Friday, April 29, 2011

Where have all the girlfriends gone???

I remember not so long ago when my mother told me how hard it was to stay in touch with her girlfriends.

"Oh not me," I quipped. "They are a priority...and help me keep it real."

Then something happened...I started losing touch. Weekly lunch dates were downsized to maybe birthdays and Christmas. Wine tasting...can't remember the last time. And phone calls...I'm lucky to get the occasional text and then if I reply I usually misspell things.

Book club was hopeful. Once a month with a circle of intelligent women who may or may not have read the book but always had a good time. Then they started meeting on Thursdays and I was doomed to admire them virtually from afar as that is the crazy night spent shuttling to piano-dance-karate (that's even with my husband doing part of the driving).

My husband tells me to give myself a break, but the break would be a regular night out with my girlfriends. That said, my job is demanding including weeknight meetings. The kids, while older, seem to take more time with all their growing lists of school commitments and dates with their friends (16 and driving seems so far away for my elder child...but not soon enough). Then my husband and I need some downtime if not an occasional date (rare). Reading this, even I'm exhausted.

There is a book of late called "I don't know how she does it" about a working mom who tries to balance it all and it just doesn't work. Surprised?! Not really. But how to find that beloved balance? I know I am always envious of those moms who look totaly pulled together and fit, well rested, have pretty nails, are in the PTA and organizing auctions. I was not that gal.

But then it happened. I found out I was not alone in my longing for girlfriend time. My friend, we'll call her Barbie*, was telling me about her devoted life as a fastpitch Mom. Weekend tournments, practices, physical therapy sessions, and so forth round the clock for all three of her girls. Suddenly the lightbulb went off -- I was not alone!  How selfish I had been thinking it was "just me."

We all lead busy lives...maybe those of us with kids more so maybe not...but we have to remind ourselves that girlfriend time is precious and we should take what we can carve out when we can. It may not be as often as we'd like but when we do manage to fit each other in, the investment is priceless. So let's quit beating ourselves up for what we don't do with our girlfriends and celebrate the times we can text, chat, send a card, grab a lunch or more.

It may just have to last us a little longer...until next time.





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