I meal-plan and get everyone out of the house on time. I read to my daughter almost every night. We chat about our days over dinner. We somehow get all three kids to their practices and meetings and classes during the week. I even manage to stay on top of the never-ending stream of paper they bring home.
But ask me to plan a playdate? It’s just not happening. How the heck do I squeeze that into the mix? And let’s face, I’m rarely hanging out at school drop-offs or pick-ups, casually chatting other moms up about this, that and the other.
My kids head to after-school daycare until my husband picks them up after his teaching day, so we miss the banter and those quick moments to build relationships with other parents.
As a result, my kids generally don’t get the invites to head to this kid’s house, or the park, or the pool. They each have many friends, but at their young ages, I find the parents are the ones who coordinate with one another about outings and playdates and beyond. I need to be the social director, but I don’t have time to be on the “Lido Deck” getting the inside news on all of the events.
To be honest, my kids don’t seem too bothered. It’s when I catch wind of the invites that I feel a sting of guilt. In some small way, I feel I’m failing them, like they are missing out.
I imagine the fix is that I need to initially go out of my way and do some inviting. I’ll need to capture phone numbers and find time on the calendar. Or perhaps, I just let it go. After all, they interact with a number of kids in the neighborhood and on their various scouting troops and athletic teams.
Eventually, my kids will reach ages where they will do all of their social arranging themselves, and I’m sure they’ll prefer I have no idea what is going on. Still, until those teenage days, I wish I could do a little more. I’ll add it to my to-do list …
If you’re a working parent, do you find it challenging to coordinate social activities for your kids?
Do you have any tips on how to make connections with parents if you’re not spending lots of time at your child’s school?