Top 5 Reasons I Hate Hosting Play Dates

I hate hosting play dates at my house.

There, I said it. They literally make my skin crawl. From the pretzels in the couch cushions to the disaster in the playroom to the lack of any and all manners … I simply cannot handle the chaos that is sure to ensue when I open my home to a play date full of children.

I get it.  I know my kids need to socialize, and I know play dates are important. So instead, my kids play at other people’s homes; they play outside with their friends; and yes, begrudgingly, I occasionally host play dates too.

But each time I host a play date, I know what I’m getting myself into.  I know it will be a day full of messes and maybe even a bit of bickering.  And I know that after the last child leaves, I will find myself looking around my home and recounting the last several hours of events, remembering exactly why I loathe hosting play dates in my home…

1.} The food.

Why, oh why, must each and every play date include {at least} one snack time?  Even if the play date only lasts a max of two hours, it seems like the kids must incorporate at least 3.5 snack breaks all throughout.  {And I am pretty sure the kids ate a snack on the way to my house anyways.} Goldfish, fruit, a three course meal… Geez. Even if I just went grocery shopping earlier in the day, my pantry ends up ransacked and my fridge ends up empty.  It feels like a frat house – minus the kegs.

2.} The manners.

Look… I really like you, Kid’s Mom. I really do, but it seems as if your child throws all manners to the wind during play dates. I mean, I know you have rules at your house; in fact, the same rules we do. {Flush the toilet, use a napkin, keep food in the kitchen area, wash your hands, throw away your trash, you know – crazy stuff like that.} So why does your child act appalled when I request that they throw away their snack trash {see reason #1} or wash their hands after picking their nose???

3.} The mess.

Truth… I am an A-Type personality and love organization. And while I know kids make messes, the mess after a play date is totally and completely INSANE. During a play date, it seems as if every piece of fake food is pulled from the pretend fridge, every little dice/card/token to all the board games are strewn about, every Barbie is undressed with the clothes tossed everywhere, and lest I forget, every puzzle is removed from its box with pieces covering my entire house. {Seriously, how did that corner piece make it in the backyard?!}

4.} The crafts.

I get it. I stay at home and post WAY too much on Facebook. I post so much that you and your kids now know that I have all the supplies needed for painting, baking, beading, coloring, paper mache, and yes – even slime. But when it comes to play dates, I have officially decided to just say NO.  Coloring books and crayons are about as crafty as it gets around here when I’ve got a house full of kiddos.

5.} The final request.

We all know the drill.  After the play date is over, the kids always ask in cute unison if the play date can morph into a sleepover. Well, I’m not sure about you, but the answer at my house is always NO. After all, Mama has puzzle pieces to pick up from the backyard and grocery shopping to do to replenish those snacks and a hot cup of coffee to drink.  Instead, my kid can try to catch me in another moment of sheer craziness so that we can schedule our next play date and repeat reasons #1 – 5 over and over and over again…

Top 5 Reasons I Hate Hosting Play Dates | Houston Moms Blog
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Michele is a native Houstonian and loves everything Texas, including the Longhorns. She and her husband were married in January 2002 and are parents to the most wonderful girls, Penelope {August 2008} and Pandora {August 2011}. A former educator, Michele is passionate about education and student learning. She spends most of her days volunteering at her daughters' schools and tutoring neighborhood children in reading. Michele loves her big family and enjoys traveling to see all her relatives as well as being the fun aunt to her nieces and nephews. Her daily goal is to laugh each day and enjoy the moments. Becoming a mom was the greatest gift for Michele, and she treasures it all, even the tantrums. You can read more about Michele, her life, and her parenting adventures on her personal blog The Adventures of Tomboys in Tiaras.


  1. I have to say that the mess is by far the worst part of a play date. For some reason kids want to play with every single toy in the toy box. They start playing with a toy and five minutes later they get bored and go find a new toy. But hey, I did the same thing when I was young so I guess it’s my turn to be on the other end of this.


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