I am with you OP. Playdates are usually with a 645 deadline just to allow for a bit of wind down time for all before bed. Sleepovers involve little or no sleep and often keep everyone else up so there is no way I would allow them on a school night especially when I also have to get up for work. Weekends at a push but preferably during the holidays. If it helps I am also a mean mum but sometimes I just think you have to do what is best for you and your family even if that involves being the big bad wolf.
Thanks! DD's best friend does indeed come to us for sleepovers because her (single) mother is often away on business for extended periods (up to a fortnight) and it makes a break for the nanny/granny care combo if DD's BF can come to us for a bit.
I'm with you on the sleepover front. Definitely not mid-week at the moment during term-time. I also have a 6.45pm end time for people coming to play Mon-Thurs, not least because I have been at work and need some quiet time too. Good luck with this, it's not easy for the children to understand I guess.
My DD, who is 8.10, has just started Y5 (French school). She increasingly wants to go to her best friend's house (or have her best friend over) after school, on the evenings when there aren't extra curricular activities, and would, if she could, have sleepovers on school nights.
I am not keen on her staying out (or having friends over) later than 18:45/19:00. She thinks I am really mean! And her best friend's mother isn't particularly bothered and doesn't mind mid-week sleepovers. They are both hardworking girls who do well at school, but I still think that they need some quiet time in the evening at home with their families.