You wanted a playdate. We wanted a playdate. Your child and my child. Just like they’ve always done.
Of course. I totally get it.
But we canceled. We’re taking precautions. We’re staying at home instead. Schools are closed. Parks are closed. Our kids have been unceremoniously stripped of their normal social routines and relationships.
We are ‘social distancing.’
And I have a request.
Please don’t act like a jerk because of it.
You don’t need to feel shunned. You don’t need to take it personally.
Life isn’t like it was yesterday and I don’t know what to expect from the coming days, weeks, or months.
I want our children to be able to hang out together too. Resoundingly. They are going bloody stir-crazy, after all!
But in the midst of uncertainty with this mysterious coronavirus on the scene, I don’t have the luxury of doing things just because I want to. I have to weigh what’s best in a more discerning way.
You don’t need to be offended because we’re not coming over. You don’t need to tell your child that we’re no fun or too scared of getting sick.
You don’t need to add any more stress to an already stressful situation.
We parents are dealing with so much already right now, like homeschooling, food shortages, financial struggles, and children who miss their friends terribly.
You don't need to make things harder with extra judgment.
You only need to respect my comfort level. As I would respect yours.
It’s really not personal. We don’t think you're diseased or not clean.
When people can pass on a virus without showing any symptoms themselves, one has to decide where they’re going to draw the line between brushing things off as an overreaction and taking the proper precautions to stop the spread.
Social distancing from people is not the same as abandoning friendships. It’s not because we don’t like you anymore. It doesn’t mean we don’t want the playdates to happen. It doesn’t mean we think you’re sick and that you don’t know it.
So don’t act like an as*hole. Don’t tell your child we’re being silly. It's not fair to my child or to yours.
How we as parents behave during this time matters. It’s critical.
How we treat one another during this chaos shows our children who we really are. And saying a friend isn’t being true because he or she won’t come out and play due to social distancing is not only disappointing but it’s cruel.
Children don’t necessarily understand why we can’t hang out or do playdates right now. And I’m not sure I understand it either!
But, as the saying goes, better safe than sorry…
Just please don’t act like an as*hole over it.
More from Michelle: How I Forgave Myself When My Baby Failed To Thrive