I became a mom long before most of my friends were even past the staying-out-all-night phase. Learning to maintain a friendship with my close friends while learning how to raise and take care of a little human being was challenging. If you are having some concerns about maintaining friendships during the busy mom stage, this is sure to help!
Let me tell you about my best friend (my “person” for all of you Grey’s Anatomy fans): her name is Sarah and we met at church when I was in eighth grade and she, the always wiser and more mature one, was in ninth grade. We went to high school together, were in youth group together and went on multiple trips together throughout high school. We always had our separate friend groups, but we have been attached at the hip for a while now. Her family has adopted me as one of their own and the joke is that I followed her home from school one day and never left.
Through our almost 15 year friendship, we have been through a lot – boys (the good and the bad), boyfriends who became husbands, friends who became both our enemies, family dinners, Christmases, new family traditions, death of family members, going away to college, meeting new friends, getting married, and having our kids. Now we are both moms, and we also live almost 400 miles away from each other. Here are a few ways we’ve kept in touch and connected, even in our busy mom lives:
- Text message… a lot. About anything… I see something funny while scrolling through Facebook, send it to her. If my kids do something funny, we video it and send it over. We get a new comforter or decorate our house in a different way – we send it over! Text messaging is a way to maintain contact in brief moments when we have them.
- Go Virtual Shopping Together. This one is one of our favorite things to do. If one of us gets a chance to run away to our favorite “I am going get groceries store” (Target) and happen to see some cute clothes to try on… we send each other pictures. “Which shirt do you like best?” Or if we are looking for that perfect dress for our husband’s work Christmas party or any other reason you would take your BFF shopping with you if you both lived in the same town. It is fun for both the one shopping and the one who needs a distraction fromher 2 year old smearing peanut butter all over the high chair.
- Schedule Phone Dates. Make it happen. Morning, night, lunch hour at work, it doesn’t matter. We have stayed up WAY too late together on the phone because it had been a few weeks since we got to say more than “hi” on the phone to each other and since we used to get kicked off the house phone multiple times a week during high school, phone conversations have always been our thing. This helps you stay connected, you can talk about important life discussions and the latest on your guilty pleasure TV show that you both like. If you want to make it fancy, add a glass of wine to the mix!
- Enjoy your new “normal” when you finally get to see each other! When we do travel to see Sarah and her family or they make their way to Baton Rouge, we play. We take the kids to the park and pumpkin patch and our days revolve around nap and feeding schedules but those rare 20 minute breaks where all of the kids are entertained and we can talk about something other than Mickey Mouse, we really soak those in.
It’s a really special friendship to have and distance only makes you work a little harder to maintain it. I am thankful for Sarah, always have been, and now I get to watch her son grow up and see her in her most important role as Mommy.