AIBU - reception kids, play dates and pushy sister(27 Posts)
Hi, just asking opinions please. My sister keeps nagging me to arrange play dates for my dd to have school friends round after school or in the holidays. She has 2 kids, both considerably older than my dd. My dd started reception in September. She is one of the youngest in the class, but has had a positive start and made friends, give or take a few girly squabbles. She didn't know many others in her class from nursery so before she started, I invited one mom we knew, plus her kids for a play date as she didn't know anyone in the class either. She accepted but then explained she couldn't because she'd forgotten it was someone's birthday. Fair enough. I didn't rearrange because I didn't want to be too pushy, but I did mention that a few moms were meeting in the local soft play the week before school but she declined the invite. Nothing was ever rearranged after this and I never contacted her again.
Before Xmas, I got chatting to another mom outside the gates, it was friendly and lighthearted. Her dd was having a party one weekend, but I text her a few days beforehand to explain we couldn't bring my dd after all but did she want to meet up for a play date over the holiday so I could pass on the gift we'd bought. She said yes, but it never got arranged as she was busy with her newish baby. Fair enough.
Then, before half term I asked another mom if she fancied popping round with her dd over the hols and she said yes. I don't have to tell you what happened... I told her the 2 days we were free but she already had plans those days. My sister keeps pushing the issue but, having been rebuffed 3 times, I'm embarrassed to tell her that no one wants to come round and play. I know this will sound like I'm utterly paranoid but I'm starting to wonder if it's because I'm overweight (BMI 40+). I'm friendly when I do the school run (2 or 3 mornings a week) and I get involved at parties. I have no issues chatting and I am well liked by good people both in and out of work. I think it's something I'm obviously sensitive about, but my super sociable sister crams her kids half terms to maximum capacity and it makes me feel like I'm not doing enough for my dd, when in truth i am trying. AIBU to wonder what the issue is? Im starting to dread the school run a tiny bit now in case people are sniggering. Am I too needy, or is it too early to arrange play dates (this was my initial thoughts, but mommy-guilt got the better of me). These moms I've discussed don't mix with each other - 2 are very quiet and don't stick around much to chat with others, but one knows a lot of the other moms. God, it's as bad as being back at school myself!!!
I wouldn't worry about it in the slightest. My dd1 was at a pretty unsociable school and there were no play dates in reception or y1. Dd2 went to our local school but only ever wanted play dates with kids we knew from nursery. I never went on a play date unless I was already friends with the mum - and that can take time.
What's it got to do with your sister? You don't have to listen to her, you know...
Argh this post terrifies me as my my DS starts reception this year and I already feel I've let him down a bit with making friends due to lack of time (have been working so no time in week, though now on mat leave waiting for no.2) and some SAHMs I know talk about their 3 and 4 year olds' 'best friends' - in all honesty mine doesn't have one!!
FWIW I don't think people are avoiding you at all from how it sounds - by your own admission these mums don't know each other so they're not talking about your behind your back! Plus two of them are themselves 'quiet' so might be wondering the same thing about whether you want to meet them again!
I'd probably try again with one of the quiet ones as it was probably only circumstances that stopped them meeting you in reality. But also don't worry too much about the competitive half term stuff. Surely at 4 they just need a bit of home time/downtime in half term rather than constant socialising?
None of your sisters business. Still a bit young for play dates really. Keep trying - people have busy lives and it often isn't easy to fit in. Might be easier in school hols. I really wouldn't take it personally.
Thank you all - I feel better already!
It has nothing to do my sister, I know! But she keeps going on and on. I've told her that it's too early but she pushes the issue with my dd "tell mommy what we were talking about just - why dont you invite xxxx round for tea?" Aaaaaggggghhhhhh. Piss offffffff!
Thanks Penelope. My dd doesn't have a best friend either. She was, in their own terms, a "floater" at nursery. She didn't need a best friend, just did whatever she wanted! I think downtime in important too, plus some time for me to get my head round things like ironing and housework. The pressure drives me insane!
I never arrange playdates. Reception year, I thought DD was too tired after school, now she's in Year 1 she does a couple of after school clubs and that's enough for her really, she still gets v tired in the week . She has a play with her best friend (different school) every couple of weeks, oh and when the weather is warmer we usually head to the local park where we will see lots of her classmates. I wouldn't worry about it OP, as long as she plays happily with others at school.
I bet it isn't personal. I dreaded people inviting my boys until they were about 6 or 7 because they had no sense of danger and had to hold hands near the road. Yet other people would let their kids run ahead and I felt I didn't know them enough to know DS level (2 had SN). However with my girls I would have been fine. I would make excuses and still do for DS3 unless I know the parent. As I work my time with DS3 is precious and I find some parents mither too much!
I don't think people are avoiding you. I wouldn't care if my DD's friends mum are fat or not. Why would I? I think they are genuinely busy. I wouldn't get too worried about play dates. I think your sister, being very social at the school gate, thinks that's the way to do things. Not everyone is like her. And you don't have to be either.
My DD must be doomed because I work FT. She can't have play dates at all after school!
I don't think it's personal OP, the reasons you've given for the meet ups falling through are very plausible and it's just an unfortunate coincidence that none of them have come to fruition.
You're not your sister and she has no right to pressure you into making these plans.
Some people seem to think if your child isn't time-tabled to the nth minute with a social calendar to rival a Hollywood Movie Star you've failed as a parent and your child will grow up to be a reclusive loser. It's utter nonsense.
I wouldn't worry either you come across as a caring person.
Sometimes you go home and think damn I forgot about x and y when I accepted the play invitation.
Likewise Reception children need some downtime because they are tired. Staff are tired so little ones must get very tired. Enjoy some special activities with her and wrap up for a walk in the fresh air and some special hot chocolate and snack when you get back. Winter picnics are fun, off to the park with a flask of soup and sandwiches. You might meet up with some other kids and enjoy an hour but filling their diary at this age can be overwhelming sometimes. Your daughter will let you know when she is ready and summer meets are a lot easier. Enjoy the rest of the holiday
Try getting chatting to the mum who knows a lot of other mums. Chat her like you're chatting her up, very casual but trying to find out about her interests. Then as you get an idea of her schedule and plans say something like "ooh, I've been meaning to do X with the kids, do you think anyone would be interested?" very casual. Bonus points if you can get the idea out with a bunch of other mums around. Then follow up by text "Fancy bringing the kids to X on Saturday".
They are not ignoring you. They are just not thinking to include you. Include yourself and they'll start remembering you.
Brilliant advice and kind words - thank you everyone. I feel much better since you've all responded pretty much saying my sister needs to butt out!
I find if you are trying to get together with someone in half term it does need to be arranged weeks in advance. People plan ahead around work, childcare, doing stuff as a family and seeing friends. I'm currently finalising plans for the Easter holidays and have exactly 1 day left 'free' to organise. that's slightly extreme but most people do book up at lest a couple of weeks in advance.
I think you've just had a bit of bad luck so far. Keep trying and perhaps give people two or three days that you're free so there's more likelihood of finding a date that suits. I wouldn't be in the slightest bit bothered about what shape or size you are, by the way.
It sounds like a completely normal station. I have had one play date since September ...people have so much to fit in with work.family time.and of course everyone with a reception age child also has their personal friends outside school
My 4 year old is exhausted ..its very hard to imagine fitting much in outside our normal lives. And also when you are a working parent uou are tired yourself and making new friends is exhausting !
It really sounds like you have made connections and over time they will bear fruit.
Tell your sister to butt out !
The next time your sister rings tell her you can't talk as you are too busy entertaining!
We have 4 dc, I'm Mrs Sociable and I dread home play dates.
We didn't have loads in reception, nor year 1 for that matter. Dd is sociable and popular but tbh the school day is long enough what with rainbows, swimming, after school club etc so we don't invite often.
Only comment I would make is that I invite the child not the mother - and usually straight from school for a couple of hours - most parents quite like a day off from the school run lol. If you yourself want to make friends then of course you might want to invite the mum/dad, I'm too anti-social 😂
We didn't have any play dates in reception or Y1. I work and dc go to a childminder after school so it's not really feasible. It doesn't seem to have caused any issues, ds gets invited to all the parties and people come to his, he is part of a big group of boys who play football at lunchtime and seems happy enough.
Just feel sorry for you that your ds is so pushy. Why is it matters for her so much? I assume she is older than you?! Try to push you around. Not nice at all. My dd started school also in September. We didn't know anyone at all. She made friends and happy at school but we only had one play date yet. We didn't have the Mum then. Even though I invited her she declined as she rather went to have a glass of wine with her mother. I find that very strange. She has never been to my house, I didn't really chated with her much either and she just let her daughter into some strangers house( I am a stranger to them don't I?!) So there is some funny people around. I would just ask the Mums you have already asked about the play date and they would have to be very shallow if they choosing their children's friend by their mother's size. Good luck x
what works for her isn't what works for you - nothing wrong with that. Your daughter is going to be making friends at school whether she has play dates or not. When did all the play date palava start anyway? I don't remember it all when I was a child. we went home after school and that was that. now it seems expected they will do loads of activities and have loads of playdates.
I hate play dates myself, I don't like the responsibility (if the parent doesn't stay), I don't like the stress and I find it all a bit of a hassle if I am honest.
If you want to make friends with other parents yourself then you could suggest meeting for a coffee somewhere without children (perhaps there is somewhere near the school after drop off?) or if you are worried about your daughter socialising then you could suggest going to the park after school once the weather picks up a bit or put her name down for Rainbows or something similar which is a very sociable activity.
I don't actually like seeing people over half term. I am probably very odd but I find that by the time we have fitted in appointments that need to be done (haircuts/dentist/opticians/visiting family/uniform shopping or whatever it might be) and the kids have done any random project/home work then actually it is really nice to just have the days sitting around and literally doing nothing except playing with their toys or watching a film or something. So I would often make excuses if invited to things in half term but as I say I think I am a bit strange.
It's not personal. People are genuinely busy during school holidays, especially if they have other children, jobs, grandparents who are not local etc.
I don't think it's down to your 'weight'. I have an 8 year old and a 4 year old. My eldest had more playdates but I was worried about it much more than I am with my second child. DD has had 2 playdates with the same girl since starting Reception. They knew each other at preschool though and I am good friends with her Mum. However, tbh I think in both instances the 6 oclock home time was too late for a couple of 4 year olds after a full day at school. The last one was January and both were sitting under a blanket sucking their thumbs asking to watch Peter Rabbit by 5,45!
Crikey, kids of ft working parents must be destined to be permanently friendless then...
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