“I feel like a girl again,” my friend of almost 30 years said one night after we sat sipping wine and eating Caesar salad at our favorite restaurant. We were heading back to our cars, keys dangling from our fingers, faces sore from smiling so much.
We always bring each other flowers. We always make each other laugh. We always say we should do this more.
But we don’t, and I want it to change. Actually, I need it to change.
I am not saying we have to meet every week and verbally throw up on each other over nachos and salt-rimmed glasses filled to the rim with slushy margaritas (although it would be ideal). I am just saying if it makes us feel this refreshed, this alive, why not make it more of a priority?
I am tired of being too tired to schedule regular girls’ nights. I go days where the only people I talk to are my family and myself. As much as I love them, and as much as I love having a conversation with just me, I can’t help but feel I am losing IQ points because for four days straight I have been getting after someone about saying excuse me after they drop ass at the dinner table, having a discussion about the best way to make slime, or helping everyone look for stuff in between carting my kids all over Timbuktu.
A girls’ night out every once in a while can do wonders for our psyche. And we deserve it.
It does take quite a bit of effort to swipe on some lip gloss and put on pants, especially after a full day. We are all busy, and most of us want nothing more than to Netflix and chill (braless) every night, or snuggle with our kids on the sofa because being a parent is the most exhausting job we’ve ever had. But friendships are great for your health.
They have been proven to extend your life and help you relieve stress. Who doesn’t want to prolong their life by sitting and having a relaxing evening with friends? Sounds like the perfect reason to drop the “I’m too busy to go out” card for an evening. Surely, we can all make time to do this for ourselves and each other once a month or so. It is possible.
We all need to connect, especially with other mothers who are going through the same stuff we are going through, or better yet, a mother who has already been through it.
It’s all too easy to keep our shit locked in tight and not share our troubles or problems simply because we feel like we don’t have an opportunity to talk without our kids overhearing or being interrupted every three minutes. I know I have been guilty of doing it countless times. But when I do invest the time in my friendships, I always feel validated. I always feel heard. And I always feel so much better, because my best girls remind me time and time again, I am not alone.
Having girl time as a mom has been more important for me than ever. While you don’t get as many nights out as you did before you had kids, it somehow feels more special. You are getting together now for totally different reasons, and you appreciate your friends on a different level as you go through different stages in your life.
The pull to stay buttoned in every night with our kids is strong, and many times our friendships fall to the back-burner once we have families. It is understandable, of course, and the best friends are the ones who will wait it out with you, but also lightly encourage you not to forget about investing in yourself.
Enjoying a night out can remind us that although being a mom is our favorite job, it is not our only gig. We have these women in our lives for a reason. And like all other relationships, I need to put more time and energy into my girls because, someday, it may just be us sitting on the front porch of a nursing home. And I certainly don’t want to say, “Meg, we should have been wining and dining ourselves more when we were younger. What I wouldn’t give for a plate of nachos and a margarita right now.”
Instead, I hope to say, “Meg, I am so glad we always took time out of our busy lives to celebrate our friendship no matter what life threw at us because, damn girl, we had fun and you got me through some serious shit. Now let’s go get some nachos.”
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