I have a weekly date with her. We meet on Fridays and we talk for about an hour. It’s only enough time to cover one topic in detail, and at the end of the hour, when she has to take her youngest to a mommy and me class, we always lament about how we wish we had more time.
I met her at a mom’s group event last year. Our kids are sort of the same age. When we first started hanging out together, we brought our kids along, and they played well together. But then, we just sort of stopped including our children, because..they were sort of in the way. When we visited, we wanted to focus on each other and our conversation! So we started meeting without them. It was a weird transition for me, because it was the first time since becoming a mother that I made a friend just because of things I had in common with her and not because our children had something in common.
And here’s one thing we don’t do. We rarely talk about our kids. Very little of the conversation is taken up by chatting about how our kids are doing in school, what they know and what they don’t, and many of the other passively competitive conversations moms like to have. These discussions are about us. Our lives, our marriages, and yes, our kids come up in conversation, but it’s usually to tell a story or ask for advice…not to vaguely compare kid stats.
This hour of my week is one of the highlights. I think it’s because we really talk to each other, not at each other, and because we truly pay attention to what the other is saying. It’s not a rushed conversation, it’s not chatting above the din (or screams!) of children playing. It is just about us. And that’s something so easy to forget when we’re all consumed with the needs of our children 24 hours a day. A refreshing change of pace is just so enlightening.