The importance of having girlfriends
Monday, October 07, 2013
A couple weekends ago I was invited to go to a girls weekend away at a cottage. The group of girls was from my university days. I thought twice about going, not because of the weekend itself, but because I was just at the tail-end of nursing Mila and I wasn't sure if leaving her with my husband was going to fly. In the end I managed to get away and I'm so glad I did.
The friends I went away with are good friends, but they're not girls I see all the time. Realistically, we see each other maybe once or twice a year. But when we met for the weekend, it was like we were back in our university days: non-stop talking, losing track of time, laughing our butts off, drinking beer & wine, playing card games I didn't understand, but somehow almost won, eating junk and sleeping in (Yes sleeping in! The joy!).
Not only do we have the memories of our university days in common, but now we're all mothers. It's crazy to think that when I met these girls in my second and third years at Ryerson that we'd all be mothers one day, but there, it has happened. We talked about the tiny loves of our life, but we also talked about what makes us crazy about being mothers. The tantrums, the poop, the picky eating, the screaming, the lack of sleep.
More than once I caught myself saying out loud: "You guys are making me feel so much better (I had had a particularly trying week). It's nice to know this is all normal." You realize that it's ok... you're not alone in this craziness. That's what having good girlfriends does for you. Girlfriends help you stay sane.
Somehow, I've been very fortunate to have a few different groups of girlfriends like this in my life. My best girlfriend from high school lives here Toronto (albeit on the other side of the city!), as do my two sisters; I have a fabulous group of mommy girlfriends in my neighbourhood, I belong to a book club on my street with more inspiring women, and I work out at a bootcamp full of amazing women and moms. The one common theme is that we all seem to get what each other is going through and we're there for each other.
At one point, everyone is going through some craziness whether you are a mom or not. Having girlfriends, and getting together with those girlfriends in person (yes, this is the key...), helps you to keep it all in check.
Now of course there are mommy wars and women who are going to make you feel like shit. But hopefully those aren't your girlfriends. As a woman, mother or not, you don't need people like that in your life.
So next time you're with your group of girlfriends sit back and realize that you are part of something extraordinary and hold on to it. These are the friendships that will matter most and will help you get through to the other side.