You love your littles. But spending 24/7 with your children isn’t good for anyone — not for you and not for them. Every mama needs balance. And the people around you can bring it, and in ways you may not have thought of. Sometimes it takes more than just the “village” that’s helping you raise your kiddos. Here are the friends, family members, and all-out rad group of more-than-acquaintances (but not necessarily BFFs) who can help bring the balance back into your life.

Women at coffee shop

1. Your S.O.: Whether your significant other is the person you chose to have your baby with or someone you met after having kids, they’re an integral part of your support network. They may be your partner in parenting, but that’s not all. They’re also someone who wants to spend time with you — and doesn’t need a sippy cup, diaper change, or special meal of finely-diced chicken nuggets. Your honey doesn’t just help by taking over the midnight feedings; they also take you out and make sure that you feel like someone other than “mommy.”

2. Your BFF: Maybe she’s a mama too, or maybe she isn’t. It doesn’t really matter. Even though she’ll listen as you talk about nipple pads, potty training, and everything else on your mommy mind, she’s just as likely to nix anything kid-related from the conversation. She knows when you need to spend the night deeply discussing the Kardashians, instead of the kiddos.

3. Your Hair Stylist: Not only do they help you go from mommy messy bun to purposeful messy bun, they’re also like a therapist without the PhD. They might not have a professional license to practice (at least not one in counseling), but they’ll spend your entire cut, color, and blowout listening. And they won’t judge you in that mommy-shaming way that the other playground parents sometimes do.

4. Your Single Friend: She doesn’t want to go on couples dates, could care less about your breast pump, and won’t let you go on and on about your child’s latest milestone. So she’ll keep you in check and balance out your new overabundance of mommy friends.

5. Your Mother: Or father, grandmother, aunt, or anyone else who has taken care of you since you were a tot too. It’s easy to see how you’ve gotten caught up in the superwoman/supermommy cycle. Being everything to everyone isn’t easy. And you’re tired, and need a break. Your own mama adds balance by taking care of you.

6. Your “Smart” Friend: Once upon a time you used to have intelligent conversations about world politics, the economy, and maybe even art history. But now your brain feels like it’s on a temporary hiatus. It’s filled with preschool playdate times, pediatrician appointments, and all kinds of info only a mom needs to know. Your smarty pants friend is always down to discuss Abstract Expressionism or anything else that takes more than a few spare brain cells to tackle. And none of it has to do with a snuggly, paci, binky, or blankie.

7. Your Coworker: It’s totally understandable that you’d want to run out of work and home to your kiddo the first moment you can. But sometimes you need to get off the work, parenting, work, parenting hamster wheel. Enter your coworker. Once in a while they whisk you off to an after-work happy hour or take you out for Monday margaritas. It may only be a brief break, but even a mini night out can give you the recharge that you really need.

8. Your Mommy Friend: Your mommy BFF knows how it feels to lose herself in the sea of all that being a mother requires. She gets you — and she wants to help you. That’s why she occasionally offers to take the kids for the afternoon, giving you a few much-needed hours to yourself.

How do you find balance in your life? Share your tips by tweeting us @BritandCo!

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