How do we find the time to cultivate friendships when there is so much else that also requires our attention? By giving our mom friends gifts that everyone craves.
Guest Post by Victoria Osborn of Creative Homekeeper
Friendships are truly a gift.
They offer us the support and encouragement we need through the many different seasons. They provide a shoulder to cry on, a gentle embrace and a good belly laugh from time to time.
They come in all different shapes and sizes, some friendships are the lifelong friends we formed in our school years that are still just as strong. Some are new friendships we have developed at the park while our kids play together every other Tuesday afternoon. Some offer the gift of wisdom as we share together during Bible study.
It’s such a blessing to interact with a sweet friend but sometimes as mothers ourselves, investing in friendships is often an afterthought or a nonpriority. We try to “squeeze” in coffee dates when the time is right or we have nothing going on (which is hardly ever).
Image from Pixabay
But we were created to need community, to go through life together. Often in this day and age thanks to social media, we are confusing our “online” time as meaningful interactions.
Don’t get me wrong, thanks to blogging I have created many deep friendships with women I haven’t met in person and have been able to stay connected with dear friends who live far away, but we still need real, meaningful, face-toface connections with other women.
While we do have important priorities that our focus of attention is rightfully placed, cultivating real friendships is important in our roles as wives and mothers. The gift of friendship isn’t something we should take lightly and we should work hard toward cultivating, but how?
How do we possibly find the time to cultivate friendships when there is so much else that also requires our attention?
Right now I am in a season of little ones with 3 ages 5 and under, so I understand what it feels like to be completely worn out, exhausted at the end of everyday and not having the time to reach out to a few dear friends. However I also know how important friendship is for my soul.
I love my family with all of my heart and I firmly believe real fulfillment comes from above but I am grateful we were created to be relational and how a brief encounter with a friend can turn our whole day around.
Investing in our friendships is hard work and sometimes it can feel one sided, especially during certain seasons, but just as with anything else, we get out of it what we put in.
Giving a fellow mom friend the gift of our own friendship isn’t about what we can get out of it in return. Sometimes the reward is simply knowing you were there when she needed you. Other times we are immensely blessed in return and our own gifts are reciprocated, along with a deep friendship being formed.
Image from Pixabay
The Best Gifts for Our Mom Friends
The Gift of the First Move
Sometimes it can feel that everyone is already friends with each other and we feel so left out, thanks to Facebook and Instagram updates. Motherhood can feel lonely, especially when you are elbow deep in diaper changes and spit up.
I’m an introvert by nature so initiating anything is very hard for me but if no one makes a first move, a friendship can’t form.
Make the phone call, send a text, or initiate a conversation at school drop off.
The Gift of an Encouraging Word
Don’t underestimate the value in an encouraging word. There is so much negativity in our society, so much parenting shame going around that we often start believing the lies we read every day. Maybe I’m not enough? Perhaps I am ruining my kids?
Make it a habit to send an encouraging word to your friends a simple text message, “Hey I was thinking about you today. How are you doing? Can I pray for you?”.
Or one up it and send a card with a personal note just because. Snail mail is dying and it’s always such a welcome relief to receive something special in the mailbox to cover up the bills and junk mail.
Image from Pixabay
The Gift of a Play Date
Playdates are just as much for mom’s as they are for the kids!
Whether that be a visit with another mom while the two of you are watching your kids play together or the invitation to drop off her child so she can have an hour or two to herself, I’ve experienced both and they are equally wonderful.
I am entering a new season with my oldest where he is starting to make new friends at school, which in return means I am making friends with their parents.
Not all of our children’s friends evolve to meaningful friendships but seeds may be sprouted and playdates are the perfect soil for mothers to connect.
The Gift of a Meal
We make meals for new mothers and for families experiencing a difficult circumstance, but what about offering up a meal “just because”?
When we are in the kitchen cooking dinner, how much harder is it to double a meal to offer as a gift? A little extra bit of planning of and prep can easily lend to doubling or tripling a recipe to make for both your family and a friend’s.
Along with taking a meal to a mom friend, it’s also so nice to host a family in your own home every once in awhile to share a meal together. We have gotten to know several families in our church when we have invited them and their children over for a casual meal.
The Gift of Our Time
The single common thread of all of these gifts is the gift of our time. Making the time in our busy schedules for a friendship to grow is an important investment we can make.
We may be in a season where it’s impossible to get away for a girl’s weekend or even to get away for a kid-free lunch but it’s not impossible to take a few minutes to send a quick note of encouragement, initiate a play date or offer up a meal, especially if we are already cooking for our family.
Image from Pixabay
Small gifts like these add up over time and before long, the seeds of meaningful friendships have bloomed.
What are some gifts you have blessed others with to cultivate meaningful friendships?
Victoria Osborn is a wife and is a mother to three young children who keep her on her toes most days! She loves Jesus, writing, coffee and all things book related. She is author of Goals with Grace: Goal Setting with Intention & Purpose, a brand new goal setting system that works! You can find her writing at Creative Home Keeper, where she helps women aspire to be more purposeful and filled with joy by providing grace-filled tips and resources to live a more simple, intentional and devotional life. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.