The other day I was reading one of my favorite blogs by a wise and loving mom with a lot of kids. But she was expressing sadness that she has no one near her age who is part of her life.
I kind of wanted to cry for her. It is SO easy to get so bogged down, especially those of us with big families, that we fail to nurture friendships like we should. Thing is, God has created us for friendship, relationship, community, connection—yes, even you, introvert!
We may not be able to have the intensive BFF friendships that we did when we were single women, but we must make time to squeeze friendships into our lives! Here are a few ideas.
Text or email “How are you doing?” or “I have been thinking about you today.” Even if you only have a second, let your friend know she is on your mind.
Throw some PBJ and cookies in a bag and meet a friend and her kids for a picnic at the park—even if it’s just an hour every now and then.
On your way to run errands, meet a friend at the local fast food place during the morning hours when it’s not busy. Drink something yummy and let your kids play while you visit, even if it’s just for 30 minutes.
Get involved in a small group at your church. Hopefully you already go to church anyway—it is so worth it to go a bit earlier or stay a bit later and build friendships with other Christians!
Kid swap. Keep her kids so she can go shopping for the morning or have a lunch date with her husband. Then trade and let her do the same for you.
Leave her a facebook comment or like. I know Facebook is controversial and a lot of people feel that it sucks too much time away from mothering, but I find that it is a quick and easy way to stay connected to friends. It can mean the world to a young mom when she gets a quick comment of encouragement or understanding.
Reach out to someone new. Another great use for social media. Touch base with another mom that you don’t know very well. Extend a hand of friendship. You never know what might come of it! She may need a friend even more than you do.
Don’t forget your most important earthly friendship, your husband! It is so easy when you are in the throes of motherhood to let your conversations devolve into, “Guess what, Junior used the potty today!” Remember what it was like when you were dating and newly married and talked about everything. What are you interested in besides kids? What about him? Make an effort to talk to him about those things. Send him sweet texts during the day, make time for sex even when you don’t feel like it (yep I said it!), and do fun things with him. Keep your relationship strong! It’s one of the best things you can do for your husband, your kids, and yourself!
You may feel too swamped or even depressed to pursue a friendship. Maybe you have been hurt by others before and you are afraid that will happen again. Honestly, though, just take baby steps–if you keep trying you won’t regret it. The only important things in life are Jesus and people. So stay connected to others!
This is part 5 of the Mama Self-Care series. You can find other posts in the series here:
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