Feb 22, 2010

The Playdate

This is me - I'm 45% extrovert, 45% introvert. I don't mean that 45% of me is outgoing and 45% is shy. I mean that 45% of me gets energy from being in social settings and 45% of me gets energy from being at home with just my hubby and Janers. The other 10% of my energy comes from chocolate! :p It depends on the situation. In work, I'm an extrovert - I feel like I use that 45% of me at work so when I come home, I'm introverted me. I'm definitely not the first to hop on the party-train! Homebody through and through.

Once you have a baby, you start getting invited to playdates. At first, I avoided them whenever possible - usually able to use my not having a car as an excuse. Then, I had my first playdate. It was so nice to get together with another group of Moms. I love my girlfriends who don't have kids but there's an immediate connection between Moms... an understanding. AND, the pressure is off. I always leave get-togethers with my non-Mommy friends thinking "oh my god, I just bored her to death" because I feel like I spent the entire time talking about things she doesn't care about (my boobs, breastfeeding, Jane's poop, etc.) Often times you don't know everyone who attends the playdates. You may worry you won't have anything in common or you won't fit in. HA! Sit down with another Mom and you don't have to worry that at some point you're not going to have something to talk about - what do you think you're going to talk about?

Here's the typically conversation topics at the playdates I've attended:
  • Your baby's poop
  • Your boobs
  • Breastfeeding
  • Your labour
  • Your labour scars (oh yes, when you're in the Mom club, it is acceptable to talk about your "voo" and all the fun that accompanied your labour) - it's hilarious - you almost brag about them like they are battle wounds! :p
  • Your baby's eating
  • Sex (HA!)
  • Your baby's sleeping
  • Work
  • Your baby's everything else

It's like Mommy-therapy. You look around the room and realize, thank God, I'm not alone... I'm not alone in my worries, my insecurities, my challenges. And you also look around and realize, hmmm... I'm doing pretty well. Whether you are doing similar or better than most of the Moms in your group, it gives you peace of mind to see where you stand - and my guess is you're doing better than you're giving yourself credit for!

What I recommend for the playdate? Toys and Coffee/Tea (decaffeinated options for the bf-ers). Lots of toys and play areas. It's rare to have friends who all have the same aged baby - so bring out some of the things you've packed away (if your babe is older) or the things you haven't used yet (if your little 'un is a newbie) so that the other babes will be kept occupied so you can accomplish the playdate goal - Mom therapy - OH, I mean, for the babes to have fun! :p Jane's at the age where she loves seeing other babies now and interacting with them (i.e. scratching at their faces and grabbing at them) so she loves our playdates.

Within 4-5 months, I went from avoiding playdates to trying to have at least one a week. If you don't have a group of friends with babies, most cities have Mommy-groups where you can get together at the Mall or something with another group of local Mommies.

Being a Mommy instantly bonds you to other Mommies. Just take a trip to the mall or grocery store with you baby and pay attention. The women who see you with your baby and smile at you are giving you the "hey, welcome to the club" greeting. It's really neat.

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Samantha said...

Love your playdate dissection! I admit, I was super nervous going to my first playdate where I didn't know everyone....but you are instantly at ease once you realize how much in commmon you have with other mommas:) Also, by the looks of our babies, they are having fun, too:)))

Ange said...

I love the look us moms give each other when we're out - it's so true! I also think about how different mothering would feel if I didn't have the blogging community & resources like the The Bump. The support I have felt through these are amazing!

Unknown said...

Great article Jen! I just came back from playgroup with Layla:) she has so much fun, I love watching how she interacts with all the other kiddies:)

melonbelly said...

Ahhh....so true! I am usually very shy in public situations, but when I meet a mom I feel like I found an instant friend.

PS Playdates are life-savers! :)

hatjunkie said...

So true. The other great hings about hanging out with other moms that have small children is that everyone is completely understanding when you never complete a sentence. It's so funny to be in a whole room of interrupted conversations.

Mandi Miller said...

I was invited to join a mommy group about three weeks ago and have YET to attend once! They have it every Tuesday and my daughter has been sick ever since they invited me! Not really really sick just a runny/stuffy nose with an occasional fever. (It's the weather... 4 seasons in 1 week will do that to you.) Anyway, I think there is an unspoken rule about NOT letting your baby with a runny nose get around other babies. Hopefully we can make it soon! I'm glad you found some moms to connect with. And you are so right about that instant connection!

sarahmarie0730 said...

I don't know what I would do without playdates!!!! They get us out of the house, exposes Nelia to other babies, and me to other moms.

Karrah said...

thanks for the encouragement. my lil girl is one in a couple of weeks and ive yet to go to a playdate/mums group .. mostly because im shy around new people and have an anxiety attack just thinking about it ..
i really should look into it for my lil girl if anything.
THanks !