I sat around a pool recently with eight of my fellow mom friends, kid-free and soaking in the sunshine on our last day of a fun-filled, three-day girls trip.
As we talked, swam and enjoyed an afternoon without a single person asking us to make them lunch or wipe them, I realized once again just how much moms need good girlfriends. I honestly don't know how I'd survive without them.
Here's why every mom needs to make time and room in their life for girlfriends they can count on, talk to and even get away from it all with once in a while:
Girlfriends get each other in a way no one else can. There is nothing so reaffirming as divulging a weakness or a fear or a flaw to a girlfriend and having her respond with "I know. Me too!" In that moment, you know you're not alone. You know you're not the only one who has moments of serious mommy doubt or who sometimes lets the Disney channel babysit their kids for a few hours. Our spouses love us, but they just can't relate in quite the same way as a mom girlfriend, who can make us feel a lot less alone on our mommy journey.
Girlfriends are there, no matter what. Honestly, I don't know how moms would survive the logistics of daily life without girlfriends they can call at the last minute for baby-sitting, car pools or just a much-needed night away. As I looked around my group of friends on this trip, I felt fortunate to know I could call any of those women, any time, and they would be at my door in a heartbeat.
Girlfriends let you be a woman, not just a mom. On our trip we got massages, laid by the pool and talked mostly about things that had absolutely nothing to do with our children. For three glorious days, we were women first, mothers second.
Girlfriends keep you on track. At the end of our trip, we took a moment to nurture our spiritual sides, listening to one of our friends give a brief devotional amid the red rock canyons of St. George. She read a quote explaining how God is a co-creator in our lives, and that we should work side-by-side with him to build the lives we want, not the lives we think we are supposed to have. At the end, we held hands and said a prayer together, grateful for the amazing gift of eight other women God has given us to walk alongside us in that journey.
And really, that's the glory of a good girlfriend. She is someone who can see you at your worst, but still sees your strengths. She knows the deep, dark feelings you sometimes have about motherhood, but she loves you anyway because she's human, too. And best thing she can do for you is be there to listen, to laugh, to cry, to accept you for exactly who you are as you navigate this journey together.