Feather Boas. Bride and Bridesmaid tshirts. Blinking tiaras. Plastic, tacky necklaces. Loud giggling women. The Bachelorette Party is the mother of all Girls Night Outs.
Somehow Nashville has become the Bachelorette Party destination in the South. Every weekend Broadway turns into a sea of Bachelorette gals ready to have a night to remember…or not 😉 Although you couldn’t pay me enough money to get in the midst of that crazy today, I thoroughly enjoyed it 13 years ago at my own Bachelorette Party!
My Girls Night Out has changed drastically since I got married and especially since I have had three kids. They are fewer and much further in between. In fact without a concerted effort, they could easily disappear all together.
I have come to realize that having a Girls Night Out is not just nice… it is necessary.
Sometimes you just need to take a night away from the responsibilities of your family and just be YOU. No one tugging on your shirt. No one asking for more milk right when you finally sit down. No one saying “Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Maaaaaammmmaaaa!!!” until you turn around. No one who needs his food cut up.
You need a chance to get dressed with no spit up on your shirt. Maybe you will even wear a skirt because you won’t be sitting on the floor!! You deserve a night to be able to sit and finish a drink (or 2!) before the ice melts. You may even be able to have a conversation, and the only thing that interrupts is your laughter. You eat a meal that is hot, delicious, and not prepared by you. It is amazing how I can go from 10% battery to fully charged after a night out with my girlfriends.
Although I feel so blessed to me a mom, I admit it is stressful. No one told me that once I became a mom, I would instantly become vulnerable like I had never been before. Now there is a piece of my heart that is living outside of me. Sometimes that can be a bit overwhelming. My oldest son, Ethan, slept in this morning for the first time in forever. I actually stood outside his door at 7:45 contemplating if I should go in and put my finger under his nose to see if he was still breathing. Like seriously. I was so close to going in.
Being a mom can make you straight up crazy. Your husband doesn’t understand that, but your girlfriends do. You can talk about your crazy, laugh and realize that we are all crazy together. Even though we try hard to keep up this persona of the mom that has it all together, we are all a wreck sometimes. There is a comfort to hear that you aren’t the only one that struggles on occasion.
There are times when laughing through the stress isn’t going to cut it. Your girlfriends can also be a strong source of encouragement for you. I always talk to my husband, Eric, first. However, even he will admit, that there are times when he just doesn’t know what to say or do to help me.
When I was going through a particularly hard time a couple of years ago, it was my girlfriends that were the rays of sunshine that helped me through the day. A sweet card with a mason jar filled with chamomile tea left in my mailbox. A pretty bunch of daisies with an encouraging Bible verse left on my back porch. Praying with me on a bridge outside our kids’ gymnastics class. Seriously outside of a fictional romance novel, most men don’t do that kind of stuff. And those things are needed when times are tough!
All of these things encouraged me and reminded me that I had a whole support system. Sometimes you spend so much time inside the walls of your house with your immediate family that you forget that there are others who care for you too. Your girlfriends can help dry your tears (or let them all out when you really need a good cry!) or laugh until you forget what you were upset about.
God gave you your girlfriends for a reason. They can relate to you unlike anyone else. And like all blessings that God gives us, we should care for and nurture them. Sure texts and FB posts are nice, but just like any relationship, you have to invest a little time and effort.
Sometimes Girls Night Out isn’t a night out at all. I have a group of girlfriends from church that meet every other week after our kids go to sleep for Book Club at my house. We haven’t read a book in over a year, but we won’t stress about that 😉 As us Baptists say, we “fellowship.” Loosely translated: we meet, eat, chat, and “cackle like hyenas” as Eric describes it. Some of it is silly and frivolous, but it always ends with how we can support and pray for each other. We have become each others rock during the most trying times. I can look at each girl in our group and see how God brought us each together to support each other in our own unique way.
So we are all busy and getting a night out just isn’t in the cards. I also have girlfriends that I just meet and go on a walk with. Sometimes it is just us. Sometimes we watch our kids play while we circle the playground talking about life. You already know how refreshing I think a good walk is! The setting isn’t important. It is the time spent on the friendship.
As I have gotten older, I have learned that I would rather invest my time in a small group of good friends than spread myself thin among several shallow friendships.
My best friend, Jodi, lives way too far from me. I am in Tennessee and she is in the New York. Once a year she gets visits her parents in Kentucky. Yesterday I loaded up the kids and drove 4 hours to spend the day with her. It went entirely too quickly, but it was a blessed time. The rest of our crew from college is getting together this weekend for our annual girls weekend. I am missing it because I am traveling to the She Speaks Conference. It makes me sad I will miss this fun filled weekend, but I feel so blessed to know they will be praying for me and cheering me on from afar. And I will laugh twice as hard next year to make up for it!! 😉
So go ahead. Set a Date. Make it a reoccurring event on your iCal. And make spending time with your girlfriends a priority too. It isn’t just nice. It is NECESSARY.