Maintaining and nurturing friendships in this busy season of life can be challenging. Whether it’s sharing a laugh or venting frustrations, having a friend or group of friends can help fight the isolation and stress that can come with being a busy mom. Friendships remind us that we aren’t alone in the struggles and to thrive outside of our role as a parent.
Each friendship is different, and the way we nurture those relationships in our lives can vary. So, in honor of National Best Friends Day, our writing community came together to share our experiences.
Here are some ideas our team of writers suggested for how they nurture their friendships:
“Over the past few months I’ve become close friends with a new mom friend. We live within miles from each other, have littles close in age, and similar interests. We tend to see each other with our boys one to three times a week, however, almost every night we text each other, “Did you find your peace today?” Then we share the few moments in the day where we did something for ourselves. It’s so special to have moments of gratitude and to have something to look forward to sharing at the end of the day.”
“Sometimes, phone calls can feel like just another “task” on a never-ending to do list. This is especially true when a long time passes in between, so you spend a long time catching up. My friends and I have made it a point to commit to shorter, 20-minute phone calls more frequently. This helps calls feel like less of a huge time-suck on a calendar and foster more regular support!”
“Anytime I know a friend is struggling, I reach out with solid ideas to provide relief, instead of just asking, “How can I help?” I find coming up with an answer for that is even more overwhelming. For instance, when a friend’s grandpa passed and her husband couldn’t be at the funeral, I was able to step in to provide childcare. When a friend started a new job, I offered date night babysitting so she could stay connected with her spouse. One of my friends loves mail, so whenever my daughter wants to send a card to someone, I send a card to that friend with a note from my kid. And, of course, once a year we do a big girls weekend where all of my college friends meet up north at a friend’s cabin for some much needed time away.”
“It’s nice when a friend reaches out random times throughout the year, not just the bad or good times. It’s so special when friends remember events in my life.”
“Spending time with friends is not an easy thing to accomplish as a busy mom of three and a business owner. Even a short phone call can be hard to come by. Instead, my close friends and I have an ongoing group text that’s mostly funny stories, silly memes, venting, and sometimes includes some “life updates.” There is no pressure or judgement if you “disappear” for a while either when it becomes too much!”
“As I have grown older, I have developed relationships with women with common passions. Working out together, adventuring, attending shows, or doing activities together keeps us connected. It strengthens the bonds we share, it allows us to show up for each other, and we make fun memories together.”
“Celebrate your friendship all the time. Pop champagne and toast to your individual accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Check in often and offer ways to help when they need it. Share things you see that make you think of them like memes and TikToks.”
“Anytime a friend tells me about something happening on a specific date (important doctor appointment, work meeting, kid’s first day of baseball, etc.), I immediately set a reminder on my phone for that day to check in with them. I genuinely care about their life moments, but we all know that with the busyness of life, we forget things. This allows me to easily check in without the real mental load of remembering!”
“We all have those moments where someone “pops” into our mind. If I suddenly am thinking of a friend, I take a quick time out (before I can forget) to text them. Even if it’s a simple, “Hey, I miss you,” it’s a thoughtful way to help maintain the connection.”
“At some point in motherhood I let go of the idea that all my friendships should look exactly the same or that I needed to show up in a specific way in order to show that I care. With a couple of my friends, we text and leave each other voice messages every day, but with others it’s a phone call catch-up every few months. There are some friends where it’s easy for us to meet for a dinner or play date with the kids and then others where most of our communication happens through social media. As long as we know how important we are to each other, I call that a success!”
“I think knowing your friend’s love language is really important. Something like sending an encouraging text, a box of cookies, or running an errand for a friend may seem small, but if that’s their love language it will speak volumes about how much you love and care about them, and understand who they are.”
It can be hard maintaining strong friendships in motherhood, but staying connected is key. If it’s sharing an encouraging text, a funny meme, or a weekend together, there are a variety of ways we can let our friends know we care. How do you nurture your friendships? Or, how have your friends made you feel supported and loved?