"I don’t have time for a night out."
"I have too much going on at work."
"You mean I have to shower?"
"I would have to get a sitter."
"It’s just too much work."
"My kid has practice."
"I just want to sleep."
"I have so much to do."
"I have to get up early in the morning."
These are all solid reasons why I have said no to a girls dinner or night out in the past. You see, I have 3 boys who play every sport you can think of and a husband who works crazy hours (and a very naughty rescue dog that thinks she is human). My sisters and I own TWO companies and my entire extended family lives five hours away. I am so tired! And I am not the only one, I am the norm. A normal, overworked, under-appreciated, tired mom. Of course, I love my boys! I honestly enjoy them and some might even say I brag about them a little too much. But damn, they wear me out!!
So, this is where my girlfriends come into play. Before I can tell you how awesome they are, and how they honestly make me a happier person, I need to start from the beginning. I met these girls years ago in college, and man did we have fun together. From date parties to spring break to summer getaways. But then college ended. We got married and started having children (lots of children!!) and well, life got in the way and my girl time became nonexistent. Don’t get me wrong, I was still happy, but I had completely lost my identity. I was known as the mom with 3 boys. We were all feeling the same way, but too tired and too busy to change anything.
One day, we were texting and decide to get together for a dinner. A “reunion” we called it. I had to get a sitter, arrange dinner early, shower in the middle of the day and put on something beside my workout clothes. It took so much planning that I almost backed out. When we got to dinner, we ordered a bottle of wine and had REAL talk. Not small talk or the “everything is fine” conversation, but the “I think I’m losing my mind” kind of talk. We laughed and talked so much that night that none of us wanted to leave. We closed the place down and vowed to do a girls dinner every month. Slowly, I started to feel like the old me again.
By carving out some time with my girls, I felt less isolated and more capable of handling the curveballs life throws at me. I realized we are ALL going through major life stuff in just our little group… the loss of Kellie’s brother, divorce, loss of jobs (or husband jobs), loss of family members, and miscarriages… and we lean on each other so much during those times. Of course it’s not all venting and crying with each other. We have celebrated a lot of amazing things too: marriages, the births of our 12 children, promotions, new homes, birthdays… We celebrate everything!! I’m not kidding, we find an excuse to celebrate even the smallest things. I think that is also important. Life is too hard to overlook the small wins. I know that there are some really big things are in our future and I will be needing them even more… for hugs, to get me out of the house, to listen to me vent, and of course… to celebrate!
They also remind me of who I was before…. Before all of our growing responsibilities, when I was carefree and young at heart. Before I was a wife. Before I was a mom. Before I was starting my own companies. Just before. I think everyone needs to be reminded of their inner child. To dance till your feet hurt and laugh till your sides hurt. To be able to talk about anything and not feel judged. To start the night off crying over yet another miscarriage and end the night winning another dance off. My girls bring out the best in me and they remind me to be me!!
I have read countless articles about the importance of girlfriends. I have even printed a few and placed them on my husband’s computer a few times. Happy wife = Happy life! How girls who hang out with friends are happier, less depressed, have more energy. I cannot agree more!
So here is my challenge to you: Call up an old friend (or 5) and get together for a “reunion.” Then be REAL!! Just be you. You will be so glad you did!
They say you are an average of the five people you hang around with the most. Man, did I get lucky.
To MY girls: