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Welcome to The Smart Mom Manual. I'm Winnie Yu, mom blogger at CompletelyYou.com. My daughters, Samantha and Annie, are 14 and 12. Like most moms, I'm still trying to perfect the balancing act that we all know as motherhood in the modern world. Please don't hesitate to write to me as you read my blog. You can also tweet me @Completely_You. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Make Time for Friends

By Winnie Yu for Completely You

Back in the day when I was in high school, my friends were everything to me. We spent the day laughing and whispering in the school hallways, then went home and called each other to plan what we were going to do that weekend.

Then life got busy. Careers. Marriage. Kids. Friendships got put on the back burner as we slowly carved our way in the world and struggled to create meaning in our lives. But as I’ve gotten older and as my kids have become more independent, I’m starting to realize again just how important my friends really are to my happiness and well-being. (Learn just how important friendship is to your physical health here.)

That’s why I’ve made it a priority to spend time with my friends. As much as I love my family, there’s simply no substitute for the companionship of friends -- these wonderful people you handpicked to be in your life. These special folks are always there for you, ready to lend an ear or a hand, or simply to share a laugh.

Now, even when I’m having a busy week, I still try to set aside some time for friends. It might be breakfast or a walk with one pal, lunch with a small group, or a movie night with a troupe of frazzled moms from the neighborhood. Once a year, I try to meet up with my two best friends from college for a weekend away. It doesn’t really matter what we do. Just being together and talking is all that counts.

Truth is that hanging out with your friends is good for the soul. It feels good to kvetch about life’s endless challenges, swap stories about our kids and laugh about life’s absurdities. It feels good to be with people who want nothing more from you than a little compassion and some good conversation.

After an outing with my friends, I’m always more relaxed, and life always feels a little more manageable. As someone once said, “Friendship doubles your joys and divides your sorrows.” How true indeed.

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Winnie Yu is Completely You’s mom blogger. She has two daughters (Samantha, 14, and Annie, 12) and is the author of seven books, including New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman’s Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention and WebMD.com.

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