One of my favorite networking activities is almost unavailable these days - I like to have lunch with colleagues I work with. I use this as a time to connect with different departments in my work area, keep in touch with new developments across the organization, and meet new people in my line of work. Sadly, I don't have time! If I am not taking my daughter between daycare and preschool (this is supposed to be an enhanced experience for her!) I am trying to squeeze in a work-out. No more three martini lunches for me (do those still exist?). Now I have to settle for coffee dates. Not quite as satisfying as sharing a meal with someone - that is when real bonding can take place. It also means I have to get more creative with my networking, fitting it in at preschool pickups, arranging playdates with interesting families, chatting up people in the grocery store.
Fortunately, some of my colleagues have kids too and work hard on this whole balance thing, so when I suggest alternatives to lunch, they are usually game. In a year when my daughter starts Kindergarten, maybe that will be the time to fit the lunches back in. Hope my network will still be there!