As Carrie Bradshaw says on Sex and the City, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.” As women, we pride ourselves on our friendships. Our “girl talks” over cocktails or coffee. Sometimes if we are lucky, we can even have relaxing girl time getting facials or our nails done.
So what happens when you move away from those people? What happens when you live hours away and need your uplifting support team in your stepparenting crisis?
Text messaging and direct messaging isn’t quite the same as our girl talk with chocolate flavored cocktails. And let’s be real, our men aren’t always full of the wisdom we get from our girls.
When Your Support System Feels Far Away
You may feel isolated.
Today, your husband has driven you crazy. He didn’t come home with the gallon of milk you reminded him to—more than once during the day—and your stepchildren want nothing but both of your attention.
All you hear is people wanting something from you, and screaming into a pillow or hiding in a warm bath with a bottle of wine sounds like the best idea.
You go to call one of your girls to get you out of the house for a few hours, and then you realize those few hours will be over just by driving to each other. That bottle of wine looks amazing right now, doesn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean you don’t love your husband or your stepchildren. They are your world and you don’t have to deny that. Maybe you even made the sacrifice to move hours away to be with your partner.
Consider Your Blessings
It’s okay to miss your home team, your support team. It just means that you are lucky enough to have people in your life to miss.
Sometimes our friends really are the family we choose, and being away from them isn’t ideal.
There are always ways, to bridge that gap when you feel like the distance is getting too much, or that you feel like you are going crazy from day to day stressors.
Ways to Bridge the Gap
It’s not the same, but we all have cell phones.
Whether it be one-on-one or in a group, jump on Facebook and get a group chat going. Talk about all of the things that your partner does that drives you crazy.
Talk about the latest clothes trends or the latest toddler meltdown. Or sometimes, just send each other crazy memes to make each other laugh. At least you know, no matter how near or far, your people are on the other end of the phone thinking of you as you are thinking of them.
Video calls can be amazing. Don’t feel embarrassed about going places on your own… just FaceTime your girls when you’re at the cocktail bar, it’ll be like they are right there with you!
Video calls can also be a good way for your children, and your friends’ children to build relationships. It may not be the same as riding on their bikes together like we used to as kids, but at least when you all meet up again they will know each other.
Once or twice a year, plan a getaway with your ladies. Maybe you could all meet at a mutual place or halfway in between where you live and have the time of your lives. Remember your partner and stepchildren will be just fine without you!
Take this time, turn off your phone and enjoy the time together. Eat lots of chocolate, drink too many cocktails and watch too many Channing Tatum movies.
This gives you all something to look forward to. Occasionally, try to get all of your families together, with your children and your husbands. Let the chaos begin!
Take too many photos together. Make sure your husbands watch the kids together while you girls catch up. More often than not, your children and your friends’ children form just as amazing a bond as you and your girlfriends did, and this could start a tradition not only for your generation but for your kids and their kids in the future.
Distance is tough, but so are you.
Ultimately, it will likely feel like you’re missing these people in your life, and there is nothing wrong with missing your friends!
When you’re feeling down and out and a phone call doesn’t cut it, that’s okay. Hide in that bathroom, eat the chocolate, look at the photos of your younger days.
Remember that times change, and you may live apart from each other, but it doesn’t mean that you will grow apart from your girlfriends. It might just mean you will treasure the times you have together a little bit more.
At least if you need to gossip, you know your partner won’t repeat it… because it’s likely he wasn’t listening anyway.
P.S. Do you need your partner to hear you… to see you? Advocate for yourself, mama. It’s okay to take up space.