Regular Playdates Make Me a Better Mom
When you don't dread going on regular playdates, they may actually be good for your parenting.
Until recently, my kids didn’t go on many playdates. After a bad experience with a mom’s group and swearing off mommy dating for awhile, it was hard to set any up. I wasn’t too worried about my daughter missing out on anything though with her classes and time with family and friends. However, outside of class there weren’t very many kids her age that we hung around with.
As my daughter made friends this year, she started receiving birthday party and playdate invites. She gets so excited about seeing her friends at class, but even more so about seeing them somewhere else. Long ago I dismissed the idea of attending regular playdates. It’s not easy when we only have one car, missing out on activities scheduled during the week.
After finding the right group of friends though, we’ve been getting together for regular playdates. It’s been great for the kids. They get excited and look forward to going (but never happy about leaving). It’s also been great for me. I used to think playdates were just for the kids. In some cases that may be true, but I’m not sure how often I’d plan outings if I didn’t really want to be there myself.
I’ve noticed that attending playdates regularly has made a positive impact on how I parent. There may be other contributing factors too, such as finally seeing some sun as we leave the Polar Vortex behind, but I’m giving most of the credit to our playdates. Here are some of the ways I’ve noticed:
- They give me a chance to observe how other moms (and dads!) interact with their children which gives me ideas to try.
- They help me work on improving my positive parenting skills. I am more patient and yell less when we’re out, though it often feels like my kids behave better out in public.
- They create (fairly) predictable unplugged time for the whole family. I’m less distracted and able to enjoy the moment.
- They provide a social outlet. I may not get as much “me time” or as many date nights as I’d like right now, but they change things up and give me a break from being Mommy the Entertainer Extraordinaire.
- They’ve helped me shake off some of my mommy guilt. We lift each other up. I don’t parent the same when shrouded in negativity.
- They allow me to see my kids in a different way. Not in only in how they interact with other kids and adults, but also how they react to her. It’s reassuring to her someone else compliment my daughter’s listening skills after getting frustrated all week long wondering if can hear anyone else.
How often do you go on playdates? Have you noticed it having an effect on your parenting?
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