With the hustle of everyday family life, it's easy to feel too busy to fit in time with girlfriends, or feel guilty when you do. The reality is, you and your kids both reap the benefits when you put friendships higher on the priority list.

What your friendships teach your children

If you feel guilty when you leave the house to have time alone with girlfriends, consider the lessons that your kids learn from your friendships. When you surround yourself with good friends and make time for them in your otherwise busy life, you're actually teaching your children some very valuable lessons. You're helping them learn the art of loyalty, to see the power of supportive relationships and you're showing them that friendships are worth the extra time and effort.

Make it mandatory

Don't let time with friends slide off your to-do list or keep bumping it to squeeze one more thing in. One way to stay on track is to keep a regularly-scheduled appointment with your girlfriends. Even if you start once a month, find a day that works for everyone and dedicate that time for just you and friends. Once that date in penciled in, stick to it — just like you would a business meeting or a doctor's appointment. You owe it to your friends and to yourself.

Make it work

You may not have infinite time to devote to your girlfriends, but there are always ways to find time:

  • Social media won't substitute for an hour-long catch-up or an in-person meet-up.
    Don't let too much time get in the way: Sometimes, a quick check-in is all it takes to let a friend know how much you value them. Shoot them a text and let them know you're thinking of them or post throwback photo of you guys together on Facebook and tag them in it with a sweet note. Social media won't substitute for an hour-long catch-up or an in-person meet-up, but it's a great way to make sure they know you'll always find time to acknowledge their friendship.
  • Don't let excuses get in the way: If childcare is an issue, try sharing a sitter. If budget is a concern, hit the beach or go for a hike. If the kids' schedules get in the way, get up early and go for a walk or meet for coffee. Moms are so great at making everything else work, for everyone else. It's time to make finding time for friends work for you!

Make it about you

Being a mom often comes with a built-in social club of acquaintances, but you need to go beyond playdates. While you might engage with other moms over soccer practice, or swap stories during playdates or preschool pick-ups, set aside some grown-up-only time with your girlfriends. You need to be able to speak what's on your mind, vent over kids and relationships and just be able to be yourself... without worrying about watching after someone else. Plus, having an opportunity to check out from mom-duty, or blow off some steam with friends, is a great way to recharge your batteries so you can tackle mommyhood from a fresh perspective once you get back home.

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