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Play dates not reciprocal/dealing with summer hols with dc's with age gap

(73 Posts)
monkeytree Thu 28-Jul-16 20:35:55


I am a sahm and I do enjoy the summer holidays, however, I also find them stressful. This is because I stress about my eldest DD (just turned 10) having enough company (her little sister is nearly 3). I have a few friends who have dd's of a similar age to eldest DD and DD plays with some of them at school, however most of my friends have other dc's closer in age and I guess this is built in company for their children. I seem to do a lot of the organising - days out etc but often these friends and/or children come to our house to play (and this is the easier option with having young DD). But it would be nice if they invited my eldest DD out with them or to their houses. There is often lip service oh X will have to come and play but not often followed up. I feel like I have to put up with a lot to get DD some company but I do it for DD and her little sister enjoys the company too but why or why can't someone else take the iniative. Every year is I seem to have this gripe. Those working plan their dc's childcare way in advance and some children have far flung friends to go and stay with, grandparents etc. We don't have any of this, it is me as the main carer all the time. Dh is great but works full time (we have some family hols coming up and this will break things up a bit) but it still grates with me and I seem to go on massive guilt trips. I have taken dd's out and about - tomorrow we are going swimming and hoping to give elder DD some time in the afternoon whilst her sister naps. Just wondering if anyone has found themselves in a similar position maybe with only children?

TheRealKimmySchmidt63 Thu 28-Jul-16 20:37:55

Can you not sign the older one up for some activity groups at local sports centre etc?

DragonsEggsAreAllMine Thu 28-Jul-16 20:51:05

We often host, far more than most but I do it as we have an open door policy not to get return invites.

Don't host if you begrudge doing it or only do it for the return invites.

Minstrelsareyum Thu 28-Jul-16 20:52:17

There was a very long thread on a very similar topic recently. I think an AWFUL lot of parents just don't like doing playdates. An extra child in addition to their own is a hassle. I do agree that it's not fair on your DD or on you. Next time you get the "we must have x over" follow it up with "that would be lovely thank you. When were you thinking? We can do Mondays, Thursdays, Saturday mornings" etc. And there is nothing wrong with following up a previous offer with a text now along the lines of: "Hi! hope the school holidays are going well and not too stressful! You very kindly offered for DD to come and play sometime. Would that still be possible? Are you around during the summer?" It's not forward or pushy and you might find parents will welcome another child to entertain theirs! They might be thinking everyone is away.

If this yields nothing, then organise a few fun things with both and one to one with Mum is precious so while little one sleeps, have some precioustime. Often more important to a child than having a friend over. Good luck!

monkeytree Thu 28-Jul-16 21:19:37

I just think it would be lovely for DD to go play at her friends homes too. Dd2 is sweet but hard work at the moment and often insists on joining in dd1 is wonderful with her little sister but things like going to the cinema with dd2 is tricky it would be lovely for one of the mums to invite DD along, it would be very thoughtful they must see I've got my hands full with dd2. I am planning to take DD1 to the cinema, just us two whilst dh babysits dd2. If I didn't do the hosting I'm afraid it could become isolating for dd1 so I just go along with it for her sake (and yes I do begrudge it).We do have days out but it can be a juggling act accommodating two different age groups. We have a couple of holidays coming up and I can forget about all of this for a while. I text a friend today to invite her elder DD to come and play. friend was in a spa with her best friend whilst her 2 dd's are stopping away with some other friends for the week. It just makes it easier if there is other support around you or other people willing to give your dc's their time and attention, we don't have any thing like this.

WaitrosePigeon Thu 28-Jul-16 21:36:54

Don't host if you begrudge doing it or only do it for the return invites.


bumsexatthebingo Thu 28-Jul-16 21:56:21

Could she not call on some of the local children and play outside?

junebirthdaygirl Thu 28-Jul-16 22:11:16

Could she not go to a dance camp or art or French, anything for a week..?

MachiKoro Thu 28-Jul-16 22:15:21

90% of mothers now work. How are they supposed to organise playdates?
If you have a 'couple of holidays' coming up, surely you could pay for DD1 to do some activities over the summer?

monkeytree Thu 28-Jul-16 22:34:16

No, none of dd's friends mothers work full time all are sahm or part-time work apart from one. Yes dd did have a chance to do a tennis camp with one of her friends but this clashed with one of our holidays. I don't let my daughter 'out' to play or roam the streets and neither do dd's best friends parents although I know some children do locally. Fortunate to have holidays coming up I realise this but I think I was looking to connect with mothers with children with age gap, only children etc, who may find themselves going to all the effort of organising playdates/outings with others and facing similar frustrations. However thank you for taking the time to respond, Minstrel thank you for your considered comments.

DarthMother Thu 28-Jul-16 22:39:01

Your husband isn't babysitting, he's looking after his child.

panegyricS1 Thu 28-Jul-16 22:49:58

I'm wondering - is there a reason why she can't call for local friends and play out with them?

Non-reciprocity is disappointing. However, I think that in general people will mean it when they say "mini monkeytree must come to ours next" but they just don't get round to it. They're less organised perhaps, rather than less bothered?

Nocabbageinmyeye Thu 28-Jul-16 23:05:02

I have two dd's both the same ages as yours, you say your dd doesn't play "out", is there a reason for that? Genuine question, I mean is it just not possible in your area or something? We live in a village so my dd plays outside all of the time, her pals that are from houses outside of the village heavily rely on playdate type things, dd often gets asked on these but I must admit I could be faster to reciprocate, I just don't do it as fast as they do because I'm in a different position, I don't need to so I think "I must" but it gets put on the long finger because its not a "need". So I think it's a case of not appreciating your situation because theirs is different, I'm sure they don't mean it, I find it hard between summer camps, family, holidays to have a day where I actually want another child in the house all day when she has plenty of friends on the street that I have no responsibility for, if you are what I mean

Nocabbageinmyeye Thu 28-Jul-16 23:06:34

At 10 I think people are less into play date type things too, are they? Unless you have to be of you love rurally or something

FlyingElbows Thu 28-Jul-16 23:16:26

You say that other people must know you've got your hands full. Has it crossed your mind that those other people may have their hands full too? They may have all sorts of things going on in their lives that they don't want to share with you and which make having other children over difficult. It is also perfectly acceptable to just not want to get involved with "playmates". It's not up to other people to sort your kid out in the holidays.

FlyingElbows Thu 28-Jul-16 23:17:19

"playdates" even.

bumsexatthebingo Thu 28-Jul-16 23:24:36

Why don't you let your dd out to play? Surely 10 is plenty old enough to play on your own street/ride your bike outside. Then you could have some one one time with your youngest or have some of her little friends over.

TisIthecat Thu 28-Jul-16 23:24:46

You say you have friends with children your children's ages. Does your daughter not have any friends of her own? Would they be more likely to reciprocate?
I'm also interested in where you live if the kids can't play out or go and call on a friend. I can imagine DD at 10 being allowed to roam much of our school catchment.

VioletBam Thu 28-Jul-16 23:32:19

This is a problem mainly because at ten, kids are allowed to play out or arrange their own playdates by hassling their parents OP.

My DD1 is 12 now and since the age of about 9, I never arranged playdates which I had thought of...but rather her friends or she would hassle till' that happened.

In a year your DD will be of an age when most kids are walking to secondary school perhaps need to consider allowing her to play out near your house so she might meet some local children.

VioletBam Thu 28-Jul-16 23:32:51

Tis OP says her DD does play with some of these children at school.

Mycraneisfixed Thu 28-Jul-16 23:52:09

Never had to arrange play dates for my own 3 DCs but DGS is an only child so I often take a group of boys out somewhere to play football run wild. I host more than others who have more than one child and don't mind at all.
At the moment your oldest DD and her friends won't want to include little sister in their games. If you invite friends over make sure little sister doesn't join them and if older DD is asked somewhere drop her there and take little sister off somewhere.
It's your DD that needs the playdates at the moment so expect to be doing most of the hosting or arranging.

TisIthecat Fri 29-Jul-16 07:35:38

Violet - I just know my kids' relationships with the kids of my friends is very different from their relationships with the friends they have chosen.

MLGs Fri 29-Jul-16 07:52:07

We have a similar age gap - my kids are 7 and 2.

I do consider it important to arrange some company for DD (7) and this week had been tricky as I have been working, the holiday camp I had planned being cancelled - she's in effect being babysat by a young adult which is not the same as being with her own mates.

I don't have the problem with non reciprocity though, which must be annoying. Not that we have or organise millions of playdates but people in general seem to reciprocate. However I'm lucky in that her "best" friend lives opposite and miraculously there is a similar age gap in that family.

Madinche1sea Fri 29-Jul-16 08:29:36

Op - I have 5 children -13, 11, 8 and 5 and while they love to see friends (and do most days) sometimes it can feel like more hassle than it's worth. For instance, if one of them has a friend round, then that basically means my other DC are stuck in for the duration if that "play date". Often say 2 DC will be due at respective friends houses and this then dictates the whole afternoon with drop-offs and pick-ups and obviously the other DC are moaning about being dragged around. Also, just one of them having a friend over can change the dynamic, particularly if they start winding each other up, etc. I have girls and boys and it can turn into all out warfare over the x-box, water fights etc!

Don't take it personally that your Dd is not always asked over to other people's houses. For those with multiple children closer in age, the logistics can just get a bit too complicated over the summer.

Madinche1sea Fri 29-Jul-16 08:30:05

Sorry 4 DC not 5!

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