I never imagined I would be the kind of parent with strict rules that are out of the norm. But here I am banning my children from sleepovers.
When I was a kid, I had this one friend who was not allowed to spend the night. Naturally, I was intrigued. She told me that her mom did not want to have to pick and choose and hurt feelings when deciding who her children could spend the night with. As a kid, I did not think much of it. As an adult, I get it.
First, it's hard to trust people with my tiny humans. I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt but I hear an array of stories about situations involving "the nicest people" who do not turn out to be very nice. It gives me a peace of mind to know that my kids are in my house sleeping in their own beds. Like my friend's mom, I work full-time. I won't be at every school party or event to socialize and become best buddies with the other mothers. I won't be hosting after school play dates or meeting up for lunch during school breaks. I am absolutely fine with that! But it also means I will not blindly send my kids to sleep at homes just because everyone else is doing it.
Second, I went through an awful experience at a slumber party when I was ten. During a time when I was a total outcast, I was thrilled when a popular girl invited me to her house to spend the night. Little did I know the whole thing was set up for me to get bullied and ridiculed. I was upset and my parents were heart broken for me. I know my children are not destined to endure the same mistreatment, but metaphorically speaking, if your house gets broken into you start locking the doors at night. Like many other moms, some of my parenting choices are based on past experiences.
And third, I know we will all be okay.
I will be okay. I am fine with being the weird mom with the weird rule. It doesn't bother me if someone disagrees with my decisions. I know I am doing what is right for my children and my family. It may not be the right thing for everyone else and that is fine. You do you and I will do me.
My kids will be okay. Will they miss out on a few parties and invites? Yes, but they can always go to a sleepover and I will pick them up when it is time to settle down for bed. They can still have play dates and friends hanging out at our house. They will move on. It is only sleeping time. They aren't fully missing out because I do allow them to spend the night with our family members and they love it.
The other kids will be okay. Sure, they might ask my kids why they can't spend the night, but they will move on. They won't dwell on it forever.
Hear me out: I have nothing against parents who choose to let their children partake in sleepovers. I am so glad that works for them. But as for me and my household, we will be sleeping in our own beds at night.