with their friends, they want more. MORE.
(I remember doing the same as a child, so I can hardly complain.)
The question is, how do you make play dates work when you are working full time and your kids have friends who belong to people not in your circle of friends? Here are a few ideas that have worked for us:
Let them go over to play after school.
My second child has a friend that he’s known since preschool. We may not be “friends” with his parents (we don’t hang out as couples) but we’re “friendly”. That son has gone to their house after school and I’ve picked him up on my way home from work.
Have them over after school.
There are a few days a week where either my husband and I are home after school and so the friends will come over after school until dinnertime.
Get together on the weekend.
With my husband and I now employed full-time outside of our home (as opposed to self-employed full-time inside of our home), I know all too well that weekends are precious. However, the occasional get-together on a weekend is good for everyone, including the Moms. A neighbor invited us over a few weekends ago and she and I got to know each other better while the kids ran around in her yard.
How do you busy Moms fit play dates into your days? Any helpful tips for the rest of us?
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