What is the point of a playdate?
I wonder lately why I even bother to take my twins to playdates. It seems like once the babies turn into toddlers and are steadily walking..the moms no longer have interest in chit chatting and getting to know one another at playdates.
The group I organize consists of moms of newborns to age 3. The moms of the babies who are under a year old all sit around on blankets at the playdates and chit chat. They get time to get to know each other. However it is not this way for any of the moms of 12 months olds - 3 yr olds. We go to a gated park that has a toddler playground and a big kids playground. The toddler playground is great but has no actual play equipment other than 2 baby swings and 3 stone like animals the little ones cna crawl on. That really does stink but it is tolerable if you bring a ball or something else small for your child to be entertained with. I take my twins there a few times a week in the afternoons and they have a blast! The big kids playground is for ages 6 and up. It has regular swings and a lot of big crazy climby things for the older children to have fun on. However for some reason the moms of 12 months - 3 yr olds in my playground all seem to have a strong belief that their child has this burning desire to leave the toddler playground and be on the big kids playground. There is absolutely no way to actually sit down, relax, and get to know the other moms if you take your child on that playground. At that point you become just some other mom and their kid running around the park. ISN'T THE POINT OF A PLAYGROUP TO ALL STAY TOGETHER AND MINGLE???? Are you not supposed to make an effort to get to know the other moms and let the kids all interact?? If I wanted to just take my children to the park and be antisocial I could do that by NOT JOINING a playgroup.
Last time I was at a playdate with my group I ended up being the odd mom out and it turned out so badly. I was there with all the very nice moms of babies and we chit chatted for a bit. However all of the moms of toddlers age 12-24 months showed up late. Then when they got there they all decided to go over to the big kids playground one by one in a matter of seconds it seemed. So then my twins got restless since all of the kids their age took off. One of my twins started trying to heist snacks and toys from all of the little babies. I felt ackward at that point. It really ticked me off that the toddler moms had zero interest in hanging out with the rest of us. What the heck is up with that crap? One of the toddler moms sat down with the rest of us moms when she arrived but when the others arrived they all just decided they wanted to go to the other playground. They said their 12-17 months olds really wanted to go play on the other playground. The thing is none of those 12-17 month olds showed any sort of sign that they were not happy playing on the toddler playground. None of them seemed restless or whiney. None of them were screaming or banging on the gate to get OUT and get to the OTHER playground.
So what the heck was that all about, were they being antisocial? Are they antisocial.. or are they just really big introverts? How on earth could all of the toddler moms all be introverts and all of the moms of babies be social?
It really baffles me. Why would you join a playgroup if you have zero intentions of trying to get to know the other moms and you only want to go chase your kid around on a big kids playground. Why come to a playdate so you can just take off and pretty much be alone with your kid at the park for the most part?? SERIOUSLY?
Maybe I really went about this all wrong when I set up the playgroup. I maybe should have had guidelines that if you are super antisocial, don't join.
I could take my twins on the big kids playground with other other toddler moms but then where would that get me??
1. I would have to spend the ENTIRE time chasing chasing chasing chasing my twins and getting them out of trouble since there is only BIG kids intended play equipment on the big kids playground.
2. I would have little to no real time to mingle with the other moms.
3. My twins would have little to no time to really interact with the other children their age.
4. IO would be stressed and exhausted during and after the playdate.
With all of that, why on earth would I waste my time going to a playdate or organizing one for that matter if I were not going to have any chance at all to get to know the other moms?
I am so aggravated and fed up with being a playdate organizer now at this point. I feel like nothing is being accomplished.
I wanted to make friends, give the twins an opportunity to interact with other children their age. Plus get out of the house once a week at least with other moms. I really wanted to do this in a stress free way. This is impossible to do if you are chasing your kids at the big kids park the whole time.
The park we go to gives us a golden opportunity to sit down, relax, chit chat, and let the kids run around freely and play with toys together or just run around together and explore.
Granted there is little to no shade and we live in Florida but if we all brought an umbrella and propped it into the chainlink fence.. voila SHADE!
Maybe I expect more out of a playdate than most moms, who knows. I really want to actually talk to the other moms and get to know them and their children. I can not do this if we are all busy walking around chasing kids.