It's OK to Say No to Playdates

As moms, we long to feel connected with other moms. It’s only natural. As a stay-at-home-mom, I find myself seeking out other moms to be friends with and do life with. MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers, has been my safe spot for the past 5 years. Moving to a new area, I have been fortunate to find a handful of other moms who I can rely on and encourage in this crazy walk of motherhood.

But what if you just don’t feel like being social? As moms, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and not let others down. I want everyone to like me. I want my kids to be accepted. I want to have kids who sit down in restaurants and don’t act out in public. But sometimes we just don’t want to be around other moms and kids.

If you go to a local playground in the mall or if you visit your local park, you are sure to find moms on play dates. Many moms may be sitting there on their phones, but then there may be some engaged with their kids.

I think it’s okay to say “no” sometimes. Here are some reasons why:

We need to encourage our kids to make their own choices and decisions. While I am not great at this, I am still learning. I want my kids to see we don’t always have to be on the go. We can have time together at home as a family where we can play and enjoy each other. Kids need to see that the home is a safe spot full of fun and family.

We don’t have anything to prove. As moms, we feel like we have to be well-liked. Why can’t we just be ourselves and leave it out there. If we don’t’ feel like going to the local play date, that’s okay. We can skip this one and make the next one. No added pressure. Nothing to prove to anyone.

Priorities should come first. Of course, we are going to have days where we are just not up to socializing with other moms. If our kids are sick, teething, or cranky, we may not want to brave the park. If we didn’t get any sleep the night before because of a fussy baby, we can say no. Taking care of ourselves and our children should be the priority.

There’s always tomorrow. If you just don’t feel like playing or socializing, just remember there will always be another time. There will be another play date at the park. Enjoy the present and the day you are given. Don’t feel guilty. What’s the point in that anyways? We put enough guilt on ourselves as women and moms.

So mommas, I think it’s okay to say “no” sometimes to play dates. I am learning as I grow that sometimes I just need a down day for myself and for my little ones. While I love to be social and have adult conversation, sometimes I just need to say no and take the time for me.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she loves to have play dates with her new friends, but she also loves to be a homebody.

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