Nourish Mama by Sherry Rothwell
Nourish Mama, a nutritional program by Sherry Rothwell

Working Playdates

Many years ago when when my son Isaiah was young, I remember spending many an afternoon at a friends home having play dates only to come back to my own abode just after 4 pm starving and frantic about what to make for dinner!

I also uneasily recall 4 pm to be the time that I used to refer to as the witching hour! If you are a momma you might recall the days (or be smack dab center in the middle of them right now!) when just as you start to make dinner the baby starts crying and needs to be held or your toddler starts clinging to your leg crying “uppy, uppy” at the moment it is imperative that you must use two hands!

Those were the days…..

In those days my circle of friends and I sat, nursed, talked and drank coffee while our toddlers played together (or tormented each other). Now while all of that is well and good and everything and certainly nice to do once in a while, the truth is that doing play dates like this just isn’t sustainable when we also want to peacefully put a meal of wholesome foods on the table later. Plus, have you ever noticed that your kids play better together when you are working on projects or puttering around the house, and less so when you are on the phone or giving a girlfriend your undivided attention?

Could there be another way?

I remember a friend saying how her Grandmother used to say “You girls just sit and talk when you get together and in my day women never did that. We worked as we talked.”

And the light bulb went on!

How much of our domestic drudgery stems from plain old lonely boredom?

Of course it sounds better to lounge at a friends over coffee, than stay home to make sure we get dinner on the table in a timely matter, being the social creatures we are! But whether we like it or not, the need to put dinner on the table, isn’t going to go away. What if we could both have our social time and get our work done?

Following suit to the wise words of the grandmothers, I now rarely go to a friends home for a lounging play date. Instead we having cooking dates, ferment dates or knitting dates! In fact, I find it quite pleasurable to talk over dishes, folding laundry or making a meal.

As one example, a dear friend and I spend cooking dates together that look like this:

  • The person who hosts puts on a crockpot meal large enough for two families at breakfast.
  • The person hosting decides what we are going to make in bulk and has everything on hand and ready to go
  • The guest brings over lunch (near prepared and ready to go).
  • In between breakfast and lunch we make at least 3 snack foods that we can split in half and take home for the week!
  • Each week we alternate being the guest and the host!
With careful planning these days start at 9:30am and I am home by 1pm with finished food projects in tow. All of us are well fed during our time together and I have 2 quart jars full of dinner nearly ready to go!
Interestingly enough, a morning like that affords me a lounging afternoon or nice work block if I want one! You might also start to notice that the kids play together much more amicably as well!
What do you do on playdates? Would you consider committing to a day like this each week with a friend?



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