Get a (Social) Life!
Do you need a life? A social life, that is. It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re a work-at-home mom. There’s no water cooler at home to gather around with colleagues and no communal lunch room. It can get kind of lonely, especially if you’re an extrovert who thrives on human connection. So what’s a mom to do?
With work to do and kids to care for, there’s little time to go out visiting, despite the perceived notion many have that those who work at home can do what they want, when they want. However, staying connected is important for women. We’re relational beings who are at our best when interacting with others. You don’t have to stifle your inner social butterfly just because you work at home, but you may have to be purposeful in creating ways to stay connected.
For example, I’ve developed a rather active social life virtually through social media outlets like Twitter and online networking groups for moms. There are tons of online forums and groups out there. You only have to head to Google to find one. Just look for a network or group in your area of interest. Another great place to find a network of like-minded folks is Ning, a social networking site where you can find, literally, thousands of groups. You can even create a group of your own! You may want to find a group of moms, like I did, or choose a group based on your area of business. The choice is yours. One word of advice would be to schedule your online networking time. While meeting people with similar interests online can be fun and can even help you in your business, it can also be a time zapper. Be mindful of the time you spend networking, and it could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!
I absolutely adore my real-life girlfriends. Hanging out with my pals rejuvenates me and gives me a lift. I feel so much more energized after a nice afternoon chatting and catching up with a friend. It’s important to have that time. We don’t want to become so consumed with our work and home life that we neglect our outside relationships. Schedule time with a girlfriend once every week or two. You don’t have to take an entire day out of your schedule or spend lots of money. Often times, I’ll have lunch at my best friend’s house. She’s a phenomenal cook, and her home is just so cozy. I feel so much calmer after hanging out with her. Maybe you can visit a friend’s home or just meet up for a quick cup of coffee. Whatever you decide, you won’t regret making time to socialize.
Isolation can lead to apathy or even depression. It’s very easy to “lose” your old self when you’re cut off from the world. Take time to nurture your outside relationships. So whether it’s online or in real life, don’t forget your friends!