Thursday, February 10, 2011

To be a family person or not to be...

One of the struggles of being married young with children is time with friends. Do you spend time with friends or do you not? Nobody wants to not spend time with their friends, but it can come at the cost of a marriage. For the last five years I have developed a steady regiment of girlfriends, girls' night's out, girls weekend, martini parties, birthday celebrations - everything a girl in her twenties loves to do.

Lately, I've been phasing those things out - on purpose. A girlfriend who is considering moving out of town for a boy gave this reason, "I don't have anything holding me back. I have you guys, my girlfriends, but you're not the ones I'm going home with at night." Coming from a girl who loves to live the single life, this struck me. Struck me as true. The last five years I have concentrated so hard on finding myself, figuring out who I am, and making sure to do what I want to do. Which is all very important. But, in the end, my girlfriends aren't the ones I'm going home with at night. Another thing that has happened is watching a girlfriend find the love of her life and pouring every ounce of her soul into him, while the rest of us sit back and watch, giddily happy for her. If she can do that at the beginning of a relationship, why can't I do that ten years into my marriage? Maybe I've had it all wrong has been my perspective lately. I am so grateful to my girlfriends and everything they've carried me through, but maybe they've carried me through to get me to this point - this point where I realize my man and my boys are the most important thing in the world, and for a moment, maybe for every moment, they need to be my priority at every moment.

Unfortunately, after my self-imposed hiatus in order to keep family life in order, all of a sudden a hiatus was forced up on me thru unusually cold weather and snow, my oldest having a fever, and then my lower back hurting so much I couldn't stand up straight. Then, my perspective changed once again. Oh, no! What if I CAN'T go hang out with girlfriends? I definitely still want to! I didn't mean I don't want to see them forever!

So. Where do I draw the line? My family, my man, my boys ARE my priority. So how do I keep up my relationships with my girlfriends without letting that aspect of my life overtake my life? Maintaining friendships IS work, as it should be, the thing is, so IS a relationship, and a family. Do I limit my social time to once a week and risk losing a few of my girlfriends and the close relationship we share now? Yes. Yes, I do. I took this school semester off so I could refocus my priorities. I am not finding a job so I can work with my husband on starting our own business. These things are priorities. I will give myself a night or two a month to spend with my girlfriends and make the most of it. I will give myself a day or two a month to spend with my girlfriends and make the most of it. This is what it is.

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