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Making Time for Friends When You're a Parent

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to spend more time with my friends. I will admit that I hardly ever see my NYC friends. I live and work in NJ, about forty-minutes out of the city. As a single mom, it’s hard to find time to hang in NYC with my friends because it means securing a babysitter for several hours, usually driving in (because in case of an emergency with JD, I don’t want to be stuck waiting for a bus) and of course, not really drinking because I have to drive home, alone. My NYC friends have their careers, friends and boyfriends in NYC, so I understand why they can’t just drop everything and come to NJ to see me, too. It’s a sucky situation and I hope that I can reconnect with the girls who saw me through my pregnancy back in 2007. It's funny, because I don't really miss living in NYC, but I do miss my friends and drinking wine around little tables in cafes in Nolita. To kick off my resolution of spending more time with friends, I invited a few over last night.

It was Taco Tuesday (LOL!) at our house. In the morning JD and I shopped for all the ingredients, since I was working from home. When he took his nap, I shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, made a big fresh salad with greens, onions, cucumbers and black olives and cooked a big pan of Mexican rice and beans. My friend Katie came over early and cut JD’s hair for me (awesome), while I seasoned and browned the meat. We snacked on chips and salsa. The house smelled like good, warm food, while jazz music played in the background and JD and Katie discussed important things like the reason Mr. Potato Head wears glasses—so he doesn’t bump into trees (according to JD.) My friend Liss, baby Rocco, seven-months-old and husband, Big Rocco arrived next. We drank wine, ate food and talked while JD made baby Rocco giggle by dancing and zipping his cars down a ramp (and only eating when I reminded him to take a bite). We drank more wine. JD got confused/mad when Baby Rocco put cars in his mouth. I explained that a baby sometimes puts things in his mouth to explore! JD didn't care. He needed to wash his cars in the bathtub later -- "OK, mom?" JD said so seriously. We drank more wine.

Next, JD got a huge box of toy food from Liss and her family via Santa. He was thrilled to cook it up in his new kitchen and fill up his grocery cart. He took Big Rocco’s order and cooked for him again and again—and Rocco was really great at playing along and giving JD tons of attention. In fact, when Rocco and Liss left, JD said, “Wait, where the daddy going?” WHERE THE DADDY GOING? So sweet and innocent, my little boy.

I explained he had to go home, but quickly ordered a chocolate ice cream cone from JD’s kitchen, so I avoided any other conversation about…Daddy. I said, "Your MOMMY wants a huge chocolate ice cream cone!" "Coming right up," JD said. It was delicious. The moment, I mean.

It was a really yummy and fun night! It was great to get in some much-needed friend time with JD along, too. I also have a lot of taco food left over. Love leftovers!!! (Don't you?)

As parents do you find it hard to fit time in with your friends? What types of things do you do with your friends? Do you have Taco Tuesday or Mac 'n Cheese Monday or Sunday Sauce? Have your friendships changed since becoming a mom?

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