Parenting is hard, there’s no two ways about it. From prioritizing your kids’ needs to the lack of sleep to the pressures of balancing family time with work, it’s understandable to feel the strain every now and again. To make matters harder, the early years of parenting are often when people find their social connections weakening, as they can’t dedicate enough time to friendships. If you’re in this position, don’t worry – there are ways to maintain a good connection with friends. Read on to discover the three key tips.
Make Use of Social Media
Everyone knows that online connections aren’t the same as those in real life, but when family commitments and distance make it impossible to meet up in real life regularly, do check in on friends via social media. Speaking, preferably on a video call, is better than liking one of their posts, but any engagement will show that you’re still there and willing to pursue a friendship.
Schedule a Trip
If you’re living with a partner, make a pact – once a year, both of you get to go away separately with your friends. Meeting up even once a year for more than a hurried coffee will keep the friendship strong, signal that you care, and give you a break from family life. It doesn’t have to be the road trip of a lifetime, you could all check into a local spa and enjoy a day there. The point is, to make sure you take some time out for yourself to maintain your friendships.
Long Term Goals
Although it can feel a way off when you’re in the thick of it, the really intense parenting period only lasts for a few years. By the time your kid starts school, you should have a little more flexibility to meet people and spend time with friends. By the time your kid starts high school, they will be more independent (and interested in pursuing their own friendships), giving you a chance to catch up with people over the weekend and take more trips away.