We recently moved into a new neighborhood, as did our neighbor, Jane. I have two young girls (4 and 5), and Jane has a boy and girl (7 I think?). My kids love to play with them, and her kids seem to enjoy it just as much (they knock on our door asking if our girls can come out to play and whatnot).
The issue is that Jane is a single mother, and my wife occasionally works on weekends; Jane sometimes will ask (or my girls will ask and Jane will be accommodating) if the kids can go into her house and play in the toy room together. I don't know her well enough to leave my kids alone in her house for an extended time, and I don't want to accompany them and put myself in a situation with no accountability.
This is uncomfortable for me. I've discussed it with my wife; she's just as uncomfortable with it as I am. I try not to be careless, and being in the home of a single-mother alone while my wife isn't around is basically red flags all around (not that I've noticed any sort of motives from Jane, just that I don't want to put myself in that situation). There's no cultural reason for this; it's a boundary I have for myself. I feel fine socializing with other women, it's socializing in private that I'm not fine with.
My question is how can I politely explain to Jane why I don't think it's a good idea for my girls to play in her house when my wife isn't home to accompany them? I don't want to sound accusatory, but at the same time, I want to make it clear that when my wife isn't home, hanging out in her house isn't an option.
The best I've come up with so far is redirecting the invitation --
Jane's Son: Can the girls come inside to play in the toy room?
Me (so Jane hears): Not right now, but maybe when their mommy gets home they can.
Jane: Is it ok if the girls come in and play?
Me: Maybe later, once their mom is home
My hope is that this will make it clear that I don't feel comfortable being in another woman's house without my wife home. This is both out of respect for my wife, as well as not wanting to be in a compromising situation even once.
A couple of things that aren't an option:
Letting my kids play in her house while I wait outside (doing yard work or something). While this is ok for a short time, it ends up requiring me to walk into Jane's house to extract my kids or they'd never leave.
Staying in the toy room with them while they're playing. This defeats the point of me not wanting to be in Jane's house alone.
This wouldn't be a big deal if we didn't get along or I noticed anything off, but she's nice and our kids get along great. While I want to be clear, I don't want to be offensive by sounding accusatory.