Prioritize Friendships

I had an amazing day today with my best friends! I often forget how good this is for my soul. We all have busy lives. Especially if you live in a ‘special needs’ world.

I’m grateful that we are in a place now where Gracie is more independent, making it easier for me to make this a priority. But, I remember when it wasn’t as easy. My friends were always so great to continue inviting me, even when my answer almost always had to be “no, sorry.” But making the time to say “yes”… That is priceless and healthy in so many ways, and I wish I had said yes more often. It would have taken some figuring out, but it could’ve be done.

I am very fortunate that I have friends that I’ve known since we were in diapers and friends that I made in elementary and high school. There’s approximately twenty of us who get together at least a couple of times per year. Friends that I may not see for months on end, but when we are together, it’s like we’ve never been apart. They are friends who will always be there for one another especially in times of need.

I want to encourage those who are reading this to find your people and prioritize those friendships. If you can spare even 5 mins. to drop off a tea to your friend (even if your child is in the car with you), schedule a lunch or dinner date, a quick phone call, a walk, swim, craft night, wine night, book club, concert, or even have your friends over. Regardless of what your house looks like, regardless of how tired you are or how early you need to wake up in the morning (or in the night). Short visits are better than none. And I promise you, your heart will be full.

I understand it can be hard to remain friends with others who don’t understand your situation and the challenges you face. Or if you’ve lost your friends because time has just flown by without you reaching out and you feel too much time has passed. Try reaching out anyway. If you were once friends before, I truly believe they would happy to hear from you, regardless of how long it’s been.

You can also try attending support groups or skill building classes with your child/adult and meet other parents. If anyone will understand that plans may need to be altered, rescheduled, or even refused, it’s someone living a similar experience as you.

Remember that you can only take care of others, if you’ve taken care of yourself. And the people you surround yourself with, that love you and bring out the best in you, help you be the parent that you need to be in those challenging times. It’s not selfish to make this time for you. So here’s your gentle reminder…

You deserve to have a life filled with love and happiness that isn’t always provided by your immediate family. You deserve to take the time you need to recharge. You deserve to have time with others who fill your cup.

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