That moment when you are on a park play date and you feel like things are kind of a disaster and you just want to go home. Fast forward two weeks, you’re on a pool play date with the same friends and roles are totally reversed.
Ohhhhh, the park… First of all, park play dates are not my favorite. My youngest thinks she is far more advanced than she actually is. This is the result of wanting to do everything her big sister does! When we go to parks that have play structures that have “suggested age” play, this makes me anxious. At every turn, my youngest is almost plummeting to her death and I feel like I am just chasing after her because she is fearless!
My friend and her two kids had invited us to a park play date. This particular park had a ‘big kid’ and a ‘little kid’ play structure. Naturally, my youngest wanted to follow behind big sis which led me to play “helicopter mom” because I didn’t feel comfortable letting Quinn just play independently on the older kid play structure. It was safe to say I was feeling a little “overwhelmed and anxious” the entire time.
Now, my friend has the same age kids as mine. I was so envious of her during this play date because her youngest just sat with her while eating snacks, her daughter nicely played on the ‘little kid’ play structure, and the mom seemed to enjoy this morning out! I felt like I was running around with my head cut off! Eventually, I called it a morning and me and my girls left… Too many near death experiences!
Fast Forward Two Weeks- Pool Play Date
This morning, that same friend texted me saying that she was going to take her two kids to the pool. PERFECT… This was a play date I can get behind. My girls are water babies! We love the pool and my girls are pretty independent in the water. I confirmed that we would be there and we got all of our pool gear prepared.
My girls and I arrived first and before I could even get their flip flops off, my girls were already cannon balling into the water! Maybe it is because I was a diver in college but the water is second nature to me. Naturally, my girls find the water just as comforting. The pool is our happy place :). When my friend arrived, I was lounging pool side while I watched my girls splashing around together.
My friend’s kids are not as comfortable with the water and her youngest seemed apprehensive. My friend seemed a little overwhelmed because well, it’s a huge feat to get to the pool and her youngest already wanted to leave! It was a little touch and go for her and her kids. I was sensing her frustration so I quickly took her youngest with me to give her a break. It takes a village, right?
I think it is safe to say that our roles had totally reversed. Now she was spending the entire duration of the play date feeling “overwhelmed and anxious” until she finally called it and took her kids home.
Stop Comparing and Do You!
One thing that this experience taught me, we all have our strengths and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to each other!
- Park play dates- not my thing but my friend thrives here!
- Pool play dates- not my friends thing but this is where I shine!
I was comparing myself to my friend and doubting my parenting abilities based on HER strengths. Is that really fair to myself? I can’t speak for my friend but was she doing the same thing after our pool play date? WHY do we do that to ourselves? We tend to dwell on the tough parts of parenting and put little emphasis on the triumphs.
So, when you see a mama ROCKING IT, tell her! Chances are, that mama doesn’t even notice how awesome she is doing but she REALLY notices when things are out of control. So, lets bring each other up and support one another. If it is not your day… That is okay! Just remember you have your own strengths and find comfort in that when you are feeling a little overwhelmed. So, let’s stop comparing ourselves to others and just celebrate after we had a great day!
My girls had so much fun today at the pool and I actually got to relax. I call that a play date win! Was the park a mess.. Yes! But that is okay. You win some, you lose some!
So, I want to know… What are YOUR parenting strengths?