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Diapers, nap times, cartoons, nursery rhymes, bath times and 3 a.m. wake-up calls: mom life. But where does your social life fit in? Whether you have a newborn, a threenager or a preteen, it’s okay to say our lives revolve around our children. They’re our everything, but does that mean the social life and friends you had before kids have to vanish once you become a mom? Not at all. Like anything in life (and especially when you become a mom) you just have to work a little harder to keep the friendships going. You may lose some but you may also gain some awesome ones. That’s the best thing about life; it is always changing!

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So, how do you make time for friends amidst your busy, chaotic life? Being a mom, the number one key is to plan ahead! I have two great girlfriends and somewhere down the line Wednesday became our go-to night out. It is now called “Whatever Wednesday,” meaning it doesn’t matter what we do: dinner, a movie, happy hour. It is a night out with no kids — a time to relax, de-stress and have fun! We check in every week to see if Whatever Wednesday can happen that week and, with life, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Planning ahead is a great way to keep your social life from disappearing.

>> Read more: 3 Reasons Regular Friend Time is a Mommy Must 

You have to also be flexible. Making time for friends doesn’t mean it always has to be Moms’ Night Out. That’s not realistic. More times than not my girlfriends, our children and husbands are all hanging out together. We end up calling each other the day of to make last-minute dinner plans or spur of the moment playdates. That’s where I believe a little bit of flexibility comes in. It’s great to have a schedule for our children but always saying no because the dinner might go past bedtime or the playdate interferes with nap time is a sure way to say bye-bye to your social life!

>> Don’t forget the healthy snacks on your playdates!

If it means you have to plan a month ahead or drop what you are doing, time with friends is always worthwhile!