Parents, A Friends Getaway Can Be Good For Your Life
My husband recently went away for a weekend with a bunch of his guy friends. He sent me a photo from the trip – out gallivanting with all his buddies.
I was tempted to send him a photo back… me with a bunch of kids and laundry.
But I didn’t. Because the truth is – I was really, really happy he went. My husband works hard and dedicates himself to his family. So if he can get a few days away with some of his closest friends – to talk, laugh, drink (maybe in moderation) – then he should absolutely do it. It makes him a better spouse.
And I’m not being some kind of martyr here because he does the same thing for me. I’ll soon be meeting up with my college friends for an annual girls’ weekend. It’s a true gift to have some time to see friends, remember who I was (and in many ways still am) and just be. With no whining. No one else’s needs.
With parenthood comes great joy but it also comes with this relentless hamster wheel feel. You get up. You take care of kids. You worry. You feel guilty. Everyone tells you not to blink or you’ll miss it all. And then you fall into bed ridiculously tired – only to wake up and do it again. This goes on day after day. And at some point you desperately need to recharge.
And yes, it’s amazing if you can recharge with your partner. If finances and childcare allow for you to get away with your spouse, go. Go right now. Because maintaining a relationship with the demands of children can be a hearty endeavor. So any alone time together should be cherished.
We all need to go and find our smile once in a while.
But I would also argue that having time to reconnect with friends is just as vital. In the movie, City Slickers, Billy Crystal’s character is struggling with the responsibilities and boredom of midlife. His wife urges him to go on a two week cattle drive with his friends. She says, “Go and find your smile.”
And I know it’s just a movie from two decades ago that you probably rented from Blockbuster, but that quote has always stuck with me. We all need to go and find our smile once in a while. And even better when our spouse encourages us to go.
Now it may not be financially possible to get away for a weekend. But then plan an afternoon with your girlfriends. Put down the “to do” list, shut off the cell phone and just hang the way you used to with your old friends or even new friends.
Maybe you can check out an art gallery or have a cocktail at a fancy hotel or eat cheese fries while bowling. Am I the only one who used to eat cheese fries? Just something fun and decadent and silly. Because there is something really intoxicating about getting to just be yourself, doing whatever the heck you feel like doing at that very moment. And there is no better remedy for the life doldrums than laughing your ass off with a great friend.
And, I won’t lie. Re-entry into your chaotic life can be jarring. Even if you’ve only been away for an afternoon. What happened to my inner peace, you’ll think as some little human throws a frozen hotdog across the room. But your inner peace is in there somewhere. You know it is.
Because you got your smile back.
Photo source: Depositphotos/laskvv
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