"What do you want to do this weekend?" my husband asked.
Without thinking, I said, "I want to find some friends."
Our family relocated from Ohio to Colorado about a year and a half ago, and although the move has gone relatively smoothly, I'm lonely. As a working mother, I find myself surrounded by people practically every minute of every day — so why am I longing for a friend?
If you're a mom who's working outside the home, life pulls you in many different directions. Most of your time away from work is devoted to helping your kids with homework, cooking meals, carpooling and doing laundry. You even find time to work on your marriage, spend time with the Lord, floss your teeth and cram in a few workouts each week. But your hectic schedule may mean there is no time for friendship. Chatting over lunch, playing on a tennis league or even joining a Bible study is a luxury that few working moms can afford. But God created women to thrive on relationships.
Sadly, most of our relationships as working moms are goal-oriented rather than connection-oriented. In other words, although I talk to 20 or 30 people a day, most of those conversations center on projects and problems. Even my conversations with my husband often have to do with the budget, our schedules and what we're having for dinner. I work with plenty of interesting women with whom I'd love to be friends, but our interactions seldom stray from what needs to get done at the office. Rightfully so, we don't approach our work relationship with the intention of getting to really know each other.
As a working mom, perhaps what you most need and desire is a safe place to share, to laugh and to be yourself. Every woman needs friendships in which she is valued not by what she contributes but simply for who she is.
Friendship is not a luxury; it's a necessity. So think of a woman you've been longing to get to know better and invite her for coffee. Reach out to that mom you've met on the bleachers or contact that woman you pass in the car-pool line. Pick up the phone and reconnect with that life-long friend you've been missing. The effort you make will not go unnoticed because, deep down, all moms know: We need each other.
This article first appeared in the July/August, 2010 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Focus on the Family. ThrivingFamily.com.
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