Having kids certainly makes getting together with friends more challenging than it was pre-kid, but seeing my friends is one of the best ways for me to simultaneously relax and charge my battery. Here are eight ways and local spots to help you make — and keep — plans with friends!
1. My girlfriends and I call our get-togethers “Mom’s Night Out.” The key is using a Doodle poll to find the best date for the majority of friends. They typically take place on a Thursday night after 8 p.m. (after dinner and around kiddie bedtime). We ensure our partners can stay home with the kids and head out without cutting into weekend family time. Thursday nights work well because if it’s a particularly late night, I only need to drag myself through Friday to get to the weekend.
3. If you are looking for an even more low key night, get together at a friend’s home for wine and snacks, or a potluck (my personal favorite).
5. Face a challenge together like an Escape Room.
6. Keep an open door policy. During our get-togethers, no one is on time or late and there are no hard feelings if someone cancels or completely no shows and remains radio silent (because we get it).
7. Mentally gear up for a night out. Sometimes it is easy to throw in the towel after a long day and the kids are finally in bed, but make a promise to yourself to show up and you will not regret it.
8. Double-time your mom-date with a kids’ playdate, too. Meet up at a playground, have a play date at your house, or find a children’s destination where you let the kids run around while you catch up, like Café O’Play or The Children’s Museum of Cleveland (CMC). (CMC celebrates one year in its new home, 3813 Euclid Ave. Last fall, CMC opened two new permanent exhibits, Playlist and Theater. Two additional rooms, Brick Works and Noodle Doodle, are now open.)
Don’t be shy about making plans. If they don’t work due to strep throat, long work hours, or any other emergency situations we all find ourselves in, be sure to try again. It’s always worth the time and effort to foster our friendships.