Let’s talk about some more of those important people that we love: our friends. It is Galentine’s Day, after all.
I recently tried to schedule lunch with a friend of mine after realizing I hadn’t seen her sans either of our kids/husbands in several months. Would you believe it took us three different attempts to get something on the calendar?
Having friends as an adult is hard but maintaining those friendships is even harder. The indomitable Leslie Knope of Parks and Rec has the right idea when she schedules a day to to celebrate the female friendships in her life. Galentine’s Day is celebrated every February 13. The celebration is a way for Knope to show love to those friends that she holds dear.
Of course, Leslie Knope is a fictional character and I can’t help but note she did not have children…or a spouse, when she first introduced Galentine’s Day. So, how are the rest of us busy moms and partners going to find a way to to carve out a little time to show love to our friends?
I don’t know how many months have gone by since I’ve had an uninterrupted time to chat with my above-mentioned friend. I knew if we didn’t finally get something on the calendar it may be several more months before we spent any time together. Even though it took a few tries (at one point we joked we should check our availability in 2021), we did manage to schedule brunch for next week. Proactively carving out time on your calendar is one way you can show some love to your friendships. Even if you don’t have time for lunch or even coffee, put a date on your calendar to call one of your friends. They’ll love hearing from you and good conversations only deepen friendships.
2. Utilize technology.
We know sometimes it is several weeks/months/years before we connect in person with friends. Enter technology. Stay connected by texting. Texting is a mom’s best friend. We may not have a ton of time for a full-fledged conversation but we can manage to fire off a text. On the flip side we can answer when we have a second (but don’t you dare leave us on “read” - we see you!), and before you know it you’ve “talked” to a friend several times throughout the day. Just don’t let it replace the occasional real thing.
3. Plan a weekend away,
One of my friends reserves a weekend in May every year as her weekend away with friends. She puts it on the family calendar months in advance. This weekend is filled with good food, good drinks, and relaxing pool side. She comes back refreshed and more connected to the friends with whom she spent the weekend. Having an extended period of time to spend with friends leads to a chance for deeper conversations and a chance to have experiences that develop your bonds with each other. I know you are reading this saying, how would I ever get away for a whole weekend? Well, all I can tell you is that my friend that does this has 4 kids and she somehow makes it happen. You can, too!
4, Show up.
Everyone I know is busy and seems to be juggling a thousand things. It can be easy to forget those just outside the vision of our daily grind. But, if a friend calls you and tells you she’s in the midst of a bad breakup, you stop and you listen. You go over to her house with a gallon of her favorite ice cream and a box of Kleenex. If a friend finds out her child has a serious illness you listen and hold her when she cries. If a friend loses her job and isn’t sure how she’s going to pay rent or her mortgage you rally around her by inviting her family to eat dinner at your house for awhile. In the end what matters is not just a few dinners out or a fun weekend away but being there in the hard times along with the easy ones.
So, reach out to some friends this week. Show those friends some love. The time you invest in these friendships will be worth it.