Moms Need Friends Too

3 Feb

Today we are so excited to have our new friend, Christine, at truebluematch.com as a guest blogger today. This is great advice for dads, too.

Making and keeping good friends requires some attention and time.  With all the wild demands of parenthood it is no wonder that busy moms often put friendships on the back burner.  However, friendships are key to happy and effective parenting and need to be made a priority.  Luckily, friendships give back so many wonderful benefits that the TLC devoted to them is time and energy well spent.

Moms often think that taking time to spend with a friend is selfish and that it takes away from their child.  Quite the opposite is true!  After enjoying a walk, a dinner or even a quick phone call with a friend there is a biological change that actually calms you and prepares you to take on the next parenting task with reduced stress.  Oxytocin, a natural calming, stress-reducing hormone is released when women spend time together.  Researchers call this natural tendency to want to spend time with other women “Tend and Befriend.”  We are all hard-wired for this need and our bodies respond so positively when we take time to enjoy with friends.

Friendship has been shown to protect against major depression and anxiety for women.  Social and emotional support is linked in many studies to lowered heart rates, lower blood pressure and decreased stress hormones.  It has also been shown to increase longevity through all of these health benefits.

Moms are wise to prioritize their health needs.  Just as you would be sure to buckle your seat belt, keep a healthy diet and exercise adding, “Take time to spend with a friend” is just as important.  The research has proven it but you don’t need to read the studies, instead take that time to do your own experiment.  Call up a friend and schedule some time to do something together.  Then see how you feel when you return home to your family.  You’ll see that everyone will benefit from you taking the time to refuel with a friend.

The Author, Christine Cook is the founder of truebluematch.com, a friendship matching website for parents of young children.  It matches moms with moms and dads with other dads for face to face friendship with others in their area.  She is certain that the true blue friends in her own life have been a key element in enjoying the past 16 years of happy, healthy parenting.

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