I just had lunch today with a friend I’ve known for six years. We met when our middle child (we both have three kids) was in preschool and she and I have so much in common. We spend many birthday parties together, see each other at church on Sundays, and even go to the same dentist. We both homeschool our kids, share similar family values and backgrounds….you get the picture. She is one of the few people I feel comfortable sharing the “real me” with.

With all of this to our relationship, it wasn’t until two months ago that she and I started meeting for lunch just the two of us. It got me thinking about how frequently as moms we put ourselves last on the priority list, especially when it comes to friendship.

True, the squeaky wheel often gets the grease, and moms are not too squeaky about their needs. But every time I take an hour, maybe two, to meet with a friend and share struggles, joys, and laughter, I leave feeling completely refreshed and full of joy.

I have two daughters in the pre-teen/tween phase of life, and for them, friendships are paramount. My younger daughter will often determine whether her day was good or bad depending on what happened with her friends at school. When asked how school was that day, I’ll often get a “AWFUL!” or a “HORRIBLE!” and it never stems from anything academic. Friends matter as we go through life’s ups and downs and authentic, good friendships take time to cultivate.

As moms, our own friendships are usually limited to seeing one another at drop off and pick up, after school activities, or a Mommy and Me class. While these friendships are wonderful and valuable, it’s important to make time to socialize intentionally with friends. The conversation you can have in five minutes after school is different than the two hour lunch.

If it’s been a while since you met a mom (without kids present) for coffee, lunch, or a drink, send a quick text and make a date. Yes, you have a list of things to do and reasons why you can’t, but that’s exactly why you should.

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