Monday, October 13, 2014

how to make time for friends

It's not a mom thing.  It's not a "I'm married or in a relationship" thing.  It's a life thing.  Making time for friends is tough.  In middle school and high school all we had was time.  Time to hang with friends at every free moment of the day or ramble on endlessly on the phone until you both passed out while still connected...silently snoring to one another on the other end of the line.  But, as we get older, life happens and the window of time for friends gets smaller and smaller.  So how do you find time amidst a busy life schedule?  Like everything else that matters in your life, you make time for it.

Buds exploring the suburbs zoo! #toddlergram #cosleyzoo #bestbuds #boyswillbeboys

Catching up with your best pals, is a lot like finding time to workout.  You set a date/time, reluctantly hold back from hitting "snooze" and push yourself because it's not the fact that you don't want to (because you do), but you're exhausted.  Sometimes (like working out) you have to find something that excites and motivates you to get together.  So if you're in a "making time for friends" rut, here are some new ways to re-ignite the friendship flame that will make things more exciting in your relationship:
  • Be each others wake up calls:  My friend Rachel and I did this a few weeks ago, and honestly it was quite refreshing.  We set our alarms early during the work week and went for a nice long (3 mile) walk at 6am.  Not only was I able to have the kid in tow while I was pushing the stroller, but we had an hour of quality time just catching up on life while ALSO getting in a good workout.  Sneaking in coffee dates or breakfast early in the AM is also a great way to catch up with a friend during the week.
  • Set a re-occuring monthly event:  I have this on my calendar for a group of close girlfriends.  Every 3rd Thursday of the month we have a monthly dinner where we rotate who gets to choose the restaurant and always target ones that we've never been.  Since getting all of us together on the weekend at the same time is next to impossible, our monthly dinner party keeps us committed.
  • Kill 2 birds with one stone:  Look at your daily list of things to do and see if there is an errand you can knock off your list while catching up with a pal.  Whether it's working out, getting a mani/pedi, running errands or having an oil changed, these are things that you could do together without feeling guilty that you're not tending to your mile long list of things to do.  Let's be honest seeing a friend is always on your list, but sadly sometimes it gets moved to the bottom because of all the other obligatory things you have to do.
  • Do activities that don't excite your significant other: My husband hates the idea of thrift shopping, flea markets, fashion events or eating sushi.  These are all things that I love, but instead of dragging him to come with me to do something I know he won't enjoy, I reserve these things to enjoy with friends who might also appreciate them.
  • Schedule a mid-week/mid-day meeting:  One of my favorite things is catching up with a friend mid-week over lunch or coffee because it means that I'll be home for dinner and bath time - feeling less guilty about missing that small window before my baby goes to sleep.  While scheduling something during the work day can sometimes be stressful (and also mean that it's likely a cancellation could happen due to deadlines or last minute meetings), it's a great break to the day and makes you feel so much more productive because you cross one more thing off of your list of things to do.
It's horrible that catching up with friends isn't as frequent as we would like, but when life takes over sometimes you take the time that you can get.  Because we all lead busy lives in our own different ways, remember to never let your friend feel guilty for never seeing you and reassure them that you'll always be there.

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