If there's one thing I've learned since becoming a mom, it's that I really need the support of other moms to help me make it through the day. But with my closest friends living far away, I admit that I've had a hard time.
I find that either I like the mom but can't stand her kids, or my kids get along with her kids but she isn't really "my type," so I just grin and bear it for the sake of my children when I absolutely have to.
Too bad I didn't work harder at maintaining some of my own friendships and making new friends along the way.
I've made a lot of excuses over the years for why I don't have more friends. My favorite one has to do with where I live, which is far from where I grew up and where several of my dearest friends still are. Working from home can also make things particularly challenging, as can a husband who travels.
While I've made amazing connections with women online thanks to blogging, it's pure luck if they live nearby. Most of my online friends live far away, so getting together only happens maybe once a year if I'm lucky.
And yes, I will pull the "I have four kids" card and say that it can make meeting and sustaining friendships tough. I'm often stretched so thin, there's just no time for me.
But I've noticed now that my kids are older, I need female friendships even more. I need to be able to connect and commiserate with other like-minded women, not just because I rely on their help and support, but because I long for that type of companionship, as pretty much everyone else does. I'm a better parent when I'm able to enjoy the company of other people and let loose a little bit.
When you're the parent of small children or, in my case, a lot of small children, it's hard to rationalize time spent with friends. I mean, if you can barely find time for your spouse, imagine where going out with your friends falls on the list.
So even if you're feeling super overwhelmed, or you think your friendships can wait, I strongly suggest taking time to make and keep friends. It's not as much as you might think, actually. Just check in, schedule a girls' night out every now and then, and ask for help when you need it.
As your kids get older and you actually DO have more time for yourself, you'll be so glad you did.
Do you rely on friendships even more now that you're a mom -- and have you been able to maintain them?