SW: In the book, you talked about "friendship bandits." What is the most common problem that women face in terms of keeping friends?
MP: For working women in particular I think it's time. There's the perception that your job sucks a lot of time out of your day, and you've got your family, and we tend not to make friendships a priority. And we suffer for it. I notice that when I'm really busy and pushing friends off until next month, I get into this emotional malaise -- I feel disconnected and crabbier with myself. In the book, I talk about a number of women who are incredibly busy, but because they realize how important these friendships are, they make the time for them. They're like magicians the way they find space in their lives for people. And their emotional makeups are much happier.
SW: Could you give some examples of how working moms and busy moms can find time for friendships?
MP: I'll tell you what some of these women have done. They meet really early in the morning for coffee, before work. They squeeze in a dinner, even though it's tricky because you feel tugged by your kids and your husband. But they do it anyway -- these are sacred spaces on their calendars where they get together with a group of friends or a girlfriend. They work out together. They walk the dog together. But if you can't find time to see each other, e-mail is fabulous, because keeping track of the details of your friend's life is essential.