The new 'girls night out'.

I have noticed that as my kids are getting older lots of things are changing. One of them is Girls Night Out. Remember the toddler years when the chance to get out of the house and shake up the routine of dinner prep/dinner/dinner clean up/bath time/bedtime was a slice of heaven? What I wouldn’t give to go back for just one more evening of that now though. Just to have a toddler fresh out the of the bath, ready to snuggle up on my lap with a book, the smell of a little sweet freshly clean toddler head… sigh. At the time though it was a pretty exhausting hamster wheel. I looked forward to a Girls Night Out for SO many reasons besides the obvious. Yes, sitting with friends, having wine and laughing is still and will always be, one of my all time favorite things. But to have a reason to shower, put on a cute outfit, blow dry my hair and take care of only myself for a few hours – it was a sanity saver. It was such an important time, too, for friendships and getting together with groups of moms and really connecting without the usual distractions.

Now my kids are getting older and I MISS those years when the kids went everywhere with me. I miss my kids since they are at school and sports and off doing all the wonderful things they should be doing. However, a huge bonus is that I have more time for the stuff I want to do, which includes fostering my friendships that are so important to me.  I talk on the phone throughout the day with my friends way more often because there isn’t a 3 year old demanding my attention. I can meet a friend for a walk, a quick lunch, catch-up on the phone for longer then 4 minutes. You really reconnect with your girlfriends in a different way that doesn’t have to involve a scheduled night with dinner and wine.

I will never give up wine night with girl friends, it’s still one of my favorite all time things to do, but now that I have more time to invest in my friendships, hanging out with my friends in other ways is bringing new and enriching experiences to my life… and they don’t involve a hangover!

Here are my top 5 “NEW GNOs”:

  1. Volunteer Together:

My friend Joy and I recently served lunch a local Senior Center. We enjoyed it so much on Monday that we went back to “work” the Ho-Down that Friday. We met so many sweet and inspiring seniors, actually got on the dance floor with them, and laughed our way through it all.

2. Groupon a Class:

My friend Rachel and I are killing ourselves with shaky legs and laughter trying to get through this crazy “MegaReformer” class. It’s lots of laughs and lots of “Oh my God I’m going to die!” but because we are doing it together, I think I’ll make it. Without her I would have quit long ago.

  1. Support their Dreams:

My good friend is launching a company. I’ve hit the streets with her to go to little boutiques to get them to carry her product, brainstormed and worked on the website with her. It’s been so fun and brought us closer together in a whole new way.  It’s also been a great opportunity for me to work on my rusty PR skills in a safe environment. Win-win.

  1. Train for a Race:

My BFF and I started to train for a half marathon together about 8 years ago. We ended up running three half -marathons together that year. Our training runs were some of the best, funniest, deepest conversations of my life. I still spend good, quality time with her and get to discuss EVERYTHING but there is nothing like those long runs together. We both miss that time we carved out, no matter what, to get our training in. Long weekly runs with your best friend is the best therapy a person could ask for.

  1. Get Outdoors:

One on my all time favorite birthdays was my forty-first. Ten of my friends went on a local favorite 5-mile hike with me. I got to be with all my favorite girlfriends and be outdoors doing what I love. It was a great day. And it didn’t hurt that my husband brought bagels and mimosas to the halfway point. Huge husband bonus points for that. Hiking and going on long walks is still one of my favorite ways to spend time with friends and hopefully always will be.

And of course us at Mantra Mask always love this one…

  1. Mask Together

Put on your mask, pour the wine, lay your head back on the sofa and chat away!

My mom has always said that every stage of life is different and wonderful. It is so true. I hope you are embracing all the new ways to have a GNO as the kids get older. Now get out there and laugh, chat, try something new, mask and have some fun!