We ended up all deciding to go to McDonald's for lunch. It was a madhouse (we'd forgotten school was out for the day), but we still had a great time. Somehow in between the hassles of feeding five kids (and ourselves), making sure little ones didn't wander off, dealing with potty times and diaper changing, and supervising time on the playscape, K and I managed to have some meaningful conversation.
She brought up how hard it can be for a busy mom to keep up relationships outside her family. (We're both lucky enough to have families that we like--we want most of our time to be spent with them!) We both agreed--we're in a season of our lives that just makes it hard to spend a lot of time with friends. And that's okay. The best type of friendship for a busy mom with young children to have is a low-maintenance friendship--one that can make the best of whatever time is spent together.
Now, I'll admit at times I've used the "low-maintenance friendship" thing as an excuse to be a hermit. That's not what I want. My girlfriends are important to me! But my most rewarding friendships are the ones in which...
- Expectations are reasonable.
- Playdates can be canceled at the last minute due to sick kids or frazzled mommies, and neither party takes it personally.
- Phone calls can be interrupted a dozen times by the kids, and that's understood.
- We make a point to get together even if it's very occasionally.
- We both enjoy the time we do spend together, and we try not to feel guilty that we don't see each other more often.