A couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of having one of my best friends come visit me from out of town. It’s a very rare occasion as I have lived abroad for the past 9 years and only now do I find myself living at a closer distance.
I, having 2 small children, and her, having been blessed with 2 older children through marriage, live very different lives in comparison to the lives we once shared together as roommates back in our twenties. We are older, wiser, busier, calmer, more tired and certainly more aware of the world outside of our own existence in contrast to the world which simply used to revolve around us.
What would have been a weekend of parties, dancing and fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants types of adventures had we still been single, childless and in our twenties, turned out to be a weekend of vegging out, chatting, cooking, eating and simply sharing our space and thoughts with each other.
We did however go out one night, drank some cocktails, danced a few dances and mingled with friends and strangers alike. But being post-30, living lives as wives and mothers, we found ourselves exhausted and in recovery the entire day to follow, and continued the veg-fest for the remainder of her stay.
While in the moment, one would naturally feel as though they had wasted their time together, not making the most of it by frolicking about and painting the town red, we determined that our time was used in what could possibly be the best and certainly most unexpected way, spending the better part of it perched upon a sofa wearing the same leggings and comfy sweatshirt and doing absolutely nothing, yet together.
No matter how a mama chooses to spend her cherished and limited time with her bestie, one thing is sure, that time, that oh-so-precious time, is essential to a mama’s life and it doesn’t matter what you do together, so long as it is indeed together. Here are 5 reasons why a mama needs a weekend with her best friend:
1. To reminisce of past adventures.
Whether it be pushing her around in a grocery cart at 3am, deciding that the middle of the night was an optimal time to paint the garden fence or riding bikes through the city while chanting “Ding-a-ling-a-ling-a” for hours on end, the adventures that two besties share in their twenties is without a doubt golden material for the history books. And while the idea of re-creating such moments in our mom-years sounds exhilarating, putting it into practice quickly proves to be impractical and, well, exhausting. Any mom who is still waking up to breastfeed, like myself, can’t for the life of her imagine being up at all hours, knowing that mom duty is a 24-hour job. However, reminiscing surely serves its purpose: to laugh at the old times, to see how far we have come and to appreciate the fact that we have truly lived and truly learned.
2. To temporarily return to silliness and immaturity.
Who else would totally understand your insatiable need to occasionally dig your spoon into the peanut butter jar and eat it as is? Who else would not only observe but full on participate when you randomly pull out a broomstick to serve in a limbo competition in someone’s living room? Who else would belt out show tunes on your daughter’s karaoke machine in their house robe or knock on the neighbor’s door and bolt around the corner? Ok, maybe my husband would do 3 out of 4, but a best friend is the only one who could reeeeeeeally see the reeeeeal you. The good the bad and the ugly, and the silly, and the immature, and the unsexy, and the ….. You get it. It is a true gift to be able to have one of those moments, to just be the crazy old you.
3. To show them firsthand what a day in your shoes looks like.
Those few moments a mama has to actually sit there and chat on the phone with her best friend are few and far between. Hearing bits and pieces of one’s life makes it difficult to see the whole picture that constitutes one’s life. Having her there to see what the average day is like, warming up milk for breakfast, helping a little one on a potty or perhaps even seeing firsthand that very moment you think you may be losing your marbles after hearing “Let it Go” from Frozen sung on repeat, not only gives them a better picture of your reality but will help them understand exactly what you are referring to that next time you do indeed have a 2 minute phone conversation. You could be sharing an anecdote of that time your daughter decided to sing “Shake Your Booty” by KC and the Sunshine Band to the neighbor in the elevator but unless you’ve actually been in that elevator or have had the pleasure of hearing such a striking rendition of “Shake Your Booty“, it could be difficult to really visualize the situation.
4. To be reminded that you are an individual too, and not just a mom.
It is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of being a mom. It is a 24/7 job which requires a lot of patience, love and understanding. You get used to peeing with an audience, cooking with an anchor attached to your leg and doing the grocery shopping to the tune of wails and laments. So that moment you are able to sneak out and grab a coffee with your bestie, childless, stroller-less, a sensation of reincarnation occurs. I am a woman! For a brief moment, you are able to carry a conversation, look someone in the eye instead of just half-listening while watching your child put a straw up their nose. The liberty of having two hands free, sans stroller, sans diaper bag, just being with yourself (and being able to carry a nice handbag) is a remarkable sensation.
5. To understand better each other’s journey.
Life is a journey and traveling upon one signifies encountering flatlands and hills, paved streets and gravel roads, racing rivers and rolling mountains. There is the good and there is the bad. When a mom and her good friend are given the opportunity to share some time together, good quality time, even just by sitting on a sofa in day-old leggings and sweatshirts, you are able to better see what part of their journey they may be traveling. Where are they now? Where are they heading? What are their thoughts, their hopes, their dreams? One’s path is in constant change, and though we can always have that occasional two minute phone conversation, the opportunity to sit there, do nothing but talk and share space is the only way a person could truly begin to comprehend the changes, to comprehend the journey. I am blessed to have some very great friends in my life, and understanding their journey helps me continue on mine, growing, learning, and moving forward.