1. Playdates (for the littles and for you!)
Nothing quite says a parenting win than when both the mamas and the littles are happy. Setting up a regular playdate with a girlfriend is the best way to catch up on the latest news, kick your feet up and truly connect. Regardless of whether the kids are the same age or gender, bring them along! You’d be surprised how much a big kid can have fun with a little one if you give them some ideas to get them started. Putting on a play complete with costumes? Setting up the “world’s longest domino track”? Or simply set out a big bucket of craft supplies. They’ll be giggling and you’ll be gabbing — everyone will benefit.
It’s all about 2-for-1’s when you’re a mama. Multitasking has become our middle name as we discover ways to complete two tasks in the same time that it would normally take to do one. Instead of meeting a girlfriend for a drink, why not throw a little bit of self-care into the mix and get you nails done while you chat. Another favorite is flexing the body (and the body!) while breaking a sweat at the gym or getting zen at a yoga class.
Obviously, heymama events are the perfect way to connect with mamas in your crew and meet new women who are doing amazing things, but mixing things up and bringing a friend to any kind of event is a fun way to hang out and learn something new along the way. Whether you go to a panel discussion with leaders in your industry, a reading at a local bookstore or check out a speaker at a venue like the 92nd Street Y, you’re bound to walk away with something new to talk about from your shared experience.
4. Pull Out Your Calendar
Being the best friend you can be all starts with making time for those you hold dear and holding yourself accountable. Whether you’re an old-fashioned girl who prefers taking pen to paper in a planner or prefer a digital calendar that sends notifications to your phone, carve out time for a meet-up with your friend as you would a business meeting or date night with the hubby — even if it’s only for an hour catch-up over lunch. They’ll appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule, and there’s truly nothing like time with a good friend to leave you feeling rejuvenated, happy, loved, and ready to take on the next obstacle — whether it’s a work crisis or a temper tantrum.
Our littles and our business has us running in circles from sun-up to sun-down, but occasionally, we’ll reconnect after being glued to our phones, computers and endless e-mails and take the long way home together. We ditch the personal Übers for a walk together (so retro, right?). Trust us, even a few blocks helps to catch up before we go our separate ways for the night.
Can’t figure out how to fit in time with your mom crew with your crazy schedule? Schedule a double date. These are great ways to enjoy a night out with your mama friends and get to know the special people in their lives. Win-win!
7. Be Thoughtful
It’s the little things that we do for those we care about that touch them most — and these little things can make all the difference in your friendship with a fellow mama. You can do something as simple as sharing an inspiring or interesting article you’ve come across that you think she’d enjoy at 7am to help her get a happy and productive start to her work day. You can also set reminders in your calendar of special events in her life so you don’t forget to reach out to her; send her a cute gift for her (or her mini!) with a note; buy her morning coffee or lunch if you work together. At the very least, being thoughtful means giving your friend your undivided attention when you’re spending time together, especially if she needs an ear when she’s stressed out, which as a mom, you know is pretty common.
As mamas, we’re all too familiar with what we like to call the “Superwoman complex:” We think that we have to have all of our s*** together all the time and need to take on every aspect of our mama and businesswoman lives by ourselves — and that couldn’t be further from the truth. We don’t like to ask for help, but at the end of the day, we’re still human, and sometimes an extra hand is all we need to get ourselves back on track. The next time you see a mama friend, ask how she’s doing and ask if there’s anything you can do to help her. See if she’d like you to watch the kids while she goes on date night with her SO, or if you know that she’s stressed at work, give her a call and lend an ear so she can vent about any built-up tension. A long conversation with a friend during tough times is just like therapy — without the hit to your wallet.
Our motto for maintaining mama friendships is as simple as this: quality over quantity. As successful and ambitious mamas with kiddos we adore and dreams we’re working on accomplishing every day, we’ll always be pressed for time, so having loads of social time might never be part of the bargain. Nevertheless, shared moments with friends are still essential, and even in the smallest doses, are precious times that must be cherished. Make the most of your time with your fellow mamas because these relationships will adding meaning, comfort, and love to your own and each other’s journeys!
What do you do to support and care for the mamas in your crew? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below!