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Nights out with my girlfriends are now few(er) and far(ther) between. There’s always some sort of obstacle that needs to be overcome in order to make it happen, such as – but not limited to – (1) I’m really tired. (2) We have family obligations (aka grandparents want to see their grandkids…and who can blame ‘em?). (3) At least one child is always sick. (3) I’m way too tired. (4) My husband has plans and I don’t have anyone to watch the kiddos. (5) Our schedules are not lining up and before we know it we’re already two months ahead on the calendar trying to find a day, any day that works for all of us. (6) I’m seriously exhausted…maybe once my kids are in college.

Oh yes, once you make that leap into motherhood the whole social scene you were once so accustomed to changes drastically. You know the feeling – that you’re lucky if you make it out to the grocery store without your kids never mind a ladies night out! It usually has to be someone’s birthday or planned three months in advance along with reciting a few Hail Mary’s – and I’m not even Catholic – for that to happen.

Remember those days where you could go out with your girlfriends practically every weekend, and not really care how late you went to bed (or how much you had to drink)? Hell, you had practically no responsibilities (even though it felt like you had so many at the time …poor you) and could sleep late the following morning anyway. Have a headache from drinking too much wine the night before? No problem! Just relax and hideout in your bed all day. Nowadays, “sleeping in” means 7am – because you’re usually up before the crack of dawn – when your preschooler marches down the stairs (I am still amazed that a 3 year old can sound like a 200 lb. man) while yelling at the top of her lungs, “I HAVE TO GO POTTY!” My former college self is pointing and laughing at me right now. Well laugh it up sister because we both know what your future has in store for you! Who’s laughing now? HA!

Thankfully, I have a great group of girlfriends who make it appoint to get together and, almost as important, are understanding when it’s just not in the cards. When the starts just so happen to align and we get together it usually always involves wine and way too much food. We laugh until we cry. And then laugh some more. We catch up on each others’ lives, offer advice if asked for it (and sometimes when we’re not), trade funny stories – about our kids, husbands, pets, work, all while making jokes and inappropriate comments…like teenage boy inappropriate…about everything. The phrase “That’s what she said” is probably used at least a few times during the course of the evening (followed by kudos from the rest of the gang for the way you just slipped it right into the conversation, ever so casually). And then when the night is just about over we pull out the cell phones and open up our calendars in the hopes of scheduling our next get together.

No, girls’ nights are definitely not what they used to be before we started having families, more demanding careers, and more obligations. It’s better. It’s therapy for my soul. I appreciate them now more than ever. They help remind me of who I was, who I am, and who I always hope I’ll be.

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