After 9 months in Melbourne my girls asked me for playdates. yuppie!!!
Wait a second, what’s a playdate? This word didn’t exhist when I was young.
I lived in a block of flat with my parents and brother. When we came back home from school we used to have a quick lunch and then go out, ring the doorbell of our friends, ask them if they were ready to come out and play, then stay out with them for hours before going back home for dinner. We have never played far away from home, it could be our communal garden or in the foyer if it was raining. Mums would stay at home doing their chores or chatting together but they would keep an eye or ear on us even if we couldn’t see or hear them. That was how I used to play when I was a kid.
Now after a few decades (3) and lots of Km (16.000) far from HOME everything seems to be different.
Firstly I was happy, excited, pleased that finally they had settled down well and they have decided to have some friends around at our place. No problems at all for me to have one or two friends here after school. I can pick them up and walk home, play together for a couple of hours and then bye-bye.
But not all the mothers have this kind of approach. I’m not sure if this is a cultural or a personal thing. In Italian I would call this kind of mum “ufficio complicazioni affari semplici” (office made to complicate simple things). They need to get organized because kids here seems to be busy with lots of extra curricular activities, they practice lots of sports plus, if they have siblings, mums have to be taxi drivers and make sure they don’t forget any of the kids somewhere. I do understand it can be busy BUT isn’t your life as a mum already tiring and stressful enough? I stick to one swimming lesson once a week for my girls, both at the same swimming pool, at the same day and time: easy for me and good for them. Maybe other mums judge me, they think they don’t do enough exercise; maybe I’m old school, I want my kids to play outdoor as much as possible, possibly with other children, at the playground or in the park. I want them to play in a structured free environment, I think they deserve it after a long day at school. they need to feel free, even to get bored if that happens, this too it’s part of our lives.
So, now I’m here and I’ll wait to see if and when playdates for my Little Miss Fussy and Little Miss Daydream will happen.