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How to Make Time for Friends

How to Make Time for Friends

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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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Stephanie

Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

I'm an introvert too, and recently went through a rough patch with one of my really good friends because neither one of us made time for each other. Now we make it a point to hang out at least on a monthly basis.

Thanks for sharing your tips at Manic Monday linky party!

Alison Lange

Thursday 3rd of March 2016

That's great that you and your friend were able to work things out and start making your friendship a priority again!

Alyssa @ The Plucky Introvert

Tuesday 1st of March 2016

I just absolutely love this. I am an introvert too, as well as shy, and I have such a hard time actually putting in the effort/time required to maintain friendships. In the past, I know my lack of effort has been part of the reason for a friendship that fell by the wayside. (Another reason is trust issues, but that's another story!) Your idea to make a conscious effort to really connect with one friend a month has really resonated with me! I make time for my blogging and other activities, and I live by my schedule. What if I scheduled in a connecting activity a month? I can do that.

Thanks for the inspiration and the kick in the pants! :)

Alison Lange

Tuesday 1st of March 2016

You're welcome. ;) Sometimes I think the hardest part is taking initiative and actually picking up the phone.

Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage

Sunday 28th of February 2016

Thanks for the reminder. I tweeted it!

Alison Lange

Sunday 28th of February 2016

Thank you!

Lianne

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

Great post with great tips, I lost a lot of my good friends when I had ny youngest baby which is a shame. #mmbh

Alison Lange

Thursday 25th of February 2016

It is a shame! We were the first of our friends to have kids so we went through the same thing. :(