How to deal with annoying playdate parents

Remember that awkward playdate that left you grinding your teeth? We offer ways to handle difficult playdate situations.

You know how it was pre-baby when you used to go on dates? You had good ones and bad ones, and ones that, ahem, provided fodder for a hilarious anecdote to be shared with friends.

Now that you’re a mum, you’ve “graduated” to a different kind of date altogether: Playdates.

Indeed, time seems to pass a whole lot quicker when your munchkin has got little pals to play with, and you’re in the company of other women who share the same sorrows ― yes, we’re talking about waking up at 3am to a stroppy demand for a sandwich, or dealing with the 2-year-old who goes into a full-blown meltdown every time you wait in line at the supermarket checkout counter.

However, not all mums have their playdate etiquette in check. From those who leave your home in a mess, to those who question your every move as a parent, you start to wonder why you even started to go on these “dates” in the first place.

Set up a waterproof changing mat, and provide a packet of wipes and some diaper rash cream for everyone’s use.

So, keep calm and carry on ― we tell you how to deal when you encounter a pesky playdate parent.

The drop-off mum

This mum thinks nothing of having a sip of coffee, asking about your day, then suddenly proclaiming, “Goodness, I forgot to head to the bank! Could you watch my son for me, I’ll be right back!” She scurries out of the door, and only heads back when the playdate is, um, over.

HOW TO DEAL Hello? When did this become a free babysitting service? We all know that being a mum is tough ― just an hour or two of free time can be heavenly. But don’t assume that other mums will obligingly watch your child while you take a breather ― hey, we’re all in this together! It may be too late to do anything during particular playdate, but when she returns, gently remind her that if she needs help babysitting in future, you are there to help, but it would be nice if you get a heads up and it’s not something she should spring on you.

The competitive mum

Yes, we know her little genius was the first in the group to crawl, say her ABCs and 123s, and self-feed. But we really don’t need reminders that our own little cuties are lagging behind. 

HOW TO DEAL Don’t get emotionally invested in the competition or comparing. If her child is a fast learner, good for her. Of course, if you’re concerned about your child’s development, see a paediatrician. If the kiasu mum repeatedly tries to show off her little one’s prowess and it’s getting on to your nerves, divert the conversation to an adult-oriented one. Ask her about her vacation plans, or if she’s seen any new movies lately.

The diaper-everywhere mum

So, her peewee has a soiled diaper, but before you can direct her to your changing table in the bedroom, she plops the little guy down on your fabric couch and starts changing him right there. Mum Elysa Oh was horrified when her pal did just that, and ― eeks ― stained her couch. “There was a mark, and my friend tried to clean it off quickly with a wet wipe. Most of the stain was removed, but goodness, that was just so gross! I had to send the couch covers to be dry cleaned that very day!”

HOW TO DEAL If you know that a bunch of diaper-clad bums are entering your home, organise a temporary changing station for everyone’s convenience. Set up a waterproof changing mat, provide wipes and some diaper rash cream for every guest’s use. Besides getting an award for most thoughtful playdate host, you’ll prevent any diapering accidents or ghastly stains.

What about the mum who just refuses to leave? Tips ahead!