February 13th is Galentine’s Day, a holiday focused on female friendship. The idea of celebrating female friendship wasn’t new, but Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec gave the event some needed publicity by hosting a Galentine’s Day gathering in an episode in 2010. Since then, the celebration of Galentine’s Day has caught on, and not a moment too soon for moms of tweens and teens.
Leslie Knope’s description of the holiday as “ovaries before brovaries” is funny and true. But a more accurate description for moms of adolescents may be “ovaries before kids’ activities, working, chauffeuring, grocery shopping, cleaning, organizing, volunteering, and the long list of other things on our to do lists.”
It’s no secret (or at least a poorly kept one) that parenting a teen can feel very lonely. That’s true for a variety of reasons, including that we are ridiculously busy, emotionally spent after time on the emotional rollercoaster, protective of our kids’ privacy, and more.
But that means we need our friends now more than ever. I love that Galentine’s Day encourages us to make the time for those relationships and to focus on “ladies celebrating ladies,” as Leslie Knope says.
High school and parenting can both be competitive environments, but that doesn’t mean you have to play that game. Celebrate your friends, and their kids. Remember the phrase that “lighting someone else’s candle won’t make yours any less bright.”
Celebrate your friends, and throw a little love their way. Share a favorite quality or two they have that you admire, and if you can do it while passing some chocolate or a tasty beverage, all the better.
Because you know who could use a little extra love?
Moms of tweens and teens.
(And really, science backs this up. Female friendships have a myriad of health benefits which are detailed in this Healthline article.)
Women need to celebrate and support each other, and that’s a lesson that we can help our girls (and guys) learn by example.
Seeing you prioritize your friendships can illustrate to your kids that those relationships are worth time and effort. (That said, of course both time and effort are in short supply for moms of teens. But meeting at a coffee shop or hosting a small gathering with some munchies and a few beverages is easier than it sounds.)
Also, effort now can pay off down the road, when our kids are gone and we have more time to build on the foundations of friendship that we’ve established now.
Galentine’s Day isn’t about being the perfect hostess, it’s about connecting. That can happen anywhere, and regardless of whether there are piles of laundry on the floor. Or it can happen by text and social media with your ladies who are far away.
However it happens, I want my teen to see that friendships are important, no matter what age you are. Galentine’s Day is a good place to start.
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