As a young girl, I was drawn to other girls who were loud, funny, and who liked to clip feathers in their hair and sneak make-up in their backpacks and apply it on the school bus, just like I did.
I soon realized I was drawn to these girls because they were different from my parents who were stoic and strict. I mean, I got to choose who to spend my time with at recess. I got to sit next to people who made me laugh and who smelled good and who would listen to me talk for 4 hours about a boy named, Jason who broke my heart in the 7th grade. That was the stuff I lived for.
We choose our friends, but we can’t choose our family and that’s kind of a big deal. We select friends who make us feel human, who validate us and who are there when we need to be scraped off the cement after a traumatic life event. We want friends who when they get our text explaining that we feel like hurting the people who are holding up the Taco Bell line, remind us to simmer down and breathe.
After graduating from college and beginning to work full-time, I didn’t have as much time to spend with friends as I had when we were crammed together in the musty-smelling third floor of our dorm which, by the way, was glorious. And I missed that connection, deeply.
I called a friend I hadn’t seen in a while one night after work asking if she wanted to do something. She bolted right over. We were still in our skirts and heels from work. Instead of going out for a cheap glass of wine like we’d planned, we sat on my sofa and talked until 2 am. We weren’t just looking for a buddy to go out with–we were both starved for a friend connection.
As she left, I walked her to her car and she wrapped her arms around me and said, “Thank you! I feel like a girl again!” And I knew exactly what she meant. She had been playing the role of boss, partner, and home owner on repeat for months without connecting with any girlfriends.
When we become mothers, our friendships slip and slide through the cracks of life and before we know it, it’s been 6 months since we’ve seen our bestie. We know that if we could just spend some quality time together it would reset our brains and remind us that we are more than just mothers, partners or daughters–we are also friends.
We are a woman who needs to be around other like-minded women because it’s beautiful, improves the quality of our lives, and it can remind us of who we were before we became parents.
I’ve found that no matter how last minute or rare or thrown together, a girls’ trip with my best friend is always powerful and vital to both of us.
Yes, it can be hard to match your schedules.
Yes, it can mean more work for you to get your ducks (and let’s face it, the rest of the family’s ducks) in a row before you head for the hills of Vermont, or the back roads of California, or the shiny city of Vegas sans kids and partner.
Yes, reentry is the worst part.
But still, isn’t it worth it?
The connection that happens between you and your best girl makes up for all the times you feel lonely as a mom. Or all the times you needed her but you were both flat out too busy. Or all the times you were supposed to call her only to fall asleep on the sofa with your phone dangling from your hand. The power in that trip, even if you have to kick your family out of the house for the weekend and send them to your in-law’s, is so worth it.
It doesn’t have to be over the top or require a bikini or happen a few times a year. It just has to happen.
The next time you and your best girls talk about how you should get together more and how you should plan a trip together, do yourself a favor and just do it. Because the reward is well worth the effort. I guarantee you will come home feeling new and glowy.
It’s not selfish to carve out the time or money needed to go on a girls’ trip– think of it as an investment in yourself. You will be a better mother, a better partner, and a better version of yourself.