Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Girls’ Night Out January 17, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

Tonight, my fiancé’s coworkers are taking him out to a pub to watch a game. And I think, Cool! Girls’ Night Out! Except it’s a weeknight, and my friends here are all moms. Going out to watch a chick-flick or linger over wine at a cozy bistro takes a backseat to helping with homework, making sure everyone’s eaten their vegetables, supervising bath time, and coaxing every last little darling into bed. As it should be.

Even if they could talk husbands and partners into taking over the nightly duties, I’m not up for an evening spent discussing school fund-raisers, the nicest ballet teachers, soccer game schedules, or pregnancy issues. When all topics lead to mommydom, I have little to contribute. And when it’s not boring, it hurts. Tonight, I’m just not up to it.

But, dang, I’m lonely. I know part of the issue is I’m new to this city. I moved here two years ago, and I haven’t yet had the time to build my new tribe. In my old city, I could call up any number of childfree girlfriends and look forward to a night discussing politics, spirituality, the last great book we read, classic movies we all need to see, our bucket lists, the state of the economy, people we love, celebrity gossip, fashion, travel plans….

Maybe I’m more aware of this because of how much I’ve enjoyed being part of the conversation on LifeWithoutBaby. “Enjoyed” isn’t the right word. I feel like we speak the same language. Each member is a unique voice, but there seems to be a shared level of compassion and openness. You inspire, move, and challenge me. You impress me with your intelligence, insight, honesty, and wit. Several times a week, I meet up with you for a virtual Girls’ Night Out, and…it got me thinking: Can we meet up in person?

My city is San Francisco. I’m starting a group on the main site, and I hope you’ll join me. One day soon, we’ll a set date for our first get-together for a movie, a chat over coffee, or a glass of wine and a lively discussion about whatever comes to mind. If you live in the lower half of California, consider joining the “Southern California Members.” There’s also a group forming for “Austin,” or if your city is elsewhere, consider starting your own.

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her most recent article celebrates the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird.


6 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About Girls’ Night Out”

  1. Laura Nye Says:

    Kathleen, I’d meet up in a hearbeat if I was in SF. I have a small group of close girlfriends, and we get together every other week or so but they’re all moms. :/ And I’m pretty sure they stay away from too much “mom talk” out of respect for me (which I’m ambivalent about but mostly appreciate), but I still feel like the odd one.

    I started the Austin group hoping to meet (or at least chat with) other non-moms in the area. Are there any Austinites out there? 🙂

  2. Mali Says:

    Oooh, I’m so jealous! Though one of the good things about getting older is that my friends with kids are freer to come out. Last night, I had drinks with two mothers – one had her husband at home looking after her kids (who were both sick!) …though she did go home early… and another who has just become a grandmother, and is now effectively child-free (except for the gushing over the grandchild, which fortunately she tactfully keeps to a minimum).

  3. mccxxiii Says:

    “Going out to watch a chick-flick or linger over wine at a cozy bistro takes a backseat … As it should be.”

    NO! I’m calling b.s. on that statement. That’s NOT how it should be. Women shouldn’t abandon their friends just because they have children. Women should value their friends enough to make an effort to see them sometimes, not constantly use their children as an excuse for their own selfishness.

    Nothing makes me more angry than being abandoned by “mom” friends who just assume that they can shuffle me off to last-priority and I’ll be grateful for whatever little bit of attention they throw my way. Hell no, sister-friend. I have standards, and if you can’t make an effort to accommodate me and my needs and my schedule every once in a while, then don’t think you’re going to get the benefit of my friendship.

    Not that I’m bitter, of course. 🙂

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