Time with my friends is important and special to me especially since it’s pretty rare to come by these days. This busy season of parenting little ones means I’m mostly on my children’s schedule and I’m not able to be the spontaneous friend anymore. So when we finally get around to planning a night out, it always feels so necessary at the time. So exciting.
The thought of putting on a cute outfit, trying out a new lipstick and blow drying my hair to hang out with my girlfriends sounds extremely appealing. Laughing over wine and apps in a dimly lit, cool restaurant sounds like a magical dream world that I can’t wait to visit. But then eventually these feelings often turn to—why did I agree to this? I am exhausted. I don’t own “cute outfits” and why didn’t I know I was going to be tired tonight when I signed up for this three weeks ago? I have *so* much Gilmore Girls to catch up on on the couch post-bedtime. ?

For reference, here are a few stages one may go through when planning and then getting out the door for a child-free evening.

Yes, girl! We need to meet up! It’s been too long! When are you free?” Okay out of those three weekends over the next five months that are free, you have these two nights free. Oh okay, you can’t do that date? Then this one it is! “See you all in 3.5 weeks! Can’t wait! ?” While checking your calendar for upcoming reminders, you see the girl’s night in there. You get excited butterflies in my stomach at the thought of feeling like just “me” not “mom-me” for a few hours. So you start perusing Amazon for a new top that will be on your doorstep in two days (thank you Prime gods) so you have it in time to wear. You need to look nice for your lady friends. ? Your new shirt arrives and so does girls-night-out-day. Once afternoon strikes and no one has taken their naps, you want to join the cry fest your overtired toddlers are having at the thought of mustering enough energy to shower and put clothes on that don’t consist of your husband’s sweatpants and paint-stained sweatshirt.

You give yourself a pep talk.

You get your bum in the shower right now, woman. Youre 31 years old not 91. You need this. Your greasy hair needs washing. Your body needs to remember what wearing jeans feels like. You need to feel like a woman again. NOW PUT MOANA ON FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND MAKE. WAY. TO. THE. SHOWER. After showering at lightning speed, you check on the kids before getting dressed. You tiptoe in, hoping to find two peaceful children snuggled up on the couch with their snacks singing along with Moana and Maui—your happy little cherubs. Instead, you find your 19-month-old with her diaper off and she literally went to the bathroom on the ground. Your three-year-old found the flour from the pantry and decided to “bake treats” in the living room. Books and toys are all over the ground, and you are *thisclose* to texting everyone to cancel. Instead, you pivot and text your husband. “Are you going to be home soon? I’m losing it.” ? You force yourself to clean up one of the disasters, and then perform the fastest getting ready routine in history. You skip the blow dry, throw your hair up in a “cool” messy bun, slap some makeup on, throw on your new shirt (that, for the record, looks nothing like it did when ordering it on Amazon—but decide to keep it on because beggars can’t be choosers...) and are ready to head out that door. Your husband is minutes away from getting home, and you’re minutes away from falling asleep. You decide—coffee. You wouldn't be able to go to sleep if you stayed home anyway (because bath time, and bedtime, and...well...kids) so chugging some coffee and heading out that door is a really solid option. ☕

Its Friday night and youre going to have fun.

You kiss your little ones and your main squeeze and hit the road. You meet up with your friends, take a deep breath, and pat yourself on the back for making it to where you are. After some seriously much needed catching up and hysterical laugh-till-your-stomach-hurts moments, you feel insanely happy with this girls night idea. When saying your goodbyes for the night, you all hug and say how much fun you had. “We need to do this more often!” you all say to each other. Yes, we do, you think. But, realistically, you probably won’t be able to schedule a girls night every Friday right now. It’s a busy time for everyone. But no matter what, you’ll still keep these very far in advance planned nights out on the calendar. And you hope you’ll always have the energy and determination to go.

Because investing in your friendships is worth it.

These women are a part of you. They remind you of who you are. They keep you sane. You love them, and are so grateful for them. No matter how tired you are.. ??