You’re having one of those weeks when you feel like your life is run by a pint-sized dictator. The toddler of the house has consumed your every waking hour, commandeered your schedule, and dominated your thoughts. You know you need a break, but your partner is traveling out of town for work and your babysitting options have just run out. What’s a desperate mom to do?

Try scheduling a playdate. Yes, playdates are fabulous opportunities for your child to learn social skills and make new friends, but there are also many benefits for you, too!

6 reasons playdates are good for you:

  1. Playdates give you a chance to reconnect with the non-mom side of you. Sure, you’re there with other moms and other children, but this is your chance to chat about non-mom topics and flex those non-mom brain muscles. Whether talking about politics, finance issues, work, or the latest best selling novel, you can give your brain a workout by engaging in conversations that don’t involve diapers and sleep schedules.
  1. Think of playdates as Parenting 101 crowd sourcing. While they are a great chance to talk about non-mon issues, playdates are also the place to get some answers from those who have been there, done that. Got a child with night terrors? Can’t get your child to eat anything other than bread? Chances are, another mom in the group has gone through the same thing – and can offer some advice from experience.
  1. Playdates are a great chance for you to get some exercise. We all know how challenging it can be to fit in a work out when you are busy raising children. Planning playdates that involve stroller walks or jogs, family-friendly hikes, and fun activities like roller skating or riding bikes can give you a chance to catch up with other moms while also getting some exercise, which can help you feel better and more prepared to take on the rest of the day.
  1. Playdates can offer much-needed validation. You work hard as a mom, and at the end of each day, you don’t get a medal. But playdates can offer you reassurance that you are, in fact, doing a great job, mom! Mothers have no greater cheerleaders than other mothers, and as much as we may selflessly love our children and do whatever it takes to raise them well, it’s still nice to have the support and encouragement from fellow moms that we are not the parenting failures we sometimes see ourselves as being.
  1. Playdates get you out of the house. Sometimes, especially in those early days with an infant, it can be a challenge to take two steps outside of your front door. As moms, I bet most of you have had those days where suddenly you look up and the sun is already setting, but you are still in your pajamas. Scheduling playdates gives you a reason to get dressed and get out of the house, and once you are out of the house, it’s much easier to then stay out and run errands or attempt other fun adventures with your little one.
  1. Playdates can help you de-stress. In addition to the opportunities for exercise, catching up with other adults, and giving your brain a workout, playdates can help bring your stress level down. Motherhood can be a very stressful time, and bonding with other moms gives you a chance to alleviate some of that stress in a safe, supportive environment.


  • Dr. Gail Gross

    Author and Parenting, Relationships, and Human Behavior Expert

    Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and member of APA Division 39, is a nationally recognized family, child development, and human behavior expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems. Dr. Gross is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues. A dependable authority, Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print and online media including CNN, the Today Show, CNBC's The Doctors, Hollywood Reporter, FOX radio, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Times of India, People magazine, Parents magazine, Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine, USA Today, Univision, ABC, CBS, and KHOU's Great Day Houston Show. She is a veteran radio talk show host as well as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS program, “Let’s Talk.” Also, Dr. Gross has written a semi-weekly blog for The Huffington Post and has blogged at since 2013. Recently, Houston Women's Magazine named her One of Houston's Most Influential Women of 2016. Dr. Gross is a longtime leader in finding solutions to the nation’s toughest education challenges. She co-founded the first-of-its kind Cuney Home School with her husband Jenard, in partnership with Texas Southern University. The school serves as a national model for improving the academic performance of students from housing projects by engaging the parents. Dr. Gross also has a public school elementary and secondary campus in Texas that has been named for her. Additionally, she recently completed leading a landmark, year-long study in the Houston Independent School District to examine how stress-reduction affects academics, attendance, and bullying in elementary school students, and a second study on stress and its effects on learning. Such work has earned her accolades from distinguished leaders such as the Dalai Lama, who presented her with the first Spirit of Freedom award in 1998. More recently, she was honored in 2013 with the Jung Institute award. She also received the Good Heart Humanitarian Award from Jewish Women International, Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame Award, the Great Texan of the Year Award, the Houston Best Dressed Hall of Fame Award, Trailblazer Award, Get Real New York City Convention's 2014 Blogging Award, and Woman of Influence Award. Dr. Gross’ book, The Only Way Out Is Through, is available on Amazon now and offers strategies for life’s transitions including coping with loss, drawing from dealing with the death of her own daughter. Her next book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, is also available on Amazon now and teaches parents how to enhance their child’s learning potential by understanding and recognizing their various development stages. And her first research book was published by Random House in 1987 on health and skin care titled Beautiful Skin. Dr. Gross has created 8 audio tapes on relaxation and stress reduction that can be purchased on Most recently, Dr. Gross’s book, The Only Way Out is Through, was named a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Silver Medal finalist in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the categories of Death & Dying as well as Grief. Her latest book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, was the National Parenting Product Awards winner in 2019, the Nautilus Book Awards winner in 2019, ranked the No. 1 Best New Parenting Book in 2019 and listed among the Top 10 Parenting Books to Read in 2020 by BookAuthority, as well as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Gold Medal winner in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the category of How-To. Dr. Gross received a BS in Education and an Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) with a specialty in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. She earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus on Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Gross received her second PhD in Psychology, with a concentration in Jungian studies. Dr. Gross was the recipient of Kappa Delta Pi An International Honor Society in Education. Dr. Gross was elected member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.