I don’t recall knowing Galentine’s Day was a “thing” until this year. I wasn’t able to see my “Gal’s” today, but something is in the works very soon! I sat down and thought about how important those relationships are.
I’m so fortunate to have had such a wonderful group of girls in my life. First of all, I have two sisters, a mom, grandmothers, aunts and cousins that I have been SO lucky to have been so close to. I’m talking strong, independent, courageous, classy, loving, caring women.
Then I had my grade school crew. The kind of friends who go to dance, softball, girl scouts with you. The ones who you team up with to talk your parents into sleepover after sleepover after sleepover.
There was a short period where I moved schools and didn’t have the tight-knit group of friends that I had left behind. That sucked, but fortunately, we moved again and I found myself in Junior High and High School with another wonderful group of friends. The kind you really grew up with. The kind that stick with you through the glasses and braces and puberty and poor fashion choices and haircuts.
Then there are your college girlfriends and they are another level of friends. The ones you learn how to be an adult with. The ones that hold back your hair when you’re puking after a long night and a strong batch of trash can punch. The ones who scrape together change with you for pizza because you’re broke as hell.
I had another short period of no close-knit girlfriends after I graduated college and just got married. It was such an overwhelming stage of life to be in a new town, have a job, a new home and a husband.
And then holy moly, I had twins and started staying at home with the babies. It was during this time that I really learned how important these relationships were! I reconnected with old friends who were going through the same stage of life with me and it was beyond helpful! I met so many new friends through twins groups and man, they were a life saver! Even though we were still broke with babies, I needed that mom that would meet me at the park or the zoo or just our living room for an afternoon to get me through the day.
Here’s the funny thing. We left behind all of those great friendships we had formed and moved to Texas to be close to family. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m glad we did it and I enjoyed every single minute spent with family being that close, but we were missing our day-to-day friendships. What I found hard about living in Texas was that everyone worked! We met great friends and had family around, but from Mon-Fri 9-5, they were at work. And I was at home with 3 kids. I desperately missed those play dates, zoo trips and pool parties. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that other mom’s worked. I admired them so much and sometimes wished that was me, but for our family, it wasn’t feasible or realistic for me to go back to work full time. (Also, I was able to contribute financially through my photography business, which still left me at home during the week) We knew we needed to get back to where our crew was. Where our daily support system was.
Now let me introduce you to a few of those “Gals”…
Those friends that you say, “Hey, let’s go to California” and they say “OK!”. The friends who listen to you talk about your kid with diarrhea or your husband that works too much. The friend who goes with you to window shop because you both know you’ve spent too much money at Target already that month. Just because you want out of the house. The kind that go to concerts with you and see movies about Bad Moms. The kind that will take a shot of Fireball with you at 1:00 in the afternoon while half of your kids are at school and the other half are upstairs in the playroom watching Mickey Mouse.
While all those “Gals” from elementary school through college are still your jam and you can count on them to never post pictures of you to social media from the “awkward years” and they’ll always be ever-present, it’s those day-to-day relationships that get you by when you just need someone to talk to besides a toddler. Don’t take them for granted, because I sure did before we moved. I’ll never do that again. Looking back on it now, the most isolated I’ve ever felt was when I didn’t have those in-person daily/weekly relationships in tact. So do me a favor, if you don’t have girlfriends in your life that you can talk to and meet up with IN PERSON on a regular basis, make an effort to find them. Go to church and find them. Go to a mom’s group and find them. Go to workout classes and find them. They’re there, you just have to be proactive about finding them. And if you’re in the Nashville area, hit me up. Here’s what I tell my kids, if someone asks to hang out with you the answer is always yes. You don’t have to be best friends with them, but you ALWAYS have to be kind and hospitable. You can give them enough courage to meet more people and find their crew, even if it doesn’t end up to be with you, although they’re always welcome to join. It’s really hard for me too, but be the girl that speaks to the quiet mom. She’s not stuck up, she’s shy. Let’s let Galentine’s Day be everyday!