One of the hardest parts about being a mom — aside from the lack of sleep and the complete disappearance of the idea of “alone time” — is that we constantly have to fight against the struggle of staying afloat in the social world. Oftentimes, we as mothers put our families before our own needs as people, and we forget that we have friends on the outside, and that it’s also important that we get out of “mom mode” and go do something. I, for one, can say that I’ve been guilty of doing this. Even with older children, I still struggle with taking time to let go of my maternal instincts and simply exist with a couple girlfriends. It can be hard! That’s why I’m offering you a few of my tips for making time for those long lost friends:
#1. Clear a day.
I know it can be hard, especially during the summer, but dedicate one singular day — even if it’s once a month — to meet with some friends. Book clubs are great (if you’re a reader), coffee dates, nail appointments, spa days — mama, those possibilities are endless. The key is, though, that you CANNOT CANCEL. Hold yourself accountable and make your need for friendship as important as anything else in your life.
#2. Call and/or text them regularly.
Fact of the matter is, if you keep in touch, you’ll be more up to date on their lives, and it’ll be easier for you to plan a day or night out. I have so much more luck making plans with people I’m texting/calling every or every other day than people I haven’t spoken to in a month. Not only that, but it gives you a break from your everyday routine to just get it all off your chest, you know?
#3. With young children, it’s okay to get a babysitter.
There is a lot of guilt that comes with booking a sitter — even though we are 100% in the right to get one, and it’s totally not a bad thing to have someone watch your little angels for a few hours. We’re not superheroes! We can’t be a mom, be a partner, be a friend, be a worker, be a socialite, and have time for ourselves all in one go. It’s okay. Let your partner or a family member watch the kid(s). Let the neighbor watch them. It’s fine.
#4. Run errands.
This is a little trick that I picked up when I was a new mom: grab a friend who is on a lunch break, off work for the day — whatever — and just go get your stuff done, but do it together. Grocery shop together. Run around town together. Who says you can’t hang out and do adult stuff at the same time?
It can be hard to maintain friendships while also being a mother, but it’s not impossible. Just remember that it’s not your job to keep friends close to you; there are seasons in every person’s life, and being a parent is one of them. You can find the balance. Remember to take time for you, and have fun!