While growing up my most important relationships were my friendships. My friends and I learned so much together, learned similar life lessons, shared life experiences.  We understood each other, we stuck up for each other, picked each other up when we fell.  I have always had a small, strong group of friends around me through all of my life phases.  Until now.

In between undergrad and grad school I worked as a transport aid at a hospital and met one of my very best friends there. We attended grad school together as well. In grad school she and I became very good friends with 3 other girls, and the five of us spent so much time together.  We laughed, we cried, we stressed, we partied.  And then we went our separate ways. 2 of them are mothers as well and all of us are busy and working and just living life.

Me and my beautiful grad school friends

When I started my first job as a physical therapist I was fortunate enough to work with a small but amazing group of people. My coworkers quickly became my friends.  We spent long work weeks together, and they were the people I saw during my free time to have fun.  I left that job after four years, and I have tried to maintain those bonds, but finding time is difficult as everyone has their own lives and busy schedules.  I fear that I will lose touch with most, if not all of those women.  And that part of it is sad to me.

My friendships with my high school, college, grad school, and first job friends are all via text or online now. Because of the nature of home-health I have only connected with two of my co-workers but our friendships are all based on phone calls during the work day as we never see each other. As for my other friends, it can be weeks or months that I don’t hear from them but then we can chat away on text without missing a beat.  I think that’s one good thing about the internet and social media and cell phones-the world is a smaller place.

I also feel like motherhood can get in the way of maintaining relationships. My kids need so much from me at this stage, and because they are so small I want to be judicious with how long I’m away from them. It’s hard to have friends as a couple because we don’t have too many reliable people to babysit so we can go out. And I think my friends all have similar issues. We go to work or spend the day with the kids, and then have to tend to everything else once they are asleep for the night. We have to spend time on self care and chores and the never-ending to-do list, so where does friendship fit in?

In this day and age it is rare to actually talk to someone on the phone, but I still have 2 of my best friends that I call at least weekly as we are all moving away from being on social media as much. My friend Codie and I decided to take a little girls weekend recently just to have some friend and adult time-away from responsibility for a short 3 days. Long enough to refresh ourselves and reconnect! So sometimes I feel like sometimes a great effort needs to be made but it is also important to maintain friendships for sanity’s sake!

It’s HARD to find time to get together with friends especially when you can’t have middle of the day play dates like a SAHM can. Honestly? Often times I have to schedule friend time far in advance. I currently have a lunch date set up for 4 weeks from now with my grad school roommate and a girls night 5 weeks from now with my former coworkers. It’s not ideal but it gives me something to look forward to and I know I get to reconnect with people who mean a lot to me.

The beauty of living in a world of technology is that I have a lot of friends that I have made online as well. Social media has its ability to connect people from around the world at all hours of the day and for someone who rarely goes anywhere other than work and home it’s nice to have someone essentially in my pocket that I can chat with. It’s also nice because I can be in pajamas at the same time.

Whatever the method-phone, text, social media, in person, that I can maintain friendships with is important to me. Mostly for my sanity. If we don’t vent to someone and bottle up our stress and frustrations we may get quickly feeling like we will combust! It’s even nice to have a person or two to brag about our kids ability to count and write as well because we as parents are of course proud of our tiny humans.