Mommy Dearest,

My son loves having playdates with his best friend, but his mother never offers to host us. In the last year and a half, she has extended one invitation and when it's her turn, she always has an excuse — from her air conditioning being broken to just having the exterminator come — as to why it would be better to meet at my house. I am happy to have them over, but tired of being the one who has to put lunch out and do the major clean up. How do I tell her that she has to reciprocate?

— Always the Playdate Host

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Always the Playdate Host,

The important part of a playdate is that kids get time to connect and have fun with each other. It seems that in this situation, the children get along well so why not just focus on the positive? If you want to host, it's your decision to set out a meal and tidy up the house, but don't expect anything in return. Perhaps the other mother isn't comfortable having guests to her home and you may make her (and her son) uncomfortable bringing up the issue. Rather than calling her out, suggest meeting on neutral territory like the local playground for the next get together.

– Mommy Dearest