I’ll admit it. Since having kids, I have put quite a few things on the back burner such as having a clean house, washing my hair every day, laundry…the list can go on and on. The one thing that I am the least proud of neglecting? My friendships. I had two small kids that made it nearly impossible to have a phone conversation, I would often get distracted and forgot to text people back, and some days between trying to balance it all, I would just rather spend the little free time I had to myself and not have to engage with anyone else. Now that my kids are starting to get into that sweet age where they are more independent, I have no more excuses.
For the past year, I have made it a goal of mine to be more intentional in my friendships. I truly value my friendships, but I was not portraying that to my friends. Most of the time I was the one getting the text message conversation starter vs starting the conversation myself. I was the one getting the uplifting messages from my friends vs me uplifting them. I was waiting for them to ask me to get together for a play date or girl’s night vs me asking them. See a pattern here?
One night I was running through my Instagram feed and came across a post of another mom I was following. This mom had just moved with her family halfway across the country and left an amazing group of friends behind. She was struggling with this loss and one day came across a letter that a friend had hidden inside one of her moving boxes. Inside that letter was the sweetest uplifting message that not only brightened her day but mine as well. I was so glad she shared this and I instantly thought to myself, “Now THAT is the kind of friend I want to be!”
Ok, so now what? Being friendly with someone is pretty easy, but being intentional to create and maintain real, authentic friendships does take effort. Here are a few ways I am making progress on my goal:
- Listening – When a friend needs someone to talk to, I try to be there for them. Not just to sit there, but to actually listen and provide support.
- Schedule time to get together whether it is one on one, a play date, or even a double date with the spouses.
- Social Media – If I see a friend post something, I try to like or comment on their post to let them know that they are worth my time to read it and pay attention to them.
- Invite them into your home whether it is for a meal, a backyard bonfire, or just to hang out. What, your house isn’t Pinterest perfect and you worry what they will think? If you are worried, then they might not be the type of friend you are looking for. Take it from me. Going through an entire house renovation for the past six months and STILL inviting people into our home during the mess of construction has been very humbling to say the least 🙂
- If you see a friend that is having a problem or struggling with something, ask if you can help. Also, check in frequently to see how they are doing. Sometimes just letting someone know that you are thinking of them can really brighten their day.
- Show up – Are they having a party or event? Show up. Do they need help taking care of the kids while they run an errand? Show up. Are they having a bad day and need to get out of the house for a few hours? Show up.
- Be vulnerable and open up. Being a friend is give and take. You can’t expect someone else to open up to you if you don’t open up back.
Do you feel that you can be more intentional in your friendships? If so, I challenge you to take a few minutes and call that friend you have been meaning to call back, send a text message to a friend to check in to see how they are doing, or make plans to get together with a friend! True, authentic friendships are worth putting in that extra effort for!