For many parents, a visit to the local indoor play centre means time for them to relax and sip a cup of coffee while the kids are occupied for a couple of hours. For me, the idea of such a trip sends ripples of panic and dread through my body.
I've never been a fan of these places, they are always loud, busy and chaotic and in no way relaxing.
Here are the 8 reasons I hate indoor play centres and why you won't find me volunteering to take my children there any time soon:
- Someone always gets hurt. It's inevitable.
- It is so stressful. I spend the entire time spot checking for my children in the maze of equipment and children in case one of them has managed to get all the way to the top and is now too scared to come back down.
- I know that at some point I am going to have to get in there and guide a terrified child back down and these things are not designed for grown adults who are mildly claustrophobic.
- The giant slides terrify me. So much room for error here.
- There are always a couple of kids who are completely wild and rowdy and spend their time terrorising the younger kids and racing around like maniacs. Their parents are usually the ones who come to these places to get a break and so completely check out and let their kids run wild.
- Germs. So many germs.
- They are usually really expensive. I can think of better and less anxiety ridden ways to spend my money.
- The only time my eldest can visit these centres is on weekends and in school holidays. The two times when they are the busiest.
Of course, my kids love to go to indoor play centres for all the reasons listed above. I will gladly stay at home while my husband takes them along though. Much more fun for everyone!
Christy is a Canberra-based professional maternity and night nanny, and a mother of two. You can connect with her at Sweet Baby Daze.