It’s winter, and the weather is pretty disagreeable these days. Moms everywhere are desperate to find somewhere-anywhere!– where their kids can run, yell, play, and burn off some of that ENDLESS energy. En masse, we all flock to the nearest kids’ indoor playground, which quickly turns into a roiling mass of noisy, busy, happy kids and toddlers- and their mothers. In no particular order, here are the seven types of parents you can expect to see while you’re there.
This Mama is living her own personal version of the dream. This place is so fun! The kids are having a great time! She skips about with a huge smile on her face, commenting to anyone who will listen about what a great time she and her kids are having. Maybe she doesn’t get out much. Maybe she got a Groupon and is ecstatic about the screaming good deal she got. Maybe she hasn’t seen other human beings in the last four days. At any rate, she is VERY excited. And you can’t be annoyed with her, because she is genuinely just.so.happy.
The Too Tired to Function Mom
This poor mama is in full zombie mode. She had to choose between a nightmare at home or a nightmare somewhere else, and this seemed like the less tiring of the two options. Except now she realizes she was wrong. She’s in full hot mess mode, and she can barely keep her eyes open. She may even catch a snooze or two on the play area couch before darting up in a panic and trying to locate her four small children, who, for what it’s worth, are probably doing just fine without her.
The Work at Home Mom
The WAHM has come prepared to squeeze eight hours worth of work into a two hour window. She’s got her laptop, her planner, and a tumbler of hot coffee to get her through. She runs in as soon as the place opens so she can snag the “good” table- the one near an outlet, with a good view of the entire place. She types furiously, glancing up at regular intervals to make sure the kids are okay. She’s trying to have the best of both worlds, and it’s exhausting, but it’s also clear that she is nailing it.
The “This Place is a Nightmare” Mom
Our next mama HATES IT HERE. She’s overwhelmed by the chaos, she swears she’s the only one actually watching her children, and she is annoyed that they let this many people in. It is so noisy, and so hard to keep track of her kids, and it’s a disaster waiting to happen. All her mama friends told her this kids’ indoor playground is the BEST- and this Mama knows now that they were WRONG. She stays for 20 minutes, makes some kind of statement like, “These kids are just too rowdy. It is unsafe here. We are LEAVING.” And drags her kids out by their coattails. She’ll never be seen again.
The “My Kid is a Terror and I’m Sorry” Mom
This mom’s kid is struggling with this place. There are too many people, and too many tempting toys, and they are having a hard time remembering that “we don’t hit our friends.” This mom is appalled by her kid’s behavior- even when it may not seem that bad to the rest of us- and apologizes profusely. She is continuously reassured that this is all part of the learning curve for kiddos, but she clearly is questioning her ability to ever leave the house again.
The Germaphobic Mom
Our germaphobic mama wants so badly to like this place. But it’s flu season. And that kid just put the ball in their mouth. And now her kid wants the ball. So she asks the playground employees about the sanitation procedures. She deems them insufficient. She pulls a Clorox wipe from her purse and gives the ball a good scrub before returning it to the pile. And then sanitizes her kiddo’s hands. And offers you some sanitizer for yourself. She’s trying not to freak out, but geeerrrmmmsss.
The “This is My Break Time” Mom
This lady mommed so hard this morning, and now she is DONE. She packed the lunches, she did the things, and she’s paid the $10 entrance fee to the indoor playground so that she can have a few minutes to herself. She’s got her coffee, and she’s either scrolling her phone or she’s engrossed in her book. She’s keeping a loose eye on her kids, but we all know that it’s the kids turn to fend for themselves. This mama is off the clock, for one precious hour of the day.
So grab your coffee, your laptop, or your Lysol- whatever floats your boat, mama!- and get yourself to the nearest kids’ indoor playground so you can get in some precious people watching. Which mama will you be when you’re there?