How many sleepovers and play dates is too many per week?

I seem to have the “vote from the kids” home ! Every week, I have sleepovers and playdates in my house ! Don’t get me wrong, the children behave extremely well but I also take them for 3 or 4 hours to the park, cook for them or have Pizza delivered, tuck them in at night and serve them breakfast the next morning. I do a lot of “out door” activities with them and little to no tv. I am exhausted ! It’s very hard for me to say “no” because I know, my kids and the other ones enjoy it so much however, I do not rest during the weekend. My kids are 10 and 8 years old, a girl and a boy. How do I say “no” without feeling “guilty” after wards ?

15 Answers

  1. LOL, I know what you mean. You set the standard of these things high, so now that it is exhausting you out and you are torn. At 10 and 8 your children know their other friends parents don’t do this much with their own kids… They are also old enough to understand that you are tired and this is a tough thing to continue all the time. They won’t like it but they are old enough to understand how you feel. You should make an agreement that suites you, maybe a day or two during the week that are just family days and no friends are invited to this special day. Maybe also make 1 day on the weekend for relaxing and only do something special on that day for half the day. If mom is tired, mom might get cranky, if mom isn’t happy no one will be happy! I don’t know the “Solution” to your problem but I do know how great it is to make your kids happy as a mom. You do need to reach a happy medium and not wear yourself out so much. Your kids love you if you take them to the park every day this week or if you take them twice!

  2. Why would you feel guilty? You’re a person, not a hotel chain.

    My kids don’t have sleepovers during school term unless there’s a specific reason for it (for instance my daughter’s friend stayed the night recently because they had to be in school very early the next moring to go on a trip, and she lives an hour’s drive away while we are just 10 minutes away). And they know that they have to just go to sleep like any other night in these cases.

    Then, sleepovers are a special treat, and something to look forward to during the holidays…and weekends are for the family. I think it’s terribly sad if a child feels like they have to have a friend round to play with all the time, they can’t enjoy their own company or their siblings.

  3. I can say no without guilt quite easily.

    Joey’s going to be 10 in 2 weeks and he learned a LONG time ago not to put me on the spot. (way back in kindergarten) I told him playdates and sleepovers must be arranged in advance. I offer the same respect to other parents. Joey can’t just be playing along with Biagio and suddenly say…”hey ask your mom if I can eat/sleep over”

    During the week, he can have friends over and play outside with them. He has free time until 5pm. Then it’s dinner and homework. He’s allowed 2 sleepovers a month (in our house) though he usually only uses one of them. He knows that Daddy and I enjoy some quiet time also.

    Maybe you should tell the kids “Starting this week, or this summer…there are going to have to be some new rules.” I’m sure if you explain to them how much effort *you* have to put into *their* good time, they will understand and respect your wishes.


  4. You are the parent and the boss. If you are too tired to do this all the time then have a break for a while. Tell your kids you need a break and that is that. You sound like a fabulously fun mum who bends over backwards for her kids and that’s awesome, but you don’t have to pander to their every wish all the time. If they were my kids I would definitely not be having more than one sleep over or play date per week. Probably more like one per month as I think it’s important for kids to spend time with their parents alone as well. (I’m talking major play event or slumber party, not just a casual visit from a friend. Casual visits are fine more often.) Don’t feel guilty you are doing a great job. Just don’t burn yourself out.

  5. we have extra kids over to our house most afternoons. among the four kids, at least one of them, and generally more than one, is having a playdate on virtually any given day, and often they take place here. plus even when we haven’t scheduled something, neighborhood kids tend to walk over and knock. i do occasionally just declare that we’re not having anybody over on a particular day (or couple of days, depending how frazzled i am). i don’t have a hard-and-fast rule per week or anything; just when i decide i’m going crazy having so many kids over i just give myself a day of rest! (it’s amazing how four kids seems like a breeze when their four friends go home, lol). and i never feel guilty about that at all. just try saying “not today. how about tuesday?” 🙂

    for sleepovers i have a hard-and-fast rule. i’m pretty protective of the little sleep i get. no more than one sleepover per child (regardless of location) every other week, and no more than one sleepover at our house (regardless of which child) every other week.

  6. It all depends on how serious about tennis you are. One hour a week isn’t very much but it is better than nothing. It all depends. I would play so much more but it’s all ways raining. I play about 3-4 hours a week in the summer. When it’s tennis season I play 7-8 hours a week.

  7. Sometimes its hard for kids too.

    When I was a kid, there were so many sleepovers and playdates and camps…it was never-ending.

    One time I walked out in the morning from a sleepover and stood in the street wondering which way was home.


  8. I hear ya sister! Our house is the hang out for the neighborhood. I used to give out treats and popsicles, but have recently gotten a little tired of it. I just put a cup dispenser by my hoses (no joke). I started to get taken advantage of because they expected it and manners weren’t used.

    I told my daughter that twice a week she could have a sleepover and our snack basket (we keep one on the fridge) is for family only.

    It gets really hard at times, but stick to your guns. I think every ones parents should take turns being the “hosts” of the kids fun.

  9. as a parent you should not feel guilt for saying No. Kids need to hear it. Explain that sleepovers are now only every second weekend. And if the kids want to do it the other weekend then they go to their friends house. It should not always be you having the kids. You must feel “Used” by the other parents.

  10. I think play dates are all right every day. Sleep overs not during the school week of course but also no back to back ones. The kids just get to beat from that.

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