The awkwardness of play dates for my childrens sake

I am a shy person. I don’t say a lot. Small talk isn’t my thing. I am anti-social. An introvert.

This is a problem when it comes to having children. 

My oldest child is at an age where perhaps playdates should be happening. Maybe? I’m not too sure. 

See, when I was a kid, my “playdates” were actually days where I was being babysat by my Gran with the rest of my cousins because our parents were at work. 

Or walking across the road to the tennis court where other kids (who were probably relatives) were also playing. 

The kids that I knew growing up, were children of the people my parents grew up with. They were already friends. No awkwardness. All awkwardness dissappears when you know what each other were like when you were teenangers.

Fast Forward 20 years or so. I’ve moved out of the small town I grew up in. I met my partner in a huge city and now we live in a smaller city closer to my immediate family but still not a small village like I grew up in. 

The parents of the kids my children are friends with, are strangers to me. 

Here’s where it gets complicated. 

Apparently, when you are a parent, it’s commonplace to randomly talk to other parents! Who would’ve thought! For example, daycare drop off. 

I hope none of the mums who talk to me at drop off think I’m a snob. I literally just cannot think of anything to say to them when they start talking to me. Instead of replying, they get this kinda half grunt/head nod/smile thing that I hope comes across as friendly acknowledgement that I heard what they said and am choosing to either agree or politely shake it off if I don’t agree. 

Now, I am not like this with people I know. Once I know you, I can happily and easily get along with you, no sweat. 

It’s just the getting to know you part that is tricky. 

It doesn’t help that the people my kids choose to be friends with have parents who are just about old enough to be my parents. 

I feel like if our children are friends, I can’t be feeling like you might tell me off for some generational gap difference in the way that I choose to let my kids go to bed at 9pm some days and most nights my youngest sleeps in my bed with me. In fact, my youngest doesn’t even own a bed. And when I say “most nights” what I mean is, “Every night”

I can’t even begin to picture what a play date with my kids friends would be like. It traumatises me to think about it. Seriously, what would we talk about besides our children. Talk about fish bowl.

One day soon though I’ll have to put my big girl undies on and get in amongst this playdate scene. I hope all you other mums are ready for some random conversations and awkward silences!!!


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