While being a mom is my most favourite job, it is without question also the toughest. I can’t clock out after working eight hours. I certainly can’t call in sick when I’ve come down with the flu. Raising children is an ongoing job that requires the most patience you’ll ever exude every single day. Being a parent also requires the highest level of kindness and thought you’ll ever put into the most miniscule of tasks that you’ll repeat every single day. While many of us expected certain things prior to becoming a mother, there are many curve balls that get thrown our way on the regular. Such as learning when to use just the right voice – and not “mommy’s mean voice” – to politely ask your three-year-old for the one hundredth time to put their shoes on. All while maintaining the right amount of distance to display your trust in their ability to do so even though it’s going to take a solid ten minutes and there might be a few tears shed along the way. But, hey, this week your pre-schooler is set on doing everything without your help so you smile and oblige. Yes, the struggle definitely is real.

Another curve ball that will throw many of us for a loop is the fine art of learning how to balance the responsibilities of being a mom while simultaneously balancing the wants and needs you had (and still have), long before you were a mom. You know, simple things like enjoying a real conversation with another adult who can form full sentences. Yes, baby babble is cute – just not when that’s your only source of communication for hours on end! Although I love my children as much as the next mother, I am not ashamed to say that I need a break from them every now and then. Time away from my mom duties with other mom friends, who are also in need of a break, is good for our well-being. And, it’s certainly nothing to waste too much time feeling guilty over! It’s important to remind ourselves that taking a break from our “mom role” does not mean we’re a bad mom. Rather, having a close group of mom friends who can relate to what we’re going through will definitely aid in the preservation of our sanity… Especially during those tricky first few eighteen years!

Parenthood can be isolating at times. The first couple of years after having a baby can feel like your entire life is wrapped around your little one’s sleep and eating schedule. Have a few more kids and a decade later you’ll look back in awe at how you ever managed to get anything done!  And while it might seem like you’re jumping hurdles to try and carve out time just to shower some days, I would encourage you to make a real effort at maintaining relationships with women you’ve grown up with. Or, taking time to build relationships with new mommies you’ve met more recently. Think you’re too busy? The truth is we all are. Maintaining friendships takes time and effort but the payoff is so worth it. Quality fellow mom friends are hard to come by and important to hold on to.

Take time to schedule “Mom Dates” at a frequency that is comfortable for you and your friends. Whether that’s every other week, monthly, or even once every 2-3 months. Write it in your calendar somewhere between your kid’s soccer practices and swimming lessons – it truly is equally as important as those commitments. Let your spouse know when you’ll need the afternoon or evening off. Or, schedule a babysitter for a few hours. Make the effort to have quality time with your mom friends. You’ll likely feel refreshed when you get back to your kids, and more present when you return to “mom role.”

What do you and your mom friends enjoy doing when you get together? Let us know in the comments below!