For busy moms, trying to get together with friends can feel like mission impossible. When you finally do put a date on the calendar — often months away — a small spike in your child's temperature can postpone that get-together for months, says Circle of Moms member (and mother of four boys) Jennifer M. "The boys are great, but I just wish I had more time to spend with some friends. I have my own business and even [during my work] time I don't interact with other adults much. It has made me feel pretty lonely."
Many moms echo her wish for a more active social life. So we searched out member secrets for carving out time with friends to surface three great tips for revving your social life.
1. Banish the Guilt
It's healthy for moms to take some time for themselves, and it's especially important to nourish friendships. Circle of Moms member Susan B. says that having a social life "makes me a better mama." Married for ten years "without a single girl's night," she's now planning on changing that and confidently asserts that "I don't think it is selfish of me to want that." Shantelle S., who has three kids under four, initially "felt incredibly guilty" about going out, but when she noticed how much happier she felt when she connected periodically with her friends, she became motivated to be the organizer of her social circle's nights out.
If it's hard for you and your partner to juggle your busy schedules, or if you're a single mom, several Circle of Moms members suggest recruiting babysitting help from family members. Alisha R.'s solution is "good old grandma." This mom to a 10-week-old daughter says "I'm feeling a little bit confined as I'm always in the house and whenever I do go out it's only with my mom and my sister." So she's begun leaving her daughter with her mom when she needs to take a break and be with friends.
2. Plan a Girls' Night Out
Many Circle of Moms members say that the key to getting out and having fun with friends is to plan a gathering that's focused on fun. Brenda likes to invite mom friends over for a slumber party -- without their kids! "Slumber parties are a ritual girls of any age can celebrate and they should. A [moms'] slumber party is a great way to break away from the usual routine, reconnect with friends, and have some fun." Still other members suggest finding other like-minded moms and planning a get-together around a shared interest. DeeDee S. has been going out with friends to enjoy poetry readings.
Other members say girls' night out is much more likely to happen if you lower the ante by keeping your plans simple and casual. Working mom Shantelle S. says "It doesn't have to be a big night out," and that "even dinner or movie or drinks at someone's house" will satisfy that important need to catch up with friends.
3. Bring the Kids Along
When all else fails, one of the best ways to pull off time with friends is to find friends who are in the same life circumstances and can bring their kids along too. "My best friend and I make a point of seeing each other at least once a week," with babies in tow, says Amy H. "It's for the babes as much as [for] us. I'd say definitely try to make some new friends [who have] babies." She points out that it's important both for the little ones and for moms "to socialize for their development."
How do you squeeze in time with friends?
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