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I’m the worst friend in the world. I joke with my sister-in-law and cousin (the two other members of my mommy group) that they’re stuck being my friends because we’re family (and you have to love family, right?!?).

In all seriousness, friendship is so important. Even introverts like me need to spend time with others. Good friends can share the joy with you during the good times and commiserate and talk you down from the ledge during the bad times (like when your toddler still doesn’t sleep through the night).

There’s nothing like having a good, supportive system of friends (I shared ways you can find a great mommy group in this post), but they can often get pushed to the back burner when life gets stressful. Even though that may be the time when you need your friends the most, making time for friends may seem like the last thing that you can possibly handle.

Making time for friends is possible. This year, I’m trying to be more intentional about making time for friends, even when time is not on my side! Here’s how you can make more time for friends:

1. Multitask to schedule activities with friends

The simplest way to make time for friendship is to multitask. Multitasking is often considered a bad thing because you’re not giving your full attention to any one thing. However, as a busy parent, you may find that it’s the only way to get things accomplished, especially to make time for things that you know are important but aren’t a part of your typical routine.

Some of my favorite ways to multitask while making time for friends are:

  • go to a Saturday morning fitness class (a couple of my friends and I belong to our local YMCA, so we attend classes together, even taking our kids to the same swim lessons, but many gyms will also allow you to pay for individual classes if you don’t have a membership)
  • invite one another over for an occasional dinner
  • go for a walk
  • have a picnic lunch in the park
  • sign your kids up for the same activities
  • plan an annual girls’ night

2. Plan ahead (and make a backup plan) to make sure it’s a good time

Making time for friends may require some advance planning. Sometimes, coordinating schedules can get complicated. Find a day that works for both of you (and a backup date, too, just in case).

Also, the weather can be a factor if you’re planning something like a walk or a picnic. Try to make a backup plan when you make your plans. If you’re going for a walk, meet in a mall if it rains. Put up a tent in your living room and let the kids have a picnic in your house while you and your friend enjoy coffee if you aren’t able to meet in a park.

3. Set goals to connect with different friends

Make time for friends a priority. Just like taking time for yourself periodically is important, making time to renew your friendships is important. Yes, there are only so many hours in the day, and yes, you may need to say no to something else in order to carve out time for friendship. But is friendship and connecting with others important to you? If it is, then make it a priority! Make a goal to connect with one friend a month.

4. Just do it

Don’t make scheduling time for friends more complicated than it needs to be. It can be as simple as calling a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while, or scheduling a mommy morning to chat and catch up.

How do you make time for your friends?

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