When you're spending a little me time away from your children, don't fall into the trap of talking about them all the time. Put your cell phone pictures away, drop the subject, and tap into your kid-free interests. Your friends will appreciate it and you'll love the chance to unplug from mommy mode.

Here's the scene: You're finally able to get some time for a girl's afternoon with your pals. You're soaking your feet during a pedicure, no one's asking you for anything in a whiny voice and you're... talking about your children. Examine your socializing habits and see if it's time to change the subject.

You're constantly reaching for pictures on your phone

Chances are, your friends genuinely want to see how your kids are growing.

Now that most of us have smartphones, pictures of kids are just a quick reach away. Chances are, your friends genuinely want to see how your kids are growing. They're totally okay with seeing a cute picture of something your kid did recently. However, they don't want a play-by-play slideshow of everything your family did over the past three weeks. Flash a quick picture of your little ones and move on.

You often interrupt a story with one about your kid

If your friend is refinancing her house and that reminds you of a cute potty training story, you may be obsessed with talking about your child. Try to be a good listener when you're with your friends. To be fair, a single friend's woes about dating may not be any more relevant to you than your toddler's picky eating habits are to her. Friendship involves a give and take. There's nothing wrong with talking about the things that are important to you, but try not to monopolize time or constantly divert conversation back to your children.

Remember, it's good for you to unplug from mommyhood

There's nothing wrong with talking about your kids, but it's healthy and okay to unplug from mom mode. As parents, we are constantly balancing instincts and identity. No matter how rational you felt before, being a mom introduces something primitive to your personality. It can be hard to shake it off when it manifests as worrying about your kids when you're not with them or feeling guilty for not thinking about them at all. Let your girlfriends distract you and truly decompress when you have the opportunity.

You can't think of anything else to talk about

Try to cultivate and focus on what you have in common with your gal pals outside of parenting.

"You might talk about your kid too much when your co-workers know your kid's best friend's mother's name," says mom Heiddi Zalamar. We get it. Some aspects of parenting have a way of taking over your brain the way hobbies and obsessions do. Addicted to buying cute cloth diapers? You're far from alone. Hyper focused on where your child's going to school next year? Join the club. The thing is, your friends will probably be patient and attempt to relate, but when it comes down to it that's not the only thing you guys click over. Try to cultivate and focus on what you have in common with your gal pals outside of parenting. Even if they have kids too, you could all use a brief change of pace.

More on friendships

Busy mom's guide to friendships
The sitter swap
Are online friendship's real?

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