I’m so excited to share this detailed how-to guide for female friendships after kids. Grab a cup of coffee and I’ll share my infinite wisdom with you. ;)
How-to have amazing female friendships after kids, a step by step guide:
- Simply schedule a happy hour, coffee date or weekend away with your female friends. Easy peasy! Right?!
- Cancel scheduled event due to a sick kid, lack of babysitter or any number of other things that will likely come up.
- Text, email and keep up on Facebook because that’s about as good as it gets most days.
- Give up on your idea of what a female friendship should be.
- Embrace that an “amazing female friendship” after kids is one that allows for all of the things that happen without guilt and you still pick up where you left off if/when you finally get together. When you get together, it will likely be with kids.
OK, I’m NO expert at keeping friendships strong after kids. That title is a total lie! I’m sorry. So sorry. Kids add a crazy amount of joy, love, amazing living in the moment type of moments, gratitude and so much more to my life. And my children are two of three loves of my life. Nothing will change that.
Kids change marriage. And kids change friendships. In a big way, am I right? It’s no longer easy. Actually, it’s super complicated to do something as simple as grab dinner and a cocktail with a girlfriend. We have to work around bedtimes, dinner times, family plans, guilt (damn guilt) and more. Oh and driving 20 miles to meet a friend feels like such a hassle, doesn’t it? We tend to just spend our time with friends who are closer and more convenient because of this.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to maintain solid friendships with my high school friends, college friends and also make some amazing new friends in our neighborhood and in my children’s preschool. I also have a few friends who I know mostly through blog groups and texting. I know it’s weird, but one of my best friends is a friendship like that.
Some of those friendships are easy. So easy. Some are easy because the friend is such a close deep friend that you never have to think about it. This can be a problem too, because you might not make the time you need to for each other, but your love and closeness never fades. This is the case with a couple of very close college friends and with many of my high school friends. I have a group of five high school friends and we rarely get together but when we do, it’s laughter, fun, dancing, singing and complete trust.
Another easy one is with a friend who has two boys the ages of my boys. We naturally see each other on Mondays and Fridays at school pick-up. And in the spring, summer and fall, we get together at least once a week in the easiest way, just meeting at the park after school. This friendship was the most unexpected blessing for me. I never set out to make a friend the night we met. I never planned for it to become something, but it naturally evolved into a super easy, comfortable friendship. I trust this person, find her to be very drama-free and simply fun to spend time with. I’ve come to love her boys so much and I’m grateful that we both bring loads of snacks for our hungry boys who always want what the other mom has. We compare potty training notes. We chat about our hopes and dreams for our kids, our marriages and our careers. We also just chase our kids sometimes. It’s more fun with her even when we have zero time to chat.
Friendships might not be what they used to be, but they matter. I hope and pray that I’ll have more time or things will be easier soon, but I know that life will always be busy.
How will I make the time I need to make for friendships? I honestly don’t know. I don’t get enough time with my own immediate family (kids and husband), my grandma, mom, brother and sister-in-law and nearly no alone time other than work. We don’t make time for date nights. I don’t have enough time for my health. I don’t have enough time for dishes and laundry. Time is limited for all of us.
Lately, we’ve started thinking about trying more Saturday nights in with friends, cocktails, potluck dinner, play time. I don’t know if this is the solution for this season or not, but it’s something that could work.
This is something I’m thinking about a lot lately and hoping to figure out. It’s a messy messy juggle and while I wish things could be easier and we could run off for a girls weekend or a happy hour whenever the mood strikes, I’m grateful for all of these women who surround me with light, grace, forgiveness and understanding in this season of life.
Let’s keep sistering on, shall we? Do you have any ideas for how to juggle friendship with all of life’s other priorities? Any good ways of getting together? Any encouragement on this one?