I'm all about the GNO.
If you are unfamiliar with this term, GNO is girlspeak for "Girls Night Out."
And I believe they are an essential part of every woman's life.
Women, particularly mothers, struggle to make time for themselves. I believe this is because women have a penchant for being selfless: taking care of the needs of family and friends before their own. While this is honorable, it leaves women completely spent. Giving of themselves without being intentional to pour back into themselves in some way, shape or form leaves women EMPTY.
Have I hit a nerve yet?
I can't tell you how often I've come to the end of the week completely exhausted. With doing my best to stay on top of my part-time jobs, struggling to focus on my kids and my marriage and the house, while making laughable attempts at juggling everything so nothing comes crashing to the ground, one might say I spend much of my life in a state of overwhelmedness.
(Oh look. I made up yet another word.)
I realized one day, after pouring out so much, that I was empty. Not philosophically empty. But emotionally and mentally empty. I needed to do some pouring into me for a little bit. I needed to re-engergize. I needed to remind myself that I am a person, too. A person who likes to feel pretty, be social and have fun.
So, I emailed my girlfriends (several other mothers from a storytime group I was a part of at the time), and we made plans to do a GNO at our local Melting Pot. I found that I wasn't the only one who needed to get out, to talk about something other than the great deal I got at the grocery store or the crazy thing my kid did that day. I needed to step out of being a mom for a few hours and just be Steph.
The first GNO was a ton of fun, and it was not long until another GNO was put on the calendar. Then another, then another. It has become a regular occurrence (although never as often as I'd like) in varying circles of friends.
A GNO doesn't always have to be dinner. It can be dessert. It can be drinks or a wine tasting. It can be pampering yourself with a mani/pedi. It can be an evening of shopping. It can be a yoga or zumba class. It can be a weekly bible study. Whatever brings you joy, whatever fills you up.
Now I'm going to give you a challenge:
Schedule a GNO.
And DON'T. FEEL. BAD. ABOUT. IT.
I believe guilt is one of the major hinderances to women spending time to focus on themselves. I think if were to poll a group of moms, many of them would say that feel bad not putting that focus on their kids or their spouse. And I believe deep down? Deep down most women believe they don't deserve to pamper themselves.
DON'T. BELIEVE. THE. LIES.
You deserve ME TIME. You deserve to pamper yourself once in a while. You deserve an opportunity to connect with other women without the constraints of housework, jobs, errands and kids. YOU, my friend, deserve to TREAT YO SELF.
Because treating yourself ultimately makes you a better woman. How? When you have a chance to unwind, relax, regroup and refocus, you come back home (your partner, your kids, your job, your house) with a freshness and new perspective. Spending time with friends, allowing yourself to care for your needs for a few hours, helps to clear the cobwebs of your mind and heart. It helps you to start anew.
It is not indulgence, friends. Caring for yourself, emotionally and mentally, is a life necessity.
So go ahead. Call up your girlfriends. Put a GNO on the calendar.
And above all things, Treat Yo Self.
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