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Play date, breaking up, children, moms

Navigating the Play Date Arena ~Breaking Up is Hard to Do

by Deborah Cruz

Breaking Up is hard to do even with your play date~ We’ve all been there. That’s the moment in a relationship when you know it’s not going anywhere, and its certainly not moving forward, that’s the moment that you know its over. Your challenge is to decide whether to let it die a slow painful death or to end it quickly, and just pull it off like a band-aid on a hairy arm and pray for not too much collateral damage. We expect these situations when we are dating men but not when we’re play dating. But alas, it happens, and more often than not, I suspect.

Play Date; all of the commitment and none of the benefits

It starts off innocent enough; you have a friend whom you know, however well, and one, or both of you, has the brilliant idea to form a sorority of friendship held together by the glue that is our children. Then one, or both of you, decides to enlist other friends or acquaintances into said group because, after all, the bigger the better. Right? Definitely not! WRONG! A seemingly perfect scenario of coffee amongst the pitter patter of little feet, quickly evolves into headaches amongst screaming children, at the very least. There you are with a group of strangers, that you may or may not have anything in common with, vying for one another’s attention. Hear me! See Me! Love Me!

People start to clique off but amongst it all there is an eerie facade of “equal” friendship. The “OMG, we are all so great. I love you all so much” bullshit that you keep spoon feeding one another because you are afraid if you are human and don’t love every single one of them, or at least pretend to do so, you will be known for the truly horrible bitch that you really are ( you know the one hiding behind the computer screen.) It’s frigging high school with babies. Teen Mom without the tight asses and gratuitous stupidity. There is one huge benefit to joining these groups; meeting women who are, at the very least, in the exact same situation as you are, having children and raising them ( unfortunately this is usually where the similarities end.)

Play date groups give Moms an opportunity to get advice, share war stories, feel safe, and acquire references to make navigating motherhood easier. It sounds fantastic doesn’t it? It’s also a place to be judged at every choice we make concerning our children. Essentially, it’s like inviting other women into your life and licensing them to insult you, not only with their words, thoughts and actions, but their judgmental glares. After all, they are Super Moms and you are a mere human. How could every mother not want this peaceful, loving ,warm, frigging, fuzzy feeling? How would we function without the great invention of play dates?
Oh yeah, we’d be happier, less insecure, less judgmental of other moms and a little more caring and fulfilled. I love my “play date moms” (that’s what we refer to one another as because God knows, we seldom evolve past that point.) If you can maintain superficial friendships, and hang out with women that you have nothing in common with ( aside from both having children) then play dates are the place for you.

I have made a couple of truly remarkable friends amongst my “Play date Moms”. Real, honest to goodness friends who I would like whether they had children or not. It just helps that they have kids because that way we have one more thing in common ( partial sanity) . Being friends just because we both have kids, is like being friends because you both have brown hair or teeth. Cray Cray!

Play Date;Not for the Weak

My experience with play date break ups has been just like that of the breakup with my boyfriend at 15, somebody is crazy for somebody (him) and someone else doesn’t care (me). You both start out in a relationship all excited about this journey and then about 15 minutes in , you realize that you are truly up a creek without a paddle; only it feels more like you’re in the ocean and it’s forever. One person wants to spend every waking moment together, infiltrating every single facet of your life and the other is running for their life in the opposite direction. It’s like there is no in between, there is no common ground so there is only one thing left to do, break up.
Horrible word, all the connotations are negative even in the play date arena. There is nothing positive about breaking up.It is admitting failure and you know how us women are, we hate that. We try to force them to break up with us, after all, we know we want out so they are not really ending it; we are, they just don’t know it. Seldom does that work. We try avoiding them, not returning phone calls, emails, we even simply just don’t show up. But it doesn’t work. You know why? Because she won’t give up either, she doesn’t want to admit failure that she couldn’t make this relationship work. Can you say vicious cycle?

Children are being drug all over town, while Mommies smile their Vaseline smiles with absolutely no sincere feelings, at all. Rooms are filled with the buzzing of absolutely nothing of importance being said, mixed with the latest gossip of those who had the misfortune of not attending, all thinly veiled as concern. Pish Posh, I say. Someone’s got to be the adult and put an end to this madness. In your most grown up, unbiased, level headedness, you excuse yourself from the group. You simply inform them that though they are wonderful, (they are not for you) something has come up and it is better to remove yourself from the play date roster. In the end, you are still going out revealed as the ” the truly horrible bitch that you are.” That is unavoidable. That which you tried to avoid from the get go.Breaking up with a play date group is sometimes almost impossible to do, even with the best intentions.Who knew breaking up with a group of play date ladies was going to be harder than breaking up with an obsessed 15 year old boy?

Play Date; Breaking Up is Hard to Do


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Galit Breen 2012/01/11 - 10:03 pm

I love this, Deb, and oh my can so relate!

{Is is wrong that I feel a titch better knowing I’m not the only one?!}

Great post!

Bruna 2012/01/11 - 10:10 pm

I hate play-dates. Whatever happened to…”I’m going to Suzy’s house after school. Is that okay?” or “Can Suzy come over and play after school?”. No. Now we have to have the Moms over too and give them coffee and try to make small talk with them when we have absolutely nothing in common. Sometimes it works but most of the time, it doesn’t. Not a fan of the whole play-date thing.

Jessica 2012/01/12 - 7:23 am

Why are those groups so awful? I can handle almost any one mom on one play date but a big group? No thanks.

Leighann 2012/01/14 - 9:33 am

I only ever went to one play group and never went back


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