When you have a plan for your day, you will feel so much better. Even if you don’t exactly follow it, when you have a few unexpected minutes, you will know what to do.
Do you ever find yourself with spare time? As a mom, you know these moments are rare. The very occasional times it happens, it’s easy to fritter it away on social media and other pursuits leaving you feeling like you wasted your time.
Planning out your spare moments will enable you to be more productive throughout your day.
You don’t need to be super-organized. It’s not essential to write everything down or schedule your day to the minute or even the hour.
Figure out what time you have
Start by thinking of chunks of time you have, even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes. Some examples might be:
Waking up earlier than everyone in your house
Waiting in the car pickup line at school
After the kids go to bed
During nap time
Maybe you find yourself with an extra 20 minutes in the mornings now that your kids are making their own lunches.
Perhaps your husband decides to take your kids to lunch and a movie, and you find yourself home alone for a few hours.
Maybe you work on your blog or work from home and your time to work on it is when your kids nap — if you can be so lucky.
What to do with that time?!
So many times, we use and waste our precious time trying to figure out exactly what to do.
Oftentimes, we end up using and wasting all that glorious time just trying to figure out something to do. We might start and stop many different tasks.
We are surprised when that 15-20 minutes or hour or two hours is over. It’s a terrible feeling when we don’t feel like we used that time wisely.
Remember, when you have a plan for your day, you can maximize unexpected spare moments.
Your most productive times
Think about your most productive times.
For many of us, that’s in the morning. Maybe you aren’t an early riser and appreciate any sleep you can manage. So for you, your productive time may be after your kids get on the bus or after you drop them off at school.
For others, it might be after everyone goes to sleep and the house is quiet.
Know your most productive times where you can get work and more difficult tasks done without distractions.
Use your least productive times, like when you are tired, for things like Facebook and other social media.
Chores and other obligations
When you have a free 10 minutes, it’s really easy to go room to room, trying to figure out something to do. But often, the kids are playing online, and you’ve already made dinner. What to do?
Have a plan for chores that take just a few minutes, five minutes, or 10 minutes.
Chores are great things to do when your kids are around because you won’t mind if you are interrupted. Really, who wants to clean?
Can you quickly wipe down the floors in your kitchen? Can you throw in a load of laundry? With five minutes, you can wipe down the bathroom, dust, or sort through mail.
Whip out the vacuum when you’ve got a little bit longer.
Paying bills, working from home, etc.
You want to plan for more involved tasks when your kids are occupied or at school. You don’t want to be distracted and take out your frustration on them.
Waiting in the pickup line at school
Some parents pick up their kids from school everyday.
Assuming there are 180 school days, if you wait in the car pick up line for 10 minutes a day, that’s 1,800 minutes.
That’s 30 hours in a school year you will be just sitting there!
What can you do with that time? What’s your plan?
Can this be your Facebook time? Maybe this is a time to read. Can you do bills, make a meal plan, write out a shopping and grocery list? You can even use this time to plan your day and week. According to timemanangementninja.com, 30 minutes of planning saves you exponentially more time.
Perhaps you want to simply close your eyes and center yourself for a few moments.
Planning spare minutes
There are many minutes each week that are like this. They are unaccounted for. While they seem insignificant, over time, they really add up.
Some people have great success planning their day the night before. Others think of generalized things they need to do.
A great system is to have a sheet of paper. Make separate headings for tasks you can complete in 5 minutes or less, 10 minutes or less, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and one hour. As you think of things you need to do, log them in one of these sections.
In this way, when you find yourself sitting in front of the computer and have 10 uninterrupted minutes, you will know what you can do and be that much more productive.
Log your to-do’s in one place
Too often, we log our shopping lists, to do’s, and other reminders in notebooks, scrap pieces of paper, our daily calendar, notes on the back of a receipt, in our phones and on the computer.
We have multiple lists in many different places.
It’s human nature to write or type things down when we think of them — so we don’t forget. But it’s important to have some type of system for this.
The best tip is to log your to-do’s and make your lists in one place.
Of course, once you find out the system that works best for you, it might not always be practical. So throughout your day, when you’re on the go, you can type them out in your phone or write them in a small notebook you carry around.
Then later transfer them to a notebook or calendar each evening. No matter what, the goal is to have one master list, in one place.
There’s nothing more stressful than having notebooks, scrap pieces of paper, notes on your phone and on the computer.
It just adds to the chaos and stress and takes away from our productivity.
Plan for spare moments
Moms have endless tasks. It’s usually very difficult to get ahead with something in our lives.
Usually, we are doing all we can to keep up. In the meantime, we just keep crossing stuff off our to-do lists.
Have a plan for your day or some idea of what you can do when you find yourself with unexpected spare minutes. You will feel better in control of your time, be more accomplished and productive, feel more rested, and will likely be happier at the end of the week.
There are so many reasons to get involved at your child’s school. You will be volunteering your time but you will be the one who will reap the most rewards.
In whatever time constraints you have, chances are, there is something in the school you can help with.
Due to moving, we’ve been in five different elementary schools, in four districts. They were all very different in the kind of help they wanted and needed.
No matter what, you can get involved if you want to. Many times, there are volunteer jobs you can do from home, which helps when you work full time.
Reasons to get involved at your child’s school
When our kids are young, it’s a lot easier to make friends with other parents.
As they age out of play dates and life gets busier, it’s more difficult to make friends.
Everyone is over-committed and scheduled. And if you are new to a school, it’s even more of a challenge.
However, when you volunteer at your child’s school, you will tend to see the same people repeatedly. There are certain volunteers who step up, and they tend to do more than one thing.
No matter what your child’s grade, you will get to know parents as you work side-by-side at Jog-a-thons, bake sales, and planning fall festivals.
You know what’s going on
The parents and guardians who volunteer tend to know more about what’s going on at school.
Be a part of something bigger
If you are a stay-at-home parent with little ones, sometimes it’s monotonous.
Sure, it’s great, but at times it’s mundane.
When you volunteer at your child’s school, or anywhere, you are contributing to the greater good. And you get out of your own mind.
You can come back home refreshed and ready to handle your routines.
Get to observe the students
Whether you help in the classroom, shelve books at the library, or help at a school event, you will get to see your child’s classmates and students in other grades.
You will relate better to your child’s stories about these children. And likely, will will start to form some opinions yourself.
Teachers and staff get to know you
Teachers don’t always have time to reach out to you via email, but you may get to hear something nice your son or daughter did, etc., just because you are there.
They are also likely to view you as a proactive, involved parent.
Students get to know you
Not only will the faculty get to know you, but the students will too. You will be charmed by the smiles and hellos you get.
Connect with other parents
Even if you don’t become fast friends, when you volunteer at your child’s school you gain the opportunity to talk to other adults.
Especially for stay-at-home-parents, this can be really satisfying and more real than interacting on Facebook and other social media.
Sure, you won’t love everyone, but you will have the chance to gravitate toward the moms and parents you do like.
Revive your skills and learn new ones
Often, parents leave the workforce after having children.
Volunteering at your child’s school is a great way to get back in a professional capacity, renewing skills, learning new ones, and taking on responsibility.
Make your kids proud
Your children will see how much you care about their school experience, and they will love seeing you.
Set a great example for your kids and let them see you in action. Kids see us at the Parent At Home.
Volunteering at their school is an awesome opportunity to let them see you shine in other ways.
How to help at school
Some teachers want parents in the classroom, even in the older grades. Others may try to accommodate kindergarten parents by letting them help with stations but nothing else.
However, most teachers don’t ask for any help in the classroom.
There are many reasons for this, but one is teachers need to focus on their students, not on the parents.
Whether or not you are actually in your child’s classroom really doesn’t matter. It’s often better not to be so your child has a chance to learn to be without you.
Assist teacher as needed
In these cases, you can offer your help to your child’s teacher by being behind the scenes. You can offer your services to makes copies and/or assist the teacher in any way he or she needs. Maybe you help out on a special activity day or class project.
You can always volunteer to be a room parent. In this role, you can help the teacher with specific things he or she needs but likely won’t be interacting with the students.
Oftentimes, the room parent role can be done from home.
If your child’s main teacher doesn’t want any help, which is often the case, there are still ways to help at school. You can reach out to the specials’ teachers.
The librarian often will welcome your help shelving books. In one of our schools, this was the only way I helped at school. My kids had a class in the library once a week.
A few times a month, I would sign up to help during my kids’ library times. I would put away dozens of books while being able to observe my child’s library time.
It was surprising to me how many students would come up to me to ask for help finding books. It was great to be able to help the kids and get to know them a little bit.
Perhaps the school librarian will identify some emerging readers you can read to.
Some librarians may ask for your help with the Scholastic Book Fair if the school has one. At the end of the school year, school librarians often inventory the books. These are great ways to help as well.
PE is often an area that parents don’t think about. Sometimes, the PE teacher may welcome help. He or she is usually the person who organizes a school-wide Field Day. Perhaps you can help with that.
Other times, they may be the one to organize the school walk-a-thon or jog-a-thon. Chances are, the PE teacher will need help counting and logging laps.
Like with all teachers, you can always put it out there that you are available, and when something comes up, they may contact you.
If your child is lucky enough to still have art in school, that’s great. It’s a program that often cut. Find out if there is any way the art teacher could use your help. Like with PE and the Librarian, the specials’ teachers typically see every student in the entire school.
The art teacher may welcome you helping in the younger grades, especially if they are working with a new medium or doing a more involved or messy project.
Parent Teacher Group
The school’s Parent Teacher Group (PTG) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) are parent-supported groups which help in several ways at school. Chances are, your child’s school has one of these volunteer organizations which includes all the parents/guardians and faculty.
The organization is responsible for fundraising; supporting the teachers and faculty; organizing events to create a sense of community; and bridging the gap between school and families.
The school’s PTG or PTO likely can use your help. There are so many volunteer opportunities, from one-time commitments to more frequent jobs.
Volunteering at school from home
There are opportunities to help from home, to send emails, apply for grants, order supplies for events, and more. You can even clip, count, and mail in Box Tops to raise money.
Helping with school events and fundraisers
If you enjoy events, chances are there is a school-wide social event fundraiser such as a fall festival, spring carnival, father-daughter dance, mother-son event, BINGO night, silent auction, etc.
You can chair or co-chair one of these events; volunteer to bring snacks or whatever they need; help set up or clean up after the event; and/or volunteer at the event itself.
Go to the PTG meeting
There are likely to be Parent Teacher Group (PTG), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Student Group (PTSG) meetings.
These are typically monthly but some schools have them every other month or even quarterly. Attending a PTG meeting is a great place to learn more about what is happening at your child’s school.
While it may be intimating to attend a meeting for the first time, everyone will be likely be happy you are there. Even if you just want to observe and can’t commit to helping, you will be welcome.
PTG meetings and PTO meetings are not about cliques or a select group. They are for everyone and anyone who wants to know more about what’s going on at the school.
Some PTG meetings are on weekday evenings and some may be during the morning after drop off or toward the end of a school day. They try to accommodate parents’ busy schedules but realize that everyone is busy.
Know it’s impossible to pick the perfect time that works for everyone. The PTO board members who plan the meetings are working around their busy schedules as well. As volunteers, they are doing their best to get other volunteers involved.
Often the principal and faculty members are there to represent administration and the teachers. You will learn a lot at these meetings.
Whether your school has a PTG, a PTO, PTSG, or a PTA, get involved! In the cases of PTG, PTO, and PTSG, you are automatically members without having to pay any fees or do anything!
Check if your school fundraising PTA charges dues for membership.
And remember, while it seems everyone “has all this time to volunteer,” that isn’t typically the case.
Many of the most involved parents are the ones who work full time and have busy home schedules as well. Working parents and non-working parents are all welcome.
Know that you do not have to attend a PTG or PTO meeting in order to volunteer at your child’s school.
Ways PTGs can use your help
Planning events at school:
What does your school’s PTO organize? There might be dances, a fall festival, movie nights, silent auction, Bingo, yearbook signing party, talent show, back to school night, carnival, end of the year celebration, and on and on.
You can help with the planning and/or assist with the event itself. No matter how much time you have, events generally have small jobs and larger tasks. You are sure to find something to help with.
Sometimes these events are for community-building; other times they are aimed at fundraising. Often, they are a combination of the two.
There are Box Tops for Education, Scrip gift cards, Amazon Smile, Coke Rewards, and Benefit Mobile, and grocery loyalty codes, and more. Perhaps your school partners with area restaurants for them to give your PTG money as a result of sales for an evening. Someone has to organize and promote all of these.
Maybe you came from a school that had a successful fundraiser that you want to be in charge of at your new school.
Do you have experience or interest in writing grants? Do you want to help with the annual school fundraiser looking for outside sponsors or raffle basket and silent auction items?
Really, there are all sorts of ways to help with fundraising. Even if you are not comfortable asking directly for money, goods or services, there are plenty of ways to be involved.
The PTG or PTO will need a President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary for sure. There are likely to be other positions as well.
Some people might be intimidated to jump right into one of these roles; however, it’s likely everyone will be glad if you volunteer to do one.
Depending on the board terms, many positions are only for one year. There is turnover every year.
Some schools may include other other positions as board positions. However, more likely is the PTO will have committee chairs.
A committee chairperson will hold a position in which you are in charge of something specific. They all involve different levels of volunteer commitment.
Some examples of one-time events include:
Spring carnival, fall festival, sock hop, or other event
Annual fundraising campaign
Other chair positions can be for ongoing roles, such as:
Being in any of these positions doesn’t mean you have to do all of the responsibilities yourself. Moms are busy.
Ultimately, it will be up to you to see everything through to fruition; however, depending on the position, you will likely have other people helping.
Supporting the teachers and staff:
The PTG or PTO may do special meals or snacks for the staff during test days or conferences, or Teacher Appreciation Week.
Bringing new ideas:
Do you have an idea? Bring it to someone on the board or talk about it at the next PTG meeting.
One of our schools started with just a few small events and ways to fundraise, and now has blossomed into many more traditions, thanks to new people who brought new ideas.
Ways to help at school
After school clubs
Maybe you volunteer to help with the school’s student council or other special interest club, like the school newspaper, math club, or yearbook.
No matter what your talents, there is likely a group that would benefit from an adult mentor.
You can offer your assistance to the hard-working office staff. Maybe you can help sort out old files or make and distribute copies.
Does your child see special resource teachers for math, speech, help with reading, or for the school’s gifted program? You can reach out to that person to offer your assistance.
Volunteer at your child’s school
No matter what your interest, time and talents, chances are there will be something you can do to volunteer in some capacity at your child’s school.
You will meet new people and get to help out in any way that suits your interests. There are many ways to volunteer at school as well as helping out from home.
Your kids will be grown way too soon. Embrace this time in your life and volunteer if you can.
Hello, my name is Paula, and my kids have been in more schools than I care to admit. I have tons of experience with moving, being new to schools, making new friends and keeping in touch with ones I no longer get to see every day. I am excellent at adapting to new situations.
Also, I’m exceptionally proud of the good people I am raising. Learn more about me and my contributions to socialmum.com.
With Facebook, there’s always something to make you happy or make you obsess. It affects our mood in many ways, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Think about someone unfriending you and someone not accepting your friend request.
Do you flinch just thinking about these situations? They are the equivalent of an in-person snub. It’s a digital slap in the face.
Someone unfriending you
It’s quite awesome Facebook helps us literally save face by not alerting us when someone unfriends us. Thank you, Facebook.
For all Facebook does to put everything else front and center — measured by the number of Likes and Comments which gives posts higher priority in your Newsfeed — it does spare us this unpleasantness.
Really, it’s bad enough to know we aren’t invited to things and to see everyone looking great and having fun. We don’t also need to be notified we are no longer friends with so-and-so.
For all Facebook does to notify us about every move people make, it spares us the gory details when it comes to unfriending.
You are left on your own to figure it out if and then when you’ve been unfriended. We think this is a very good thing.
For whatever reason, you were once friends on Facebook and now you are not. Someone broke up with you and didn’t even want to have a virtual connection. It’s over.
Whatever you do, don’t ask to be Facebook friends again.
How do you know if someone unfriended you?
When do you figure out you are no longer Facebook friends?
It usually happens when you find yourself thinking you haven’t seen any posts from someone in awhile. So you look him/her up to make sure everything is okay. Bam! You don’t see that person in your list.
Your mind races. You think, “Wait, was I ever Facebook friends with this person?”
Then with dread, you remember, “Yes, I’m sure I was. I even remember seeing….”
And more thoughts, like, “What happened? Is she mad at me? What did I do?”
Now your detective skills come into play…. a little cyber-sleuthing.
You search for her, and you see her name come up, so you know 1.) She’s still on Facebook and 2.) She didn’t block you.
Unfortunately, this makes it worse. Now you realize she’s still on Facebook but has chosen to no longer be Facebook friends.
“When did she do it? Is this recent?”
You know this person has Mutual Friends with you so you click on her name. It’s easy to look at your Mutual Friends to see if any other logical person isn’t there.
Perhaps with dread you realize: Everyone is on there except for me.
And now what? Do you ignore it? Do you go on as usual?
What to do when someone unfriends you
Each situation is different but you want to be sure you don’t embarrass yourself. No sense feeling worse than you do now. This means you probably don’t want to send her a Friend Request and have to deal with her not accepting it. (See below for how this will also unnerve you.)
It’s bothersome. You still are making up excuses. Maybe her account was hacked?
The times people unfriend you are troubling because you are left to wonder why. Then you start wondering who else may have unfriended you.
So you start thinking up other people to check and confirm you are still Facebook friends with them.
Try not to stress about this. Don’t let it make you feel bad.
Don’t even look at how many Facebook friends you have because when you notice the number goes down, you will be left to obsess and try to figure out who it was.
Someone not showing up in a Facebook search
If the person doesn’t show up in the search bar, she either deactivated her Facebook account or blocked you.
If the person deactivated her Facebook account, stop obsessing now.
It’s nothing to take personally and has nothing to do with you. (It’s not as common as unfriending, but still a possibility.)
If she blocked you, that’s adding insult to injury. Not only did she not want to be Facebook friends with you, she doesn’t want you to find her at all on Facebook.
Hopefully, you won’t have to see this person in real life. If you do, go on as usual and don’t bring up the topic of her blocking you on Facebook.
Reasons people unfriend on Facebook
People have their reasons, and if you don’t know the reason, it likely is her problem and not yours.
Many women may do it as a power play and because they are competitive.
We know someone who moved away and unfriended all the friends from that city because she would never see them again. That may seem illogical as that would be the reason you would want to keep them as friends.
She has different Facebook friend criteria than people who want to have a lot of friends on Facebook aka the Facebook Friends Collectors.
There’s another good friend we know who purposely keeps her Facebook friends list very small — less than 30 people.
There’s another friend who unfriended all the local Facebook friends she had. She did it because she instead wanted to have real conversations with them because they were local. She saved her Facebook friends for friends and family who were out of town.
Another situation which makes people feel mortified is someone not accepting your friend request on Facebook.
If it’s a person who is seldom on Facebook, no worries. He or she probably didn’t see it.
But if it’s an active Facebook user, this can be really embarrassing.
It’s hard to remember things aren’t always as they seem, so it’s easy to assume she is ignoring you. This may or may not be the case.
It’s also easy to come up with likely excuses to make yourself feel better.
Someone purposely not accepting a Friend Request
This person may not want to accept your Friend Request for a power play.
Does this person seem like someone who might intentionally ignore your Friend Request to leave you hanging? Some people do this. These are the same people who intentionally withhold Likes.
Others may purposely wait to accept your request, which is another power move.
There may be blasts from your past who don’t want to connect with you. Some people intentionally keep their Facebook friends to a very limited number of people; they don’t want to have hundreds of friends.
So it may not be you, it may be them. But then again, maybe it is you.
There will be some people may never accept your Friend Request. This is especially true if you are new in town or they aren’t quite certain of who you are. Others like to keep their Facebook Friends to true, real friends and family.
Someone not accepting a Friend Request
There are other reasons someone might not accept a Friend Request, especially right away.
The person may not have seen it.
Or she may have seen it but wasn’t in a position to Accept Friend so she didn’t. And then she forgot about it. Once you click on the Notification, it won’t be highlighted again.
The only way for this person to see it is to manually go in and see all the people who have asked her to be friends. The requests/people remain there until you manually Remove Friend Request.
As with someone unfriending you, most likely, you will never know the reasons for someone not accepting your Friend Request. All you can do is hold your head high, try not to obsess about it, and above all, don’t reach out to them again via Facebook.
You certainly don’t want to embarrass yourself further.
What to do when someone doesn’t accept your Friend Request
There’s a fellow mom in my small community who didn’t accept my Friend Request. What to do?
She is someone more entrenched in the social scene than I am. She’s someone who seems to already have her friend group and isn’t seeking new friends.
Still, how hard is it to “Accept” a Friend Request? Especially given we have 15+ Mutual Friends. And we live in a small town where everyone knows everyone.
All the times we’ve seen each other, at the very least, we gave each other a smile and a hello. Oftentimes, more than that.
It was a natural thing for me to reach out via Facebook. It was by no means a reach. (Does this sound like high school?!)
But she didn’t accept the request. It was quite maddening.
I ran into her a few times when my request was lingering out there. It really bugged me she didn’t accept it; she’s active on Facebook. I see her tagged in many Mutual Friend’s posts.
I can’t say anything to anyone about it. My goal is to look like I don’t care.
Instead of letting that Friend Request hang out there — giving her more power if it’s a power play — after about three weeks, I removed my request.
My rational was that if she deleted it by mistake, she could easily send me a new request, but she didn’t.
So now, any time her name pops up as a Friend Suggestion, I remove it.
Whenever I see her, I’m my polite, usual self. But deep down, I know to not engage further.
She knows where to find me if she wants to.
Facebook bringing you down
Facebook is awesome in so many ways. It gives us a way to connect to practically anyone we want to.
There are reasons our emotional highs are tied to how many Likes we get or how congratulatory or complimentary the Comments on our posts are.
But there are many times Facebook isn’t positive or good for us.
At times, we feel like our life isn’t measuring up to everyone else. People post about their perfect families and kids with perfect vacations, meals out, etc. Everyone seems to be living a more interesting life than we are.
What magnifies this is that often we log on Facebook when we are procrastinating. Other times, we’re lonely, anxious, or a bit bored. Sometimes we log on when we only have a few minutes and are already stressed.
We don’t always consciously realize things on social media aren’t always reality. People post their best selves and that’s what we see.
Unfriending and not accepting your friend request
And when it comes to Facebook problems, someone unfriending you and someone not accepting your friend request are among the worst.
For all of the greatness that Facebook brings to our lives, being virtually discarded or ignored are some of the problems that affect us.
Don’t you despise these situations? It’s so awkward. And the worst part about being unfriended or about someone not confirming your friend request is that most of the time, you will never know why.
Most emotions you feel from Facebook posts and comments are private. You can brood and sulk and obsess and wonder alone.
When it comes to someone unfriending you and someone not accepting your friend request, these involve at least one other person. It magnifies your embarrassment. You can only hope others don’t notice it.
It helps to remember, however, is people use Facebook in many ways.
Above all, maintain your dignity. Do whatever you can to look like you don’t care. It’s a good way to save face and (at least appear) to be taking the high road.
My family and I have moved several times. After a few years in a new state and getting settled with housing, school, friends, and routines, we usually end up moving again.
Yet, this never stops me and my children from really trying to make a life wherever we are, even if we know it won’t be our forever home.
When you move with kids, it’s easy to immerse yourself in settling them. You want to help ensure they have a smooth transition.
When your kids are younger, this means you take trips to the park and the pool; you enroll them in activities and classes; and you take walks around the block seeking out neighborhood kids.
You want to help find them some friends, especially in the beginning.
Younger kids tend to live more in the moment. It’s fairly easy to help them want to make new memories and to explore new places.
With older kids, it’s a little more difficult, but still very doable.
Take them to check out some sites in your new area. It’s so easy with the Internet to find some interesting places.
During a summer move, your tweens and teens can enroll in camps for special interests and/or sports. Look to the community college or a nearby university for classes for middle school and high school students.
Your kids are the ones who are “out there” having to figure out a new school with lots of new faces.
When your kiddos are happy, feeling confident and settling in, it makes it much better overall. As your time allows, help them through it.
During this time, you are also most likely setting up your new home, unpacking, finding new doctors and dentists, and learning the stores and everything else that goes along with moving.
Maybe you are even hoping to find a connection and a friendship with a mom as well. You seek out moms and other people who you encounter frequently, trying to see who you will relate to.
All this time, you are in limbo.
You are dealing with all the stress that comes with a move.
You are probably missing a lot things from your former life and all the people you were friends with there. You’re juggling being present in your new location with maintaining ties with friends in your recent city.
All the while, you’re trying to be strong and positive for your kids.
You see your faraway friends on Facebook and feel a little pull at your heart, wishing you were there. You see friend outings and feel left out.
After a few months, you all settle into your routines.
You can’t help compare the different places you’ve lived with where you are now. You will all find you like some things better about where you are and some things better about other places you’ve lived.
It’s pretty cool to have different reference points. But it still hurts to not feel you fully belong where you are.
You will meet so many people. Moms want friends too. Like your kids, you will navigate everyone and gravitate toward the ones you relate to best.
Maybe you connect with a fellow mom on your street or someone you meet while volunteering at school.
You know when you make a mom friend to treasure that friendship.
Perhaps your children play together. You might find a coworker you enjoy spending time with. Maybe you’ve cultivated some mom friends and other friendships in your yoga class or from your place of worship.
Chances are, you’ve bonded with some lovely people.
You share some things in common with them, whether that’s work, or kids, or hobbies, viewpoints or even availability. Maybe you’re not going out for coffee or girls’ nights out, but you have a connection.
Maybe you’ve really lucked out and found lots of women you connect with through a bunco group, fitness class, or a book club.
And then it’s time to move again….
Moving and mom friends
Whether you live somewhere for one year or three or four years, whether you are moving for the military, other work, family, health, or pleasure, when you pack up to move again, it’s natural to think of the friends you’ll want to stay in touch with.
Just as you were able to keep in touch with friends from where you moved from, you will be able to keep in touch with your newfound friends.
Likely, you will have learned a lot with your friendships from the last time you moved.
You may want to do things more intentionally this time.
Some friendships last and some don’t
Usually in the first weeks and months after a move, it’s easy to stay in touch with texts and pictures and little quips about things that connect you.
Sometimes it’s an update on something, and often it’s a simple: Miss you!
You still have lots in common and conversations and concerns to connect you.
Some friendships will stick, especially if you maintain the relationship soon after you move. Even a simple phone call or text every other month.
Know that you’ll have some mom friends that you’ll stay connected to for a few months. Others, years. And some friendships will naturally end.
Why? Often after you move and start the process of getting settled in your new place, the friends that you saw often continue to go on with their lives, and you lose touch.
Unless you make an effort and are really intentional, life gets busy. No one knows that more than you with moving again. Pick one or two or a handful at the most. Make it a goal to try to remain in touch.
You will likely never see or talk to most of your mom friends and acquaintances, except through Facebook and other social media. Oftentimes what connects us is proximity. And that’s okay too.
Post courtesy of Paula. She’s a mother to one elementary-aged student, one in middle school, one high school student, and one who graduated college and is out working in the real world. Her family moves often due to her husband’s work. She is a good friend to the Social Mum(s) and is contributing some stories. We’re thrilled.
There’s something really awesome about summer break. Yes, there’s the loose schedules and less demands. You don’t have to rush in the mornings, make lunches, pester about homework, or drive the kids to endless activities.
There’s quality family time. There’s actually time to play games, bring out crafts, and do puzzles. You can actually relax and just hang out without rushing everyone to the Next Thing.
But there’s something even better: We get a break from the social scene and some of those moms we just don’t love.
Sure, I love being a part of whatever is happening. But during the school year, it’s go – go – go. There’s barely a night a month that’s free. And when you do have one, it’s filled quickly with the “shoulds.”
It’s the chaos and the keeping up with everything and everyone that I need a break from.
During summer, I can disappear from Facebook for weeks at a time. My mind takes a vacation from everyone.”
Baring something tragic, I really don’t want to know what’s going on with everyone. Just as I’m sure my kids need some time to recharge and get away from their friends and peers, I do as well.
Skipping the Social Scene Over Summer Break
In the spring, I envision relaxing weeks of summer and all I hope to accomplish.
In my mind, I’m already planning the guest list and some potential dates for different parties I want to have. Maybe a neighbor bash? That would be good to not have hurt feelings. “You weren’t invited because it was just my neighbors!”
I think of starting a Fourth of July party tradition, just as my parents did for 30+ years.
I want to be that cool house. The party house. The house where kids can just drop in, anytime, and always be welcome. I want to have endless gallons of ice cream and pitchers of lemonade. I want to have a fully-stocked bar for all the parties and moms’ nights I’m planning.
But somehow, it just doesn’t happen. Even though I’ve got entire weekends completely free — zero plans — I can’t get myself to invite some of those families that I really do want to have over.
I watch my kids play Fortnite with their friends — and talking with them through their headsets — and think, “Why do we need to have play dates? This is a play date in itself.”
So I continue to do nothing. I’m not even inclined to extend a group invitation to everyone suggesting we all meet up to go bowling, a movie, or to the trampoline park.
I want to keep my kids to myself…. In our cozy little world with zero outside obligations except for work and summer reading.
Taking a Social Break Over Summer Break
With the new school year just on the horizon, the craziness and chaos will begin soon enough. We will be forced to interact at school functions and our calendars will fill.
We will be back to operating in catch-up mode. In the meantime, I’m hoping it’s okay to just want to take a break from it all.