Family-friends juggle, weekend edition

Categories: Parenting & Family


My daughter asked to have a playdate with a girl from her class recently so I emailed her mom to see whether one of the next Sundays would work. She kindly replied that weekends are family time for them and asked if we could do the playdate during the week. Thing is, during the week our kiddo has activities on most days and weekends are when playdates work best for us, especially because my husband and I both work. (Our babysitter could bring her to a playdate after school one day but because she is only here three days a week she prefers that they do stuff together instead or she helps her with her homework.)

So this got me thinking about the weekend life juggle between family time and friend time. Starting with our Friday night sushi and movie night tradition, weekends are when my husband, kiddo and I have time to spend together. A lot of times we’re definitely guilty of trying to fit too much in, but the main ingredient is us hanging out together. Once in a while we succeed at leaving an afternoon open, and as unexciting as this sounds, one of my favorite times is when the three of us just hang out at home together, without rushing off to another activity, however fun it might be.

But I know my daughter likes to have playdates so I try to arrange them for her during the weekends. If scheduling stars align she has a playdate while I get some cooking done on Sunday afternoons, and then we’re all back for dinner together as a family. Lately I’ve also started to take her and a friend somewhere for a few hours — to see a movie or make necklaces together. This way she and I are together and she gets to have a friend there as well.

I know there is no perfect solution and I know moms who stay at home and those who work all face similar scheduling challenges. I’m curious how you guys do it in your family: Do you designate one day on the weekend as family day and don’t schedule any playdates or other activities? Or do you just fit things in around each other?

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3 comments so far...

  • Ha! I wish I was that organized as to actually schedule play dates. Most of my daughter’s occur spontaneously when kids from the neighborhood stop by. And that’s mostly on the weekends. I’m o.k. with play dates on the weekend. For us, the after school/work time is actually more sacred. I don’t want the few hours with my kids during the week to be filled with friends.

    Molly  |  April 8th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

  • My husband and I both work. We don’t have a designated “family time”. If we don’t have anything planned on a weekday, we pick up the kids from after school care at 5pm and go to straight to the playground or to the movies. We use Friday and Saturday evenings for adult time - either getting a babysitter or taking the kids to my parents’ house. Sundays are usually spent with the kids at home. We are not social people and don’t do playdates, so we actually spend a lot of time alone with the kids.

    Anita  |  April 9th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

  • Growing up in a very traditional European home myself, my husband and I have continued the tradition of keeping Sundays as our family day. We both work out of the home and have about and hour and a half commute each way, so scheduling play dates on weekdays is usually out of the question. Most of the play dates are scheduled or arranged last minute for Friday or Saturday.

    Maria  |  April 21st, 2012 at 2:01 pm