Monday: Picnic and play at the park.
Tuesday: Swim and popsicles at the pool.
Wednesday: Storytime at the library.
Thursday: Invite friends over to play games.
Friday: Movie and pizza.

I am exhausted. My calendar is jam-packed with activities for my children. And since they are young, they all involve my 100 percent participation, leaving me physically, emotionally, and mentally worn down.

I’ve planned many playdates, outings, and get-togethers for my children, when does momma get a chance to play with her friends?

I grab my phone and feverishly type the words to my friends:

Meet for Mexican? DELETE

Yoga and happy hour? DELETE

Manicure and pedicure? DELETE

Oh, how I long for a chance to reconnect and relax with my friendsso why as soon as I type the words, do I feel shame and guilt?

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If I have free time, I shouldn’t waste it going to dinner with girls, I should catch up on some work.

My mom friends are probably too busy—I doubt they would want to go out with me.

I have to find a sitter, pick out an outfit, and prepare dinner before I goit’s too much work.

As mothers, we spend the overwhelming majority of our time caring and prioritizing our children’s needs that we neglect our basic needs. We have the constant presence of our little ones, yet we still feel alone. We convince ourselves it is selfish to desire alone time or indulgent to go out with our friends.

Momma, you need playdates, too.

For the same reasons, we place high importance on our children’s socializationthe same principles can be applied to us mothers. We host friends in our living rooms because we know that conversation and companionship make for happy hearts.

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We play tag, splash through the sprinkler, and jump to new heights because physical activity encourages positive thoughts.

We read for hours, conduct experiments, and build forts because creativity is a way to express ourselves.

Next time someone invites you to grab dinner and movie, go for a walk, or join a book club, say yes.

Before you were someone’s mother, you were somebody’s friend. Make room in your life for both relationships, throw out the mom guilt, grab your girlfriends, and schedule a much-deserved momma only playdate.

Laura Bailey

Laura Bailey is a wife and mom of three young girls. You can find her drinking cold coffee, playing barbies, and trying to figure out a way for the laundry to fold itself. She writes with honesty and humor on her blog, www.LauraRBailey.com