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Fayette-Mom: Playdate problems

Posted September 20, 2010 9:26 p.m. EDT

Jennifer Joyner

I’ve been at this parenting thing for six and a half years now, and there are still some things that I just don’t get. One challenge that keeps coming up: playdates.

I love the idea of my kids having friends and having fun with their friends and playing with their friends. What I don’t like is the constant shuffling around of kids to different houses with people who have different schedules. It’s exhausting trying to organize it all, and inevitably there are tears of frustration involved (hopefully not mine).

I have some mom friends who have playdates at their house every. single. day. This, I cannot fathom.

Why is that even attractive as a concept? With school and church and homework and afternoon activities, I honestly don’t know how these moms fit these playdates in. I’m lucky if I commit to one a week, and even then, I sort of resent it. But my kids love them, so I try to do as much as possible, and I try not to let it bother me. But every day? No way.

Then, there are the neighborhood kids who want to come over. This is fine with me, except, many of them are older and don’t have to go to bed as early as my young ones. When my doorbell rings at 7 p.m. and my kids are getting into the bath, it’s a problem, especially when my kids get upset, not understanding why they can’t play. Some of these kids have to split their time between their moms' and dads' houses, so playing on the weekends, when schedules aren’t as tight, isn’t always an option. Again, frustrated tears.

Not sure what the answer is on this one. When I was a kid, we played outside all the time, went to each others houses at will, without much supervision. You just can’t do that now. I want my kids to play and have fun, but I have to set boundaries as well.

One of these days, I hope to figure it all out.

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food addiction memoir, "Designated Fat Girl," is out this month Globe Pequot Press. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom starting this week on Tuesdays.