There are loads of movies and novels spinning around our planet about the power of friendship and sisterhood. One only needs to peruse Netflix to easily come across movies like Fried Green Tomatoes or the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. We all know the importance of women friends, so why is it that so many of us are too busy to cultivate friendships in our own lives?
We are busy. With our families, jobs, trying to get a shower in, you name it. We spend our days thinking about our closest girlfriends but sadly, that often is as far as our intent goes. We watch our children revel in the joy of their friendships, but we neglect to remember that we need them too! I dare say you need your girls as much as you need water. To laugh at your psychotic teenager, cry over your parent’s failing health, vent about your stupid boss and yell “NO, SHE DID NOT DO THAT!!!” upon hearing the latest antics of mean Mommy on the playground. Without our touchstone people, well, we can get stone-like and pinchy. No one wants pinchy. Not even in response to mean Mommy.
Here are some helpful tips to bring the Girl Power back in your life:
Find people in your life that get you.
This is one of those “take the sugar and leave the salt” kinda things. You need friends in your life that can make you laugh so hard you fear peeing a little. Friends that listen lots, judge little and are good people. Like we tell our kids, look for the helpers and walk away from the drama. If you hang up the phone feeling yucky after chatting, chances are it’s time to say bye-bye. I want girls in my life that would bail me out of jail or cry with me if I woke up with a lump in my breast. Anything less, is less and you don’t have time for that nonsense.
Step out of your comfort zone.
You may be on the shy side, but a smile goes a long way in starting a new connection. Strike up a conversation in line at the grocery store or with the person standing alone at Parent Night. For established friends, schedule a walk (20 minutes!) or invite them over to the chaos of your home. Let go of trying to find the “right” time to extend an invitation. No, your house doesn’t need to be Martha Stewart clean. Warm up that leftover mac and cheese and tell them to bring the wine!
Find an activity you can do together.
Maybe it’s knitting or a book club. Participating in a flash mob! If you are a runner, invite another runner friend to join you. You can catch up on all the gossip and complain about your husband never pushing drawers in as you run! Bonus! Point being, inviting friends along makes any activity, mundane or otherwise, fun and fits in that precious time to catch up.
Schedule something together waaay ahead of time and don’t cancel it—no matter what.
It’s a no-excuses-deal where you plan a dinner or Barry Manilow concert and you look at it like gold in the bank. I don’t care if your house sets fire or your kid gets the flu. You. Are. Going. Out. The world will be here when you get back in a few hours. Except maybe your house. Sorry.
Repeat # 1
You have such limited time do not waste it on faux friends that talk smack about you behind your back, are the backhanded compliment type or are just plain yucky. You get the point. I know you are a loyal person but I cannot say it more clearly–Mom was right, better to have a small group of friends that make your heart sing than a ton of shadows around you.
In conclusion, and at the risk of sounding like a L’Oreal commercial, you ARE worth it and deserve to have the warmth and joy only good friends can enrich our lives with. Let the laundry wait, you cackling with your besties at the This is Forty movie cannot!
Get to it Girls! Get in touch with your Sister from another Mother today!
About the author: Andrea Ardito is a freelance writer (for hire!) and a Mother of three from the Seacoast. Andrea would be a hot mess without her girlfriends and is grateful for them everyday; as is her husband, who cannot possibly make it through another conversation about how great a deal she got while shopping. You may view her blog at www.negativityisnotforannieoakley.blogspot.com