So I have always been blessed with amazing girlfriends. I can remember best friends all the way back to elementary school. I still keep up with my college roommate who is amazing, my law school best friend who is so fabulous, and I currently have the most spectacular best friend in the whole world. These woman, and so many others, are like big giant presents given to me straight from Heaven.
But I have a confession to make. It’s been lonely since having the babies. I don’t know if all new moms experience this or if it’s just particularly acute for us mothers of multiples, but going from zero babies to three babies can be incredibly isolating. And even though I’ve met some really cool new mom friends, I find it nearly impossible to get together. I’ve cancelled more play dates than I’ve had because inevitably one of the kiddos gets sick. I feel the isolation particularly on the weekends when Bray is out of town and I’m home bound. Trying to get out of the house with three babies was impossible because I was so worried they were going to get sick, but even now that they’re toddlers I find it a struggle. I have to get myself ready (when?), get them ready, get them loaded, stay on our schedule, and then where do I go with three kids? I can’t let them down at a park alone because they run all different directions. I can’t maneuver our choo-choo wagon or triplette stroller in many areas. And then if I plan to partner with friends, as I mentioned, something comes up – inclement weather, a fevered child, SOMETHING.
I was single for a long time. I spent weekends hopping from brunch to movies to drinks to shopping with dear precious friends. This may all sound vapid, but it wasn’t about the activities, it was about the friendships. And those friendships have gotten pretty dusty.
I’ve been thinking about this for two reasons. One, I read an article in my Parents magazine this week that was talking about new moms and friendships. And how critical they are. Facebook doesn’t cut it. Occasional emails won’t do. You need face-to-face, hug-to-hug, girlfriends to get you through. That’s how we’re wired. Two, I’m leaving for New York next week for a 40th birthday weekend with my best friend. I have been cycling between sheer bliss about three fun filled days with her in a city we love (and two uninterrupted nights of sleep) and feeling guilty about my first weekend leaving the kids since they were born. We tried for so long and so hard to have these babies, WHY should I feel like I need any time away? I MUST be a terrible mother.
But I am not. (As my husband frequently reminds me, thankfully!) And you are not. And we should get over our guilt about needing a moment away and a moment with our girlfriends. We have been created to need these relationships. And with work and children and marriages and today’s rush-rush-rush schedule we’re losing those critical relationships. They help us stay sane. And that makes us a better mother and a better wife and a better employee.
So let’s find some time this week and get a sitter or mom or husband to manage the craziness at home and go see one of our best girlfriends – we’ll be so much better if we do.