Being a stay-at-home mom or a mommy on mat leave is a gift – there's nothing better than getting to share in all those major milestones with your little one.
But it can also be very challenging – going from lunch appointments to pediatrician appointments, laptop bags to diaper bags, and CNN to PBS is a big adjustment, and one of the best ways to stay grounded is to find a new mommy or two to share a play date with.
Hanging with fellow parents is extremely helpful for a myriad of reasons. You can associate with new moms who are going through similar life changes, or have already endured the challenges of new-found parenthood and can offer first-person advice. Hanging with new people can be a welcomed change of scenery, for both you as well as your little one. Depending on where you hold your play date it could present a great opportunity to get in shape and stay active – park dates, stroller-walking groups, and even meeting at the mall to do a few laps are all excellent ways to get in some exercising along with some socializing.
Apart from the benefits you’ll get from organizing play dates, your child will also love interacting with other kiddies.
Here are some ideas on how to organize play dates.
For the on-the-go mom
If you're always on the move (and so is your little one), meet up with other mommies at a mall. You can window shop, gab, and get in some exercise too. Just try and avoid that food court!
For the active mom
Parks, especially those with paved paths to allow for walking with strollers or wagons, are a great place to hang with other moms. You'll get some fresh air, a bit of physical activity, and your child will have fun.
For the tired mom
Are you pooped? Don't have much energy? That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a play date. Take kiddies three and up to an indoor playground. They'll be off and running and you can sit, supervise, and socialize with the other mothers.
For the inquisitive mom
Families who love to learn and explore new things will enjoy an afternoon at the museum or zoo. There will be enough to look at to keep little ones occupied, and maybe you and your play dates will learn something too.
For the artsy mom
Express your creative side with your child and friends at a ceramic cafe, where you can each choose a piece to paint while you enjoy something to eat or drink and dish with fellow mommies.
For the water lover
Every city and town usually has an indoor pool, and there are also outdoor pools, beaches, waterfronts, and even parks with waterslides and more. Get on those swimsuits and water wings and have fun splish-splashing with your play date.
For the multi-tasker
If you're the type of mom who always has a number of things on the go, then meet up with moms at the grocery store or fruit market. Spend some time with friends and get some errands done at the same time.
Photo credit: Playing kids via Shutterstock