I’ve been super busy with work the past few weeks.
It is nearly impossible to have a social phone call with my daughter in the room.
How are these two things related?
They both relate to the feeling that I must fit everything I want to get done during the day into nap time, including FaceTime calls with my friends in San Diego. Since I’ve had more work projects than usual on my plate the past few weeks, I’ve needed more hours than our part-time nanny provides and nap times have become uber important (ha, who are we kidding, nap times are always uber important).
But because of that I have continually pushed back call dates with my two closest friends in San Diego for the past few weeks because I feel too pulled in a million different directions.
Since so much of my day is centered around Lulu and my evenings around Tom and Lulu, I think it’s appealing to me to just focus on “my time” when Lulu has her nap: my desire to nap, my work deadlines, my sudden ambition to vacuum the living room because I can’t handle stepping on anymore Cheerios. Part of what makes me “me” are these friendships, though, and I’m definitely a happier person when I have strong friendships with women who get me and I them – and when I hang out with them (in person or virtually), but then feel guilty for carving out “fun time” when I should probably be cleaning up Cheerios from under the kitchen table or pitching writing ideas to publications.
Strong Long Distance Friendships Only Need Minutes…and Sometimes Longer
We all know we should find a work/family balance, but friendships also need to be prioritized after becoming a mom, including the ones that might take a bit of extra work because they aren’t geographically close.
What I need to start doing – and tell my dear San Diego friends to do – is to text, “hey, life is actually not too chaotic right now, I’ve got 10 minutes? How about you?” It still might take a few tries to get our chaos in sync, but at least we’ll be making the effort. And once every month or two we should still do a long call.
When texting back and forth a few weeks ago about setting up a call time, my friend J said “I’ll have the coffee ready. :)” Like we were just two friends going to a coffee shop to chat. Which is something that should be so simple, but is so not easy (or even possible) these days that it made me feel so happy and carefree when she said that. That’s right, video chat apps let us have virtual coffee dates now. I can still do that with them. If I don’t keep pushing back those “coffee dates” because I feel I need to be productive. (Remember, friendships = happiness = productiveness = yay!)
No more pushing back. The long distance and long-term connections are too important not to maintain.
So I’m putting myself under a new deadline – of making and sticking to phone dates with friends – plus doing some impromptu ones.
Because so what if we talk while my daughter is running around and trying to grab the iPad out of my hand or monopolizes the screen? That is my life now. I mean, if I can’t hang out with my friends in person they should at least be privy to the chaos of my household over technology, right? (Lucky them.)
Here are my top 8 reasons why I think it is especially important to prioritize these old, long-distance friendships after you become a mom and life feels chaotically busy.
- They’ll remind you what life was like when you were young, care-free and clubbing every weekend. You may not want to go back to those days, but they sure are fun to remember. You were so exciting once!
- They won’t judge you if you say something stupid, which often happens these days cause you’re so sleep deprived.
- They know your entire life story so you can talk shorthand when you tell stories and they’ll likely catch on to what you’re talking about with minimal detail. Also good for a sleep deprived state.
- They understand why a new work/home/life project is so important to you because they were there cheering you on the entire time you were building your career/home/life so they’ll ask thoughtful questions about it – giving you an opportunity to discuss this aspect of your life you might not have otherwise.
- They’ll tell you you’re doing an awesome job at being a mom and balancing everything – and you know they mean it.
- You know they have your back…and will get off the phone remembering that and feeling ready to conquer the world again for another few weeks. (Who needs sleep? You have friends!)
- They will make you smile and laugh. And if you happen to cry over something (because we all have those days we need to emote) they will know all the right things to say to get you feeling better.
- You get to hear about what’s new in their lives, which is awesome because you miss them! (Just try not to get jealous about any new friends….)
How do you best keep in touch with old friends you don’t live by anymore?