Let’s face it – staying in touch with friends is more difficult when you have kids. Laughing and sharing with your friends is important to your well-being and not just a luxury. A quick phone call can re-energize your spirit and help you stay connected to someone special.

Keep those friendships alive and well – here are three reasons why.

stress relief^

Remember a time in your life when you could meet your girlfriends for coffee, chat for hours, window shop until evening and then go out for drinks? We all know how good it feels to hang out with friends, but who knew it was actually good for us too? A landmark UCLA study found that women respond differently to stress than men. According to Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D., "Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just fight or flight. In fact," says Dr. Klein, "it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is release as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the fight or flight response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead."

set the example^

Friendships are important for our children – we need to show that they are important for parents as well. When you take the time to call your friend and reconnect, you are modeling friendship skills for your children.

"Research supports that children who have friends have fewer social problems, a healthier self-esteem, and a greater sense of well-being," says Mary Jo Rapini, Licensed Professional Counselor. Taking time to nurture a friendship through difficult times also shows your children that true friendships can survive many obstacles and are worth the effort.

SUPPORT SYSTEM^

Your husband may be the most supportive, sweet and kind man but guess what? He doesn’t always understand how you feel. Many mom friendships are based on the simple fact that you are both in the parenting trenches. When you make a mistake, your friends will rally around and support you. If you have suffered a loss, argued with your mother-in-law or simply locked your keys in the car (again), your girlfriends will dutifully listen to the story several times over.

Set down that laundry basket and go call your girlfriend. More depends on that friendship than you thought.

More about friendship

Girlfriend SOS
Toxic friendships
Girls' night out without guilt

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