We've been friends nearly our entire lives, but now that I have kids, our friendship faces challenges that neither of us were expecting. Here's how we make our friendship work, despite being in two different seasons in our lives.

A friendship 20 years in the making

I can't remember the day I met Lauren (hopefully she can't either!), but I'm pretty sure that neither of us knew, at that moment, that we'd still be friends, more than 20 years later. And yet, here we are... her in the Lake Tahoe area of California, me in Seattle. Her with a passport full of stamps and countless adventures under her belt. Me with a house full of kids. Both of us sharing a friendship that is seeming to last the test of time... and the test of three kids.

Making it workLo and Janie

While our friendship is decades strong, getting to the place where we are now hasn't come easily. We both have committed, over and over again, to making our friendship work. I admit that Lauren is the one who has had to stick things out with me over the past eight years, as juggling life as a mom and life as friends can be a challenge at times. I'm not great at picking up the phone to chat, but she understands that I hate constantly having to interrupt her to break up fights over toys or to pour someone some milk. But we try to catch up when the kids are napping or at school.

On top of making our friendship work in regards to me having kids and her not, we are also long-distance best friends, living a couple of states and nearly 800-miles apart. And, just like she is patient with my not-often-enough phone calls, I'm patient with her desire to live away from the place we both call home (and secretly keep my fingers crossed that she'll move back eventually!). We remedy our distance with visits in person as often as we can manage and a long weekend to just ourselves — no kids, no boys, no other friends — at least once a year.

I try to remind her that my life, as a mom, is not all ballet recitals and baby snuggles. She reminds me that her life is not all hot blind-dates and sleeping in.

The grass is always greener

This could certainly be the best reminder that, for each other, the grass is always greener. Sometimes, we remind each other of this when we're feeling disconnected. Sometimes, it's a phrase that makes us laugh. But most of all, it keeps us grounded as best friends who are living very different lives. I try to remind her that my life, as a mom, is not all ballet recitals and baby snuggles. She reminds me that her life is not all hot blind-dates and sleeping in.

The next 20 years together

The best thing that Lauren and I do for our friendship is to feed it with time for each other. I'm thankful for unlimited long-distance minutes for long chats that are often filled with both tears and laughter, short and cheap flights for in-person visits (and for my husband who watches the kids while I go!), and a connection that picks up right where it left off the last time we were together. I can't wait for the day when Lauren does have a family of her own, so that I can be the person to her kids that she has been to mine over the past eight years (she's lovingly known as Auntie Lo in our home) and the support to her, as a new mom, that she has been to me.

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