Maintaining friendships once you become a Mum
Motherhood changes many things in our life. With the joy and blessing of babies and young children often comes challenges in the important relationships in our life – with our partner, our close family and our friends.
In fact in my online program, 5 Minutes 4 Mum, we spend an entire week exploring how to make simple changes in our relationships to ensure they are nurtured and stay strong … even if all we have is 5 minutes.
Since becoming a mother I have lost friends & gained friends. I have discovered which friends are happy to make an effort and deal with the imperfection of friendship combined with little ones in tow, and which ones are not.
I wanted to share some examples today of ways I stays connected with some of my friends:
Accept the imperfection
Uninterrupted conversations with friends seem like a long distant memory. Most of my contact time with friends involves at least one child around, usually several … so conversations are broken, ideas left unfinished, and stories only partially told. These are the imperfections of friendships in motherhood. Instead of resenting this, or avoiding time with friends because of this, just accept it. It simply is the way it flows, at least for now. Imperfect connection and conversation is better than none at all.
A few years ago I had a lovely friend with 2 young children. Due to her work hours and family commitments we could never see each other during the week. So once a month we had a date night. It was always the same, the first Thursday of the month (or something like that), so that we could keep that time sacred. We would meet at a Nepalese restaurant located mid way between where we both lived.
The random phone call
I have a lot of friends and family who don’t phone me because they worry it won’t be “a good time” to call. I have 3 kids, there is rarely “a good time” to call so I tell them to just call. If I can’t talk I won’t answer, or if I answer but a war breaks out 2 minutes later I will end the call … but you never know, we might just get lucky and steal a 20 minute conversation … it does happen occasionally!
I also have a habit of making speedy calls to friends if I have arrived early for school pickup and I am child free. I know I only have 5 minutes but if I happen to catch a friend at a good moment then a good 5 minute chat is better than not speaking at all.
Much like a date night but usually used for friends not living in the same city/country. At the moment I have a very dear friend going through a very difficult time. I am in New Zealand and she is in Australia. We have set up a weekly phone date – I call her at the same time, same day every week. I know I will be child free and she usually is just about to arrive at work. Some weeks we can only chat for 5 minutes, other weeks we can talk as long as she needs. Some weeks she can’t talk but regardless she really appreciates knowing that there will be a call from me, just to make sure she is doing OK.
Takeaway, wine and a good laugh
When I lived in Sydney my husband used to travel a lot for work. To help save my sanity I would often invite a few friends over for takeaway, wine and a good laugh. Kids would be put to bed, then they would head over to join me around my kitchen table. All very relaxed and informal … but a lovely way to spend time together.
If you have been struggling to get time with friends lately I hope these ideas help spark some inspiration for you. Feel free to comment below if you have some other great ideas to share!
PS – 5 Minutes 4 Mum is currently enroling for the last time in 2016. If you often feel overwhelmed, or like there is just no time and space for you in life then I would love you to join me. Enrolments close soon so pop across to check out all the details.