Whether you love or hate playdates, you can't deny they're somewhat of a necessity. After all, we want our children to interact with others, make friends, become productive members of society and learn how to "play nice." Some moms take a "hands on" approach to managing playdates successfully and then, well, there are ways every lazy mom handles playdates; ways that are anything but "hand on," if you ask me; ways that make these necessary interactions less stressful, less time-consuming and less, well, of a pain.
I remember my fair share of playdates as a kid, at many of my friends' houses as well as my own. Some of these playdates were one-on-one while others were in larger groups. Each of my friends' moms had a different style that helped them handle these playdates and, as a kid, I definitely enjoyed some of their styles more than others. Now that I have my own daughter and I'm hosting playdates of my own, I've realized that that's the beautiful thing about playdates: kids get exposed to different parenting styles that can help them gain a new perspective, learn to accept differences and just, you know, get along with people who are raised differently than they are.
Each mom is entitled to choosing her own way to parent and her own way to handle playdates. Yes, you have the care of another child in your hands as well as your own, but being "lazy" does not mean you are being negligent. It simply means you are taking a more distant approach to your presence in their playdate, picking and choosing your battles and, well, probably doing the following:
We Don't Stress About Cleaning Our House Before A Guest Arrives...
Our time is limited as it is so, honestly, we're not going to put in too much extra effort to act like our house isn't a total disaster. Instead, we'll bank on our friends and fellow moms being understanding and non-judgmental because, hey, everyone's house is a mess when children are around.
...Because We Already Know It's Just Going To End Up A Huge Mess
Work smarter, not harder, right? I already know that even if my place is pristine when that playdate arrives, it's going to be an absolute disaster when that playdate leaves. Better to just worry about it when the day is over.
We Don't Have A Set Schedule Of "Things To Do"
Sure, maybe it's a tad helpful to have some sort of schedule, with arts and crafts or whatever else that will keep children occupied. That's not the name of our parenting game, though. We'll leave our children (and the children visiting) to their own devices, as long as they're being safe and respectful and all that good stuff.
We Let Them Do Whatever They Want...
We're all about our children exploring and/or cultivating their own creativity and learning how to "set their own schedule," in a way. Instead of setting an endless list of boundaries or even telling them what they can do, and what they can't do, we leave them to their own devices and encourage them to figure things out for themselves. This fosters individuality and, well, we're all about it.
No, this doesn't mean we allow our children to do something that is inherently dangerous, nor do we just leave them unsupervised. We just don't worry to the point that we plan out their entire playdate, either.
...Including Watching Television
Yes, we will let them be bums sometimes and sit and relax to watch some (age appropriate) television. A little bit of screen time never hurt anybody.
We Don't Worry What They're Getting Into...
Worrying and motherhood go hand-in-hand, so I'm not going to add to my natural anxiety by worrying about what my child may or may not be getting into during a playdate. If I've baby (or toddler) proofed my place sufficiently enough and I know there's nothing around my kid and the kids she's playing with can hurt themselves, with, I'm not worried. If they get into something as harmless as tupperware, making a mess but having a good time, I'm not worried.
I'll save my worry for another day. Like, you know, tomorrow.
We Let Them Get Messy
If our kid getting messy or making a mess keeps them happy, so be it. We'll clean up after the fact and when the playdate is over. Until then? Have at it, child.
We Step Back And Let The Kids Play
Some moms like to get super involved in their kids playdates and "help" the kids play. Lazy moms know, though, that they don't need any help playing. They can do it all own their own (when they want to).
I'm more than happy to sit back, relax on the couch, and watch the kids have fun on their own. No hands-on interaction, required.
If The Kids Disagree, We Let Them Work It Out On Their Own...
Even the sweetest of toddlers are going to have a hard time getting along or sharing toys or just playing nicely. If I hear a small dispute going on during a particular playtime, I'll wait and see if they can figure it out on their own. It's a great way to, even at a young age, encourage my kid to problem solve in a healthy, supportive and successful way.
...Only Intervening When Absolutely Necessary
Sometimes, though, we may need to intervene. Sometimes, the issues are more difficult than they're able to handle and they need a little help to come to an agreement. Sometimes, someone throws a toy and all bets are off. It is what it is, my friends.