As a young stay at home mom play dates were my saving grace. They were a chance to get out and have adult conversation. The chance to speak in sentences with words that contained more than one syllable. It was the time to discuss things like sales, shopping and shoes.
We met at places like McDonald’s because they had play places. Where I lived we had an outdoor play place, the next closest town had an indoor play place. The weather determined the McDonald’s. There was also the park, our houses and back yards. My kids and I have many memories of play dates with friends and cousins. I have many happy memories of those momentary breaks and a bit of sanity. Giggles and girl talk all while the kids played and had fun.
Then they went to school and the play dates were fewer and far between. Baseball, softball and soccer took over and then it was church and school activities. And then we blinked. Some of us moved away. Our kids became teenagers and somewhere in all of this the play dates stopped. Stay at home moms went to work. Life moved on.
Sadly though, although our kids outgrew the play dates, we really didn’t. We still need those days just hanging out with our friends. My kids are all grown. My baby is 19 and in college. It’s been a long time since I went on a play date. But now, we have grandkids!! . My friend, Jen, has 5 kids, just like me. But her 5 are still kids. I love her kids! I had my grandson yesterday and we decided to meet up for the kids to play at McDonald’s and then go bowling. My youngest son joined us and hung out with the “big boys” and gave them bowling tips. Jen, her niece, Kayla and I wrangled the littles and took turns trying to get Jen’s littlest one to fall asleep. No luck. There was just too much going on for a nap.
While the kids played we talked about our mutual car issues, we talked of nail polish and pedicures, we talked about life in general and were even serenaded by an 81-year-old gentleman at McDonald’s. It was a great day, even though her 4-year-old son beat me at bowling. Seriously, 4.
I thought about those times back in the day. Hanging out with friends while the kids played. Laughing and joking, making plans. I still think that we need play dates. It becomes so hard as the kids get older to make the time. When they are younger you do it for them, you make sure you get them out to be with their friends and you get the added benefit of girl time. But we get busy. The play dates stop and we end up missing out.
Go shopping, have lunch, just go sit at the park or take the grandkids for play dates. Don’t let life move so fast that you forget that you need your girlfriends.