My work-life juggle casualty: Time with friends

Categories: Balancing Act, Your life


If I think about things that make me truly happy, spending time with friends is right near the top of the list. And yet, it’s one of the things that consistently gets squeezed out of the otherwise insane work-family-stuff-I-have-to-do schedule. Every time I catch up with a friend I reminder myself to make that a priority, and yet, it’s still a challenge.

All of my friends have busy lives of their own so it’s understandable that it’s tough to align two (or more) schedules and find time to hang out together. It’s definitely not for lack of trying: I have strings of text messages and emails with friends where we’re attempting to get together only to be derailed by a work meeting, almost-forgotten playdate, a business trip, or something else. Still, this doesn’t help the fact that I love spending time with friends and I have too little of it to spend with them.

Thinking about it, I realized there were a few somewhat creative things I’ve done recently to make more time:

  • Joint errand running. OK, so this is much less fun than say getting dinner at one of our favorite places, but a friend and I recently spent a few hours running errands together. We stopped for some frozen yogurt in between and had time to catch up walking around and in the car.
  • Post-bedtime quick drink. Going out to dinner at 9pm on a weeknight is a no-go, but my friend and I recently decided to go grab a quick drink after we put our kids to bed (with both of our husbands staying home with the kiddos). It was just an hour or so but completely worth it.
  • Business catch up & playdate. One of my friends just started a new job and wanted to talk about a few work-related things. We could find no time to meet during the week and didn’t want to take time away from being with our kids on the weekends. So he came over with his daughter, who had quite a nice time playing with mine, while he and I caught up on all stuff work-related.

What about you: Are you able to make enough time to spend with friends? Do you have any creative ideas to share to make it work more often for the rest of us trying to juggle a million things? Please share!

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4 comments so far...

  • I am a horrible friend. I rarely get together with my friends so I am anxious to hear everyone’s suggestions. I live 30-45 minutes from work which means I also live 30-45 minutes away from the many friends I’ve made through work. They are often reluctant to travel so far with kids and I feel like I spend enough time in the car going to and from work that I’m less than excited about making the same trip AGAIN to see friends. Most of the moms in my neighborhood stay home with their kids and they are all very close with lots of shared history that I’m not a part of. Any suggestions that help me connect with my distant friends or become better acquainted with my neighbors will be greatly appreciated!

    Molly  |  March 24th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

  • My,friend andmi schedule our hair color/cut together at a stylist with an in home salon. Every five weeks we catch up while beautifying….bestnkind of multi tasking.

    Sheilah  |  March 24th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

  • These are great ideas. So often when we visit with friends, we visit with friends and kids. Needless to say, child ‘interuptitis’ as my friend calls it, prevents any real visiting or catching up. I’ll have to give some of these ideas a try. Thanks for sharing.

    AverageWorkingMom  |  March 29th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

  • One day a week I go into work early and leave early. On that day (Tuesdays), I have standing workout date with 2 of my friends. I come home change clothes, leave the kids with hubby, grab a sandwich on the way to the workout. For an hour or so we catch up and laugh a lot. We probably do more talking then working out, but it kind of kills 2 birds with one stone and I’m home in time to help put the kids down.

    jugglingmom  |  June 27th, 2012 at 12:13 pm