I miss time with friends—but right now motherhood is enough

Long coffee talks will return —but it’s OK the meantime is filled by these precious, fleeting “Mommy” years

I miss time with friends—but right now motherhood is enough

I miss having friends, but not as much as I thought I would.

I still have friends, but not the kind of friends I used to. Currently, with two kids under the age of 6, it’s mainly texting. Rarely is it phone conversations. Actual in-person interactions are even more rare.

Initially, when I became a new mom for the second time after giving birth to my second daughter, I had visions of playdates and excursions and, essentially, my life remaining the same as when I just had one child. It didn’t stay the same.

My new baby was difficult to breastfeed with any noise or activity anywhere nearby, so nursing her at restaurants was completely out. The friends I had, who would invite my oldest daughter and me over, stopped inviting us. I had to retain a sense of normalcy for my oldest—and for myself—but it was hard. Everything was harder with two kids, at least at first.


Then, somewhere, it got easier. It happened so gradually I didn’t notice it. But I began realizing I was taking my kids out to lunch, or to grocery stores, and that we were places besides tucked in our family room, and it was going relatively well. To be fair, I save most of the “big” errands for the weekends when we can do them as a foursome with their dad. Going on our main grocery store runs, for instance, or apple picking like we hope to do this afternoon—these have become Saturday things instead of “Mommy and Me” weekday ones.

Somewhere my two daughters became friends. Two days ago they were sitting cross-legged with their knees touching, heads huddled forming a heart shape with their bodies, whispering about the television show they were watching, while my husband and I watched them without their knowledge from the kitchen. They play so well despite their age gap that, twice last week and once the week before, my toddler had meltdown crying sessions over missing her big sister; begging me to go pick her up from school.

Somewhere having two kids became easier than having one. I could shower—fast, hurried showers still, but, nonetheless, I didn’t worry as much, or hear phantom cries, about my children getting hurt because now they’ll run into the bathroom and say “uh oh” if anything happens to each other (even things I don’t need to know about, like a booger on the end of someone’s finger).

Somewhere on this meandering journey of raising two little girls, I’ve become so used to having two children that those four years when it was only my oldest daughter and me seem like warm, fuzzy memories I have to hold onto carefully.

Somewhere I have to remember these “Mom of little kids” years, although full of challenging days when I wish I wasn’t the only adult home with them until close to dinnertime, are so far easily the best of my life—maybe they always will be.

I told a stranger during a conversation at a restaurant—out with my two kids—that if I had known how wonderful having siblings would be I might have been less afraid and done it sooner. (He and his wife are getting close to wanting their second child.) I wouldn’t do it differently, of course—even if I could. I love these two little people, and I really do cherish the “alone” time I had with my oldest. More, this spacing allows me to have some “alone” time with my second born before she goes off to school, too.

But my daughters are not my friends, although I want them to enjoy my company—although I enjoy theirs—they’re my kids. I’m the grown-up. And I still need friends.

I’m here, living mindfully with my children, more than aware that my “Mommy” years are limited.

I need friends, but my time right now is limited. I can and do plan self-care. Exercise, reading a good book, writing—all ways I nurture my own well-being—are activities I plan and wiggle into my life, but the stark truth is I only have a handful of years out of all of the ones that will make up my life to have these two little people under my care.

It will be gone in a flash.

In what will feel like a split second, my husband and I will have no more diapers in the house. Our sleep will be mostly unbroken. Our lives will fold back into itself in a new kind of normal; one where we aren’t caring for people smaller than waist or knee height.

I don’t want to rush these years, even if some days I would speed up a touch. I don’t want to talk over my kids asking me to do a puzzle with them to make a phone call to a friend who I do love and miss, but who hopefully will understand I’ll have a much easier time talking in five years.

In this meantime, let’s text and keep one another close in our hearts.

In this meantime, I’m here, living mindfully with my children, more than aware that my “Mommy” years are limited.

My oldest already calls me “Mom” sometimes. I asked her yesterday when she started calling me Mom instead of Mommy, and she tilted her head curiously at me and grinned. Like I caught her at something. Like I caught her at growing up.

And I do miss my girlfriends. My sister is getting married, and I’m racking my brain to figure out how I can plan a halfway decent bachelorette party around kids’ bedtimes and the fact that they still wake up at 5 a.m. regardless of when Mommy drips herself into bed.

I do miss my easy, hour-long talks with friends in other states. I miss making plans to see movies my husband won’t want to see with me. I miss it, but not as much as I anticipated.

Because, somewhere, my life as a mother became not a consumption of the person I still am outside of parenting, but it became enough. At least for right now.

This article was originally published on

Join Motherly

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.


    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    It's 2020, but for American mothers, it's still the 1950s

    Once a woman in America becomes a mother, our society transports her back in time. In an instant, generations of sexist ideas and structures descend back upon her.

    We like to think that women have come so far.

    We have our educations. Today, our education system not only allows girls to thrive, but it has enabled the first generation in history—Millennials—in which women are more highly educated than men.

    We have choice. Access to family planning has given American women life-changing control over their fertility and the decision to start a family.

    We have basic respect. Today, our marriages are built on the principle that partners are equal regardless of gender.

    We have careers. It's utterly common for a woman to return to work after having a child.


    We have acknowledgment. And our culture even declares that caregiving is essential work for both mothers and fathers.

    We have possibilities. And all of the potential our lives as women hold now gives girls the hope that anything is possible.

    But the truth is that American motherhood has the veneer of being modern, without any of the structures to support our actual lives today.

    Keep reading Show less