This Is Why You SHOULD Take That Epic Moms’ Trip

I just got back from another annual epic girls trip with a crew of smart, beautiful, incredible women-all of whom happen to also be teachers and moms. Even though we can’t remember exactly how many years we’ve racked up on our adventures, we know we need more than two hands to count them.

We spend countless hours making up for the lost time of the school year, when schedules never seem to line up-a wall of sports schedules, meetings, drop offs and pickups, blocking our way from seeing each other with the regularity that our earlier years brought.

Find yourself a group of mom friends. (Photo credit: Amy Keyes)

We celebrate and support each other

Our own kids, as well as the kids we teach, span a diverse range of ages. We have experienced moments in our lives that have redefined who we are and how we see the world. We share a stage in life in which we are simultaneously caring for younger and older generations-an endeavor that is emotionally charged in ways too hard to articulate.

Together, we have fallen and risen up from unfathomable loss and celebrated incredible milestones both for our children and ourselves. Laughed so hard that we cried, and cried so hard that we laughed. Entered new decades and stages of life, side-by-side. We don’t take for granted how lucky we are to have found one another. And that is a gift in and of itself.

Our time together is a balance of rediscovering ourselves in these middle years of life, as well as a time to share and grow together as moms, figuring out this journey of parenting. Each of these special women continuously have shown me so many ways to be a better mom, teacher, and person, and I hope to always soak in the lessons I learn from them time and again. This circle holds a lot of wisdom, both from the head and the heart.

So to honor these moms who I continue to learn and grow with, here are some of the biggest things they have taught me over the years.

Four lessons I’ve learned from my mom friends over the years

1. Embrace the moment and say yes

There is so much life to be lived. I’m so good at finding a reason to say no, overthink, and let my anxiety get in my own way of enjoying a world of things I don’t even know are out there. Trying new things is not my strongest suit, and I love being surrounded by women who take risks and look for adventure. Slowly, over the years, I am becoming more open to the unknown.

I know when I embrace the mindset of “yes,” I’m also setting an example for my kids to try new things and open their minds and hearts to experiences that will shape the people they become.

2. Even when we don’t realize it, our presence for others matters more than we know

I just saw a meme that said how disappointed the Beastie Boys would be seeing how our generation goes to bed at 9pm after they fought so hard for our right to party. When I say 9pm is pushing it for me, I’m not kidding, but on these girls trips I somehow find a way to channel my youth and rally into the late hours. Truth be told, sometimes it’s to party but more importantly, it’s because we tend to talk into the late hours of the night.

Old school slumber party vibes is when all of the real stuff comes out. In these middle years we have, and continue to face a lot. Whether it’s losing parents, repairing our aging bodies, sharing the ups and downs of teen parenting, or facing the emptiness of our kids leaving home, all of these things- big and small- can weigh heavy in the day to day.

Even though we can’t always do it in real life as much as we want, the phone calls, texts, check-ins build a blanket of support that reminds each other that we are always present for one another. This loyalty and care for one another is another reminder not just for ourselves, but also for our kids, of how important friendship and presence is in life.

3. Face life’s challenges with patience and grace

Life is full of obstacles. As I get older, I realize more and more that how we face those challenges and respond to them, is what really matters. Sometimes I have a hard time making lemonade out of lemons, and being with this group of friends reminds me that there is so much light and learning to glean in moments of adversity.

Some of the things that we have faced individually, and collectively, are of a depth that rivals the ocean. And, yet here we are. A little more beautifully scarred, but not at all broken. Finding the hope and the good in the toughest of situations is an example I want to keep setting for my kids as long as I’m here.

4. Find the beauty in the journey of friendship

If you’re lucky enough to cherish the gift of a friendship that spans decades, there is no doubt that you have seen it all side by side. One of the best gifts I have received from this group of friends is the knowledge that there is beauty in every step of the journey. We have learned to be teachers together. To be moms together. To be middle aged together (okay, some of us are still working our way there).

We have walked life’s path of grief and resilience, and through it all, have known that there is an unconditional love that makes the beauty of friendship something beyond magic. No matter the destination, the journey is one we know we take together.

It is my sincerest hope that this band of moms continues to nurture one another for life, and that our students and kids continue to see the incredible beauty that comes in the bonds we form with others.

I only hope that everyone has the fortune of finding some moms who they can learn and grow with in life.

More Great Reading:

What We Can Learn from Childhood Friendships: I’ll Always Have Laura

About Amy Keyes

Amy Keyes is the proud mom of two teenagers and a crazy husky-lab named Walter. Married to the best college sweet cheeks a girl could have ever found. Former journalist turned middle school teacher, running and workout enthusiast, and enjoyer of dance parties for one. There's nothing she loves more than watching her kids do what they love and rediscovering herself in the process.

Read more posts by Amy

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