Ever since I had kids, it’s been a real challenge to make time for my friends. It’s probably a combination of being an introverted mom and a work-outside-the-home mom (and maybe just a touch of laziness), but I realized I could go weeks or even months without any girl time.
But our girlfriends are important! They “get” us in a way that the men in our life don’t, and they remind us that there’s someone besides Mom on the inside. We need each other for support and to keep our sanity.
Scheduling helps. I live and die by my schedule these days. Meal plans, workouts, blog posts, school events — everything goes on the schedule. Why should time with friends be any different?
Right now, I’m using an old-fashioned paper calendar, and I sit down sometime in the last week of one month to plan out the next. I write down which friends to contact which ways on which days. It might sound a little over-the-top, but writing it down almost always ensures that I get it done.
Include the kids. Because I’m not home with my kids all day, it’s very hard to leave them at night or on the weekends–even for a good cause! I love when I can include them in friend time through playdates or other activities. Even if it’s more chaotic than a quiet coffee date would be, it still counts.
The perfect is the enemy of the good. Speaking of things that “count,” I realized last year that I was guilty of waiting until I had everything just right to contact my friends. A fancy care package to a long-distance friend took months to complete and mail, and we could have had several quick Skype sessions during that time. Texts work just as well as phone calls these days, and a quick lunch at the office can be as fun as a Galentine’s Day banquet (okay, almost as fun).
Time with friends is necessary. Even though I drag my feet on it sometimes, I always, always, feel better after time with my friends. It’s worth sacrificing a lunch hour, chatting on the way home instead of listening to a podcast, and planning ahead.
It’s important to me to let my friends know they’re important to me — even if it’s a bit more challenging to make that happen these days.
How do you make time for your friends? What are your favorite tips?