The Importance Of Your Girl Friends Once You Become A Mother
When I was younger, my mother used to read those “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books or grocery shop late at night for her “me time.” She had her girl friends, but she never did prioritize her friendships. Her priority was my father and me, which should be on the most important list. My mom was a stay-at-home mom mostly my whole life so my mother raised me different than how I am raising my boys. The cost of living was cheaper, food was less expensive and some homes only had one working parent. In our home, my boys have both parents working multiple jobs.
According to the labor force participation rate, the percent of the population working or looking for work, for all mothers with children under age 18, was 72.9 percent in 2022. Us moms tend to overwork, overload our schedules and let what is important fall to the wayside, like our relationships with our girl friends.
Female friends help fight stress and boost mood
As women, when we are stressed, we respond differently than men. While men go into ‘flight or fight,’ new studies show that women who are stressed respond with a reaction called ‘tend and befriend.’ This means as women we tend to nurture those around us. Yes, our husbands may comfort us, but women know how to nurture on another level that a man just cannot. Just like working out, engaging with our girl friends reduces cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and increases serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that helps fight depression.
Female friends can extend our life expectancy
According to UCLA research, women more reliably turn to their social circle when experiencing stress or trauma, which has been noted to protect their health and longevity.
A pattern was studied… “tend and befriend;” it shows that females of many species, including humans, respond to stressful conditions by protecting and nurturing their young (the “tend” response), and by seeking social contact and support from others – especially other females (the “befriend” response).
Female friends allow us to access our feminine energy
When we are around other women, we can relax, unwind and tune in to our own emotions and intuition. Feminine energy, motherly and honest. Being around other women is a chance to ‘let our guard down’ and have fun, dance, be creative, talk openly and be nurturing. So much of our day is being “on the go” and “doing” but being with close girl friends just exist and allows us to be open.
My girl friends and I like to plan coffee dates or weekends away. Weekends away are hard to come by and may only happen every couple of years due to our schedules, but it is important to make time.