“But Honey, Having a Girls Night is Important for my Health!”
Have you ever tried to use that excuse before? Well ladies, the time has come to say this to your husband and actually mean it! Having girlfriends (or more specifically, mom friends) is beneficial not just for our souls and psyche, but also for our health.
We’ve all been there. The moment your new baby comes into the world, the last thing on your mind is making it to monthly wine night with your friends or setting up a play date with the neighborhood moms. As moms, we become comfortable with isolating ourselves, thinking this is the only way we can be a good mom. We say, “I am just too focused on my baby right now, maybe I’ll come next week”. Next week turns into next month, and next year, and before you know it, it’s you and a container of Nutella on your couch binge-watching episodes of Parenthood on Netflix and looking at pictures of all your friends hanging out on Facebook. Put the lid back on ladies, grab your keys, and join the fun!
Have you honestly thought what your life would look like without those special mom friends in your life? The ones who actually ENJOY and can RELATE to all of your nursing frustrations, or your questions about introducing solid foods, or who don’t mind investigating and analyzing your two-month-old’s latest poop. Try talking to your non-mom friends about that. Good luck. Let us know how that goes for ya…
Science has been investigating the importance of having girlfriends, specifically fellow mom friends, in relation to our health. As women, we need outlets to express ourselves, our emotions, our thoughts, our frustrations. “Research shows that when women are sharing an experience with other women, their bodies produce oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone” because it is released in mothers when they’re nursing” (via Suzanne Braun Levine, Next Avenue)
Ironic, huh? Moms feel the same sense of comfort sharing with girlfriends as they do sharing milk with their babies. Mother nature is such a wise woman.
“Unlike husbands or kids (who can also bring about this chemical response but are often the cause of anxiety), our friends consistently elicit that warm glow, which feels good and soothes anxiety.” (Levine, Next Avenue) These outlets help decrease our stress levels, making us better wives, moms, and friends. Scientists are even going as far as saying these female relationships contribute to the fact that women live longer than men. (NY Times)
Our mom friends understand us. There is a common connection that can only come from someone who understands exactly what you are going through. Our mom friends can have empathy for our joys and our struggles. When you laugh together (whether over a silly comment you read in a ‘moms only forum’ or on the latest post from nickmom.com), you release endorphins, filling your brain with those feel-good brain chemicals, AKA happiness.
Mom friends, non-mom friends, guy friends, girlfriends: it doesn’t matter. The point is, we need get out there and start connecting with each other again. Take the steps to make your emotional health a priority so that you can truly be the best, most well rounded mom you can be for your family.
So, the next time your husband asks you to skip the weekly moms play group or mom’s night out, just tell him how much you’ll save in health insurance due to the health benefits from those hours of mom gossip and snacking. He’ll thank you later, we promise.
Tired of hearing so much advice from what seems like everyone? We understand.