A few weeks ago I inadvertently made another mother's day. When we were picking up the kids from school, I offered to bring her children (8 and 5) home with me for a 2 hour play date. She offered to join us and I shooed her off. She was a pregnant working mother and I knew that she could use a few hours to herself. When she picked up her children later that afternoon, she was full of thanks. I made her day.
I'm really glad I did. But the truth is, I had that play date for five selfish reasons, none of which had anything to do with giving her a break (though I'm glad she got one and that I was able to help). In general, my play date motivations tend to be pretty selfish. Just why did I invite your child over for a play date?
I have work to do.
Since I work from home, I try my hardest to accomplish everything when my kids are at school. Sometimes that isn't possible. If I'm offering up a play date, it might be because I need a few minutes to finish up my work-and your kids playing with my kids often affords me that necessary time. I often plan play dates like this when the weather is nice and the kids can entertain themselves on the swing set or trampoline while I write and watch from the kitchen table.
Your children are a good influence on mine.
This is especially true if I invite siblings over to play with my daughters. Where mine fight like cats and dogs, I've probably noticed that yours don't. I'm hoping that some of that goodness and fair play will rub off on my daughters (before they hurt each other).
The day is dragging.
A play date (a good one, anyway) will help pass the time before dad gets home from work. And let's face it-some days, that's the only way I win the game. Ten minutes with just me and my children after school may seem like an hour. If your children are around and we're all playing together, it may fly by instead.
I need some adult time.
While some play dates are for the kids to socialize (for whatever the reason), some are for me to socialize. I invite mom over, too, instead of just the kids. For those play dates, I've got the coffee pot on, snacks on the table, and I'm hoping for some adult conversation. When your days are filled with diapers, homework, and laundry, sometimes it's nice to talk to another grown-up.
I'm hoping you'll return the favor.
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