With a headline like that, I’m tempted to leave this post blank.
The truth is, I still cling to a few, tiny shreds of my pre-baby social life. It’s very important for me to connect with others (in addition to my husband, my parents, and my coworkers). Friends are good for belly laughs, honest advice, genuine sympathy, and good ol’ sanity.
But the time … oh, the time. I never appreciated how much time I had to socialize before Cassie came along. I took for granted all those after-work happy hours, last-minute dinners and get-togethers, weekend jaunts to see friends in other cities, even just long phone chats on a weeknight. There were girls’ nights out, movie nights in, date nights, game nights, you name it.
Immediately after Cassie was born, my social butterfly-self went back into the cocoon. All I could do was take care of her–and if I was lucky, myself. A few weeks after, when the hormones settled, I was able to call or email a few people. But go out? No way. Maybe a visitor or two, but even that felt almost like too much.
As the months passed, I returned to work and was sort of forced to emerge from my baby cocoon. But adjusting to the hectic pace of full-time work and a baby at home made socializing seem like a faraway dream. How would I ever be able to maintain friendships? How did anyone do it?
Cassie is 9 1/2 months old now, and amazingly, I have found ways to maintain some semblance of a working mom social life. How, you ask?
- Weekday lunches with friends. These take the place of after-work cocktails (though I plan to do those again someday!)
- Weekend playdates with friends who also have babies. This way, our kids can learn to socialize while we catch up.
- Phone calls on the way to or from work. Yes, I know talking while driving can be dangerous! I only do it when the drive is easy (like on the interstate when it’s not rush hour).
- Invite friends over for dinner. No babysitter required, and once we put Cassie to bed, it’s just like old times!
- Hit the mall or park. Cassie enjoys the view from the stroller while my friend and I chat it up (and/or shop).
- Phone calls and emails during nap time. Sometimes, instead of doing chores around the house, I reconnect with friends while my girl snoozes.
Finally, I make an occasional exception to my rule of spending all possible free time with the baby. I try to spend every second with her when I’m not required to be somewhere else (work). But in the interest of maintaining a social life, sometimes I give up a few hours with her to hang out with friends or have a date with my husband. When I do, I miss her like hell. But it’s keeping Mommy sane, and that’s good for Cassie, too.
How’s your social life? How do you keep up with friends while juggling work and family? Any suggestions for WMAGs like me?
15 thoughts on “Working Mom Social Life”
I’m here for the party. 🙂
I’m a work-from-home mom and can’t figure out a social life either. 😉
I would love to exchange blogroll links with you on my baby boutique blog:
A lot of my visitors would appreciate knowing about a blog to encourage them in this way. 🙂
I’m also having a Spring Fling promotion later this month. You gals might enjoy getting involved. We’ll have FREEBIES! 🙂
I think you’re doing great! Eventually though I thought I’d let you know that the mommy guilt will fade a little. Enough anyway that you can make it out with out husbands, kids, job, or pets…and still have a good time! This usually happens with the first, “You are ruining my life!” temper tantrum.
See…you have something to look forward to!
You know what has made it *so much easier* in the last couple of months? My two-year-old has fallen for her two teen-aged babysitters. She’s so excited that one of them is going to come over, play stickers and glitter glue and read her stories, that she can hardly wait to push Daddy and me out the door.
This from a girl who used to blubber, “But I don’t want Mommy-Daddy go bye-bye. I gonna cry for you!”
Here’s a guilty admission: Sometimes I really can’t wait to get away from my child. Even though I work most days. Sometimes the stress of work makes it hard for me to concentrate with the patience required for a little one. She and I are better off if she can spend some time with Daddy while I go to my “special alone place” (Starbucks) or out to dinner with a couple of writer friends. I maintain my friendships, my sanity, and my good relationship with Little One by making an escape every now and then.
Thanks for dropping by our party Susan.
Thanks for the tips on how you find time to socialize. It’s true, it’s much harder with kids but it doesn’t have to be a thing of the past.
I do most of the things you suggested (but I will take your advice on the weekend playdates with friends who have kids!)
Here’s the only thing I would add: Sometimes I go to a “girls’ night out” with my mommy group or some other friends BUT I do it AFTER the kids are in bed, say around 8:30pm or 9pm. It’s a little late, but the perfect time to grab cocktails or coffee or the 9pm movie and there’s no guilt b/c I’m not missing out on time with my kids since they’re in bed anyway.
works for me!
Great idea for a blog. You need to make t-shirts 🙂
Ok please be sure to drive safe while chatting on the phone!! But, anyway, I do think it’s important that you get some quality time with your friends or hubby without your baby. It’s so hard, especially when you work, cause you want every waking minute to be with them, but after a cocktail and some good food, you’ll be happy you went.
I am the same, I try to spend as much time with my kids as possible when I’m not working.
I unfortunately get leave my office for lunch dates. Stinks!
Sounds like you already have a ton of ways to reconnect with friends. And yes, having friends come over and put the kiddos to bed is the best!
Great blog! I found you guys thru the Party! I’ll be a regular guest visiting often over here gals ;o)
Hello there. Hopped over from 5 Minutes for Mom. Hope you don’t mind the visit, and future ones.
Have a great weekend.
It sounds like you have a good balance.
We go out after the kids are in bed, which is at 8 and have dinner together (then there is not guilt)
or we have people over.
Jason and I rotate nights going out with friends. That is important too.
Your post got me thinking about all my friends I haven’t talked to in a while. It is hard to keep up a social life. I think Jerry and I try to stay in contact with a lot of our friends. But there are always some you end up not seeing or talking to for months. I’m lucky to have a great group of old high school friends. Sometimes we can only get together at least once or twice a year–but when we do, it’s like old times. Everybody understands that we all have busy lives, so there’s no blaming or weirdness of who’s not stayed in contact. Nobody’s guilty.
I cannot tell you how proud I am to say I do most of those things exactly like you. I would say that I could do more play dates. But, we recently found some part-time help and have had some actual dates – novel concept!
There’s some great tips on here on how to maintain friends but I moved to a new town when I was pregnant. I’m on my way to kid #2 (back to back) and still haven’t made connections. I’m a working mom and my husband works long odd hours making me default mom duty. My office is small and filled with people my age but they are all no kids, free to make last minute plans. My husband has been able to find friends through work but their significant others have their own groups of friends, making me the odd man out, especially when their social activities including going out, golfing or hunting. I continue to feel trapped and don’t know what to do to meet people. What suggestions do you have?
Erin, totally get you on this! I’m military so we move all the time and I work in a completely male-dominated field. As an officer, I can’t really socialize with anyone at work other than professionally. It is SO hard to make friends as a working mom. I tried to join an evening Bible study at our church, but they cancelled that due to lack of interest… It’s great that your husband is so social (mine is an introvert and has no friends at all) – maybe even though his friends’ spouses are already established, you can offer an evening get together with all the kids and parents (or a birthday party for the kiddos?) and just kinda ease into that social group at least peripherally? Good luck!