Moms, Make Time for Your Friends

My best lessons in friendship came during my loneliest season of friendship.

I’d just gotten married and moved to a place where I only had a handful of connections. As a newlywed in a new city, I started at square one. I got invited to parties, yet I didn’t have deep connections. Every girl I knew already had a best friend, and since many of them grew up together, I felt like an outsider as they shared childhood stories.

After one girl’s night out, I came home and cried to my husband. I told him how I just couldn’t compete with friends who had known each other since birth and taken baths together at two years old. Everyone was kind, but nobody needed me like I needed them.

It took me six months of effort – and accepting every invitation that came my way – to finally get my bearings.

My turning point came when I met Mary Alice, who had just moved back in town. We immediately clicked and became close friends. From that friendship we grew other friendships and expanded our circle. When my husband and I moved away four years later, we were genuinely sad to leave these friends who had become our second family.

Looking back, I realize how my problem was insecurity. I had a void in my heart that longed to be filled with the gift of female connection. Rather than letting it happen naturally, I tried to force it. I was so eager to find my place that I was petrified of making mistakes.

What should have been fun – meeting new people – had me walking on eggshells because I couldn’t let down my guard, relax, and be myself.

Today, I’m thankful for that dry season of friendship. Among other things, I learned:

  • What it feels like to be an outsider – and what a simple invitation (like going on a walk) can mean to a woman who hasn’t found her people yet;
  • How to be proactive and not wait for friendships to magically happen;
  • How loneliness can crop up even if you’re happy in your marriage;
  • How nobody thrives in every season, and that’s okay because dry seasons teach you to be kind and inclusive – and to reflect on what kind of friend you’ve been;
  • How to tell the difference between acquaintances and lifelong friends;
  • Why it’s worth bending over backward for lifelong friends, because they’re hard to find;
  • Why one true friend is worth her weight in gold.

Real friends offer a healthy escape – and recharge our batteries. They make us feel young again and remind us of who we are. They don’t judge us when we have a bad day, and they don’t have expectations like family. They aren’t stuck with us like family, so when they stay despite our shortcomings, it affirms us.

Being loved by a friend helps us love ourselves.

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days, I don’t have the extra time or energy. I have nothing left to give. But life gets harder as we get older, and having strong friendships in place gives us a support system when we need it. It gives us women who will laugh with us, cry with us, and intuitively understand what needs to be said and done.

It’s tempting to postpone your friendships to focus on raising your family, but I encourage you to stay connected. Make little efforts now to keep in touch. Don’t wait until your children are older – or until you have more free time – to nurture your friendships. Chances are you’re in a season where you must be the strong and reliable one, and you need friends for moral support. You need the strength of women who rally for you and help you be the adult.

So think about who you’ve known over time who brought out your best. Who inspires you? Who uplifts you? Who would be on your doorstep in a crisis? Who loved you so deeply in the past that the bond is still there?

Whoever these friends are, reach out and reconnect. Invest in these relationships. You don’t want to look back in 20 years and realize you gave your best efforts to short-term friends and acquaintances. You don’t want to settle for pleasant relationships when rich relationships are in reach.

My best lessons in friendship came during my loneliest season of friendship. So if you’re facing a lonely season, know it’s not a waste. God can use it to grow you and make you a better friend. Embrace your favorite friends from the past, but leave room for new friends too. Sometimes, the best friendships of all are the ones you’ve yet to make, the surprise friends still to come.


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My new book for girl moms AND boy moms is coming soon! More Than a Mom: How Prioritizing Your Wellness Helps You (and Your Family) Thrive, will release April 5 and is the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Pre-order now to get the lowest price between now and April 5 and amazing pre-order incentives. If you love audiobooks, you can pre-order on Audible, where I am the narrator!

My other bestselling books, Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter , 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked, have been used widely across the U.S. for group studies.

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Posted by Kari on March 20, 2022

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