When I had my first child, my daughter, I was so lucky to find a great group of moms who became my close girlfriends.
We had weekly play dates, barbeques with the family, and met almost every week at the park together. Our children were all around the same age and there was no divide between boys and girls.
But that all changed when “The Great Gender Divide” began.
At about age 4, the boys wanted to only play with other boys, and the girls only wanted to play with other girls. We would try to find activities that we could all do together, but inevitably the boys would want to shoot the girls with their imaginary fire arms and the girls would want to hide and dress up like princesses.
For a while, I tried to convince myself that they could all play together so I could still have my bonding time with my girlfriends. But I realized that I was being selfish and that our great playgroup had ended.
And I mourned for a bit. I wondered if our friendships could sustain without the weekly play dates and daily park visits. I wondered if moms could be friends without the luxury of their children playing nicely together. I knew that we would all play together from time to time, but I missed our regular routine and that outlet I had with my fellow mom friends.
But then something wonderful happened. We became the moms who got together at night without our children. We get pedicures and go to dinners where we talk without any child pulling on our sleeves. And we share our victories and failures as parents, all while drinking wine and wearing clothes that aren’t stained from spit up.
This new stage in friendship is glorious. And the irony is that while we were all out together, our kids all play together with the dads. The boys chase the girls and the girls squeale while pretending they don’t love it.
Perhaps in the end, it all comes full circle.
Either way, I’m happy knowing that friendships thrive, even through the changing interests of our children. And a night out with girlfriends truly does make me a better mother.
Danielle Herzog is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to two children.
Read her every Wednesday on momaha.
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