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Motherhood

Two friends enjoying a great time.

For most people, friendships change when they reach their 30s and 40s. The carefree days of youth give way to new responsibilities such as marriage, family and career. Unfortunately, that pushes a lot of important relationships to the sidelines.

A 2012 analysis published in Psychological Bulletin found that friendship groups tend to expand until the age of 25 and then begin to contract rapidly.

Our relationships change as we get older, but that doesn’t mean they're not important. According to Psychology Today, having meaningful social relationships is one of the biggest predictors of longevity.

Amy Weatherly, 39, a parenting blogger and author of "I'll Be There (And Let's Make Friendship Bracelets)” wrote a poignant Facebook post about how friendship changes in people’s 30s and 40s and it resonated with a lot of people. It makes the point that although relationships may begin to look different and happen in new places as we get older, they are still just as valuable.

“Friendship looks a little different in your 30’s & 40s than it used to,” Weatherly writes. “Now it looks like hanging out together on the bleachers at baseball games. … Now it looks like ‘I’ll come, but only if I can wear stretchy pants.’

“Whatever you have to do, however you have to do it — make time for your friendships,” Weatherly concludes the post. “Make time for the people who feel at home, because they matter and don’t come around very often. We need them just as much now as we did back then.”

Friendship looks a little different in your 30’s & 40s than it used to.

— Now it looks like hanging out together on the bleachers at baseball games.

— Now it looks like “What kind of concealer have you been using? I need a good one.”

— Now it looks like a quick hug in the parking lot at school pickup time.

— Now it looks like “Hey, how was your mom’s surgery? I’ve been praying for you.”

— Now it looks like group texts that make you laugh out loud.

— Now it looks like “Ok, I’m coming, but I’m so tired I may fall asleep right in this glass of wine.”

— Now it looks like half-conversations at birthday parties that keep getting interrupted by screaming kiddos.

— Now it looks like “Was that really 5 years ago? Seems like yesterday.”

— Now it looks like hiding in your closet for a 3 minute conversation on the phone.

— Now it looks like “Hey, why don’t y’all grab lunch and come hang out while the baby naps?”

— Now it looks like quick little chats in the aisles at Target.

— Now it looks like “Girl, I know. I’ve been there too, and it is so hard. I’m here for you.”

— Now it looks like showing up in your rattiest sweatpants and not even flinching because you know they won’t judge you.

— Now it looks like Marco Polo messages and Snapchat pictures and tagging each other in memes on Facebook.

— Now it looks like “I dropped off a cup of coffee and a box of cookies on your front porch.”

— Now it looks like “I’ll come, but only if I can wear stretchy pants.”

— I’m coming over for coffee tomorrow and I’ll have a box of donuts. I really wanna see you. Does that work? I can even help you do laundry.

— Now it looks like “I’m not free until 2026.”

— Now it looks like “I miss you” and meaning it with your whole heart.

Whatever you have to do, however you have to do it — make time for your friendships. Make time for the people who feel like home, because they matter and they don’t come around very often. We need them just as much now as we did back then.'

Love, Amy

"It was honestly just a quick list of things that I put together, probably while I was sitting at one of my son's baseball games, realizing how much I enjoyed that time," Weatherly told Good Morning America. "Because yes, I love watching my son play baseball. But that is the only time that I had to connect with other women my age."

What’s moving about the post is how even though the circumstances surrounding friendships may change, it doesn’t mean they should be seen as less valuable. In some ways, we begin to value time together more as we get older because it’s harder to get together. When free time is at a premium, who we choose to spend it with matters even more.

A lot of people tagged their besties in the post and used it as an excuse to make plans together or remind them of how much they are loved. "Let's put something on the calendar," Kelli wrote to Michelle.

"Angelica, bring me some donuts and coffee and do my laundry," Stephanie wrote.

In the end, it’s worthwhile putting in the time to cultivate these friendships as we get older so they don’t fall by the wayside.

"I just want people to know you do have to be really intentional because that time is not going to fall into your lap," Weatherly said. "I think people, with friendship, it's like they want the tree but they don't want to actually plant the seed and that's not how it works."