Play dates are such a funny thing. It’s almost like as a mom we think, “hmmm, I’m tired of cleaning up after and yelling at my kids in the privacy of my own home, so I think I’m going to go ahead & do it in a public place, just so I can spend some time with my mama friend.” Because really, we need the little bit of down time that a play date brings, where we know we have our friends second set of eyes to help us keep an eye on our little ones as they run around from slide to swing, to anything else that catches their eye. On a really good day, we have coffee in hand. We talk about the good & the bad, the people driving us crazy. We laugh and maybe even feel free to shed a quick tear before the kids look our way. Because, play dates are our saving grace as stay at home moms. It’s a time to interact with another adult, who understands us.
I’ve found that there are two kinds of play dates.
One, where you kind of have to keep your shit together. This is a play date with a mom who you don’t know super well. Maybe you met at school or work, possibly through a mutual friend. Your kids are still trying to understand each others dynamic a bit, maybe trying to remember each others names even. They have fun, but there’s a lot of reminding them how to play, etc.. You and the mom share glances at each other when you corred your kiddos, because neither of you are 100% sure the other mom will agree with your parenting style and you’re hoping she doesn’t fault you and you’re trying to grant her the same kindness. This is a person who you haven’t shown your crazy side to, so you talk about really neutral things – where you’ve visited, things your kids like to do, what you and/or your partner did/do for a job, hobbies, etc… There are no secrets shared, no tears, no belly laughs, just a nice comfortable time out with another mom. It’s fun. We enjoy it. We all go home grateful for the opportunity to have spent time with one another & would be happy to do it again.
Then there is a play date with your girlfriend(s). The kind that you almost run out the door forgetting to put shoes on the kids or brush your hair because you’re so excited and relieved to be able to see her. She is your person. She gets you. You have shown her your completely bat shit crazy side – and she still loves you. Your kids play more like siblings & while that can be total chaos, it’s worth every. Single. Moment. She knows almost all of your secrets. You know that you can tell her everything and she will embrace you regardless. You shed tears with her because when shes sad, it breaks your heart. You bring each other coffee at these play dates because it’s like the glue that holds us all together. The mom sacrament. A promise that regardless of everything we go through, this sisterhood will withstand all emotional weather. You laugh with this person in a way that makes your guts hurt. You talk about long weekends away with each other, growing old together, watching the other’s babies grow up, etc… Just as you’ve made a vow to your husband, you’ve made a silent vow to this woman to love & cherish her – and her babies – until death do you part. When something happens and you don’t hear from this person for some reason, you feel lonely. When you come back together, you feel whole again. These are the play dates we live for. This, is your soul sister.
I have a couple of these women in my life and I hope they know they mean the world to me. I hope you’re lucky enough to have at least one of these women. Someone who truly knows you, where you can let your guard down. You deserve – and NEED it. Now get up mama, enjoy that cup of coffee and let’s slay this day.