By MGAL Guest Christine Cook
Spending time with friends is a cornerstone to my sanity. Have you taken some time to give some love to your friendships?
Not sure it matters? Take a look at what Christine Cook, founder of truebluematch.com, a friendship matching service for parents of small children had to say on the topic. She believes it is absolutely critical if we are to experience a shift in motherhood:
“We often think that taking time to spend with a friend is selfish and that it takes away from our children. 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 us and prepares us 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.
As moms we are wise to prioritize friendship. 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.
A Shift in Motherhood requires lots of little and perhaps some big changes. Connecting with friends will transform motherhood for you. The road of parenting is full of ups and downs. Having a friend beside you helps make the downs not so bad and the ups even more enjoyable. Grab YOUR friend or make a new one and shift motherhood together.”
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.