It's golden hour on a Friday night and your girls night has once again turned into half-Netflixing and aimless texting. You go around the room, once, twice asking each of your girlfriends what they want to do and the conversation goes something like this:
"Do you want to see a movie?"
"Nope, not really."
"Face masks and wine night?"
"We did that last weekend…"
"Fine, do y'all want to order food?"
"Nah, I'm good."
"We can go out – head to the club?"
"Girl what? Absolutely not!"
"WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO??"
"Hmmm not sure."
Finding fun activities to do with your girls really shouldn't be that hard, and doesn't have to be. The first step is knowing how your friend group prefers to plan outings. Do they need a lot of notice? Are they open to trying new things? Are they on another restrictive budget? Depending on your city and friend group, the options can be endless. Tired of the same old, same old? Check out our guide below of 6 dope activities to do with your girls.
6 Fun Girls Night In Ideas
1.Take a Twerk Fitness or Cardio Pole Dancing Class
Trying to get that body right? Want to get active with your girls? I strongly recommend taking a dance fitness class, especially a twerk fitness class. Of all the group activities I've done with my friends, twerk cardio just might be near the top. You get all of the exercise benefits and music choices of going to the club without the fuss of getting ready and unpleasant social dynamics.
It's the best of both worlds.
2.Try a Paint & Sip Class
Also an underrated group activity, paint and sip classes can be both relaxing while structuring a set time for you to bond with your girls. It's even a great choice for your busy friend who prefers to do their own thing. Depending on the location, you can bring your own wine, select the painting, and even make music requests. Further, you don't need to have previous experience or be the next Van Gogh since the instructor guides everyone through the stages of making the painting a step at a time. With the right group of friends, from one friend to a large group, there is something for everyone to do.
3.Book a Staycation
You don't have to go far to "get away." Sometimes just getting out of your same environment – home, office, man's house – can help you recharge and reset. Grab a few of your girlfriends who you haven't seen in a while due to hectic schedules, and book a hotel room in your city for one or two days. Watch movies, order takeout, delve into some ~spicy~ conversations that you have been wanting to discuss for months. Have your own mini-getaway within your own city!
4.Start or Join a Bookclub
Courtesy of Instagram/@ReadBetweenTheWineClub
Be it a reoccurring book club or just making the commitment to all read a certain book together as a friend group, like Michelle Obama's, Becoming, intellectual discourse can be fun and refreshing. Sometimes the hardest part about reading is sitting down and finding the time, but once you get absorbed, it's impossible to stop.
I joined a book club of young, vibrant, professional black women when I first moved to NYC and it singlehandedly became my favorite part of the month. Finding safe spaces to discuss issues, build support networks, and make new friends are incredibly important, especially as a growing 20-something. Try finding or creating those spaces in a book club.
5.Take a Cooking or Bartending Class
Why order sushi when you can learn to make it? A fun and tasty girls' night option, search for one-time or reoccurring cooking and bartending classes in your city. It not only guarantees that your girls will find the time to come together, but will leave with a new skill! A lower maintenance option for those resistant to the idea of formal class is to go wine tasting at a local wine cellar. Both options guarantee that you will try something new.
6.Go to an Outdoor Movie Screening
Rather than opt for your typical movie theater, like Issa's birthday outing in Season 3 of Insecure, grab a bunch of friends, blankets, and snacks, and head to an outdoor movie screening. While city-specific and more of a spring/summer activity, it's a great twist on a traditional activity and still lets you bond with your girls.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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Lydia is a recent Ivy League graduate and lifestyle writer based out of NYC. Storytelling her way through her 20-somethings, her lens is all things career, self-care, and #BlackGirlMagic. Meet Lydia on Instagram @hello_lydia.
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An Unspoken Wound: How I'm Healing The Trauma Of Not Having A Relationship With My Mother
I used to be a child that sought constant acceptance, approval, and validation from my mother. I longed for the mother-daughter relationships that I saw on TV, in movies, or that my girlfriends had with their mothers. I would be triggered watching mother-daughter Lifetime movie scenes. Warm tears slowly rolled down my face as I watch rehearsed scenes of what a mother-daughter relationship should look like.
As a child, I remember feeling like I was not worthy of my mother’s love. I remember feeling jealous of the love my mother would show to my twin brother and cousins. But when it came to me, my mother seemed to treat me differently. Every difference of opinion seemed to create distance. Every conversation turned into an argument. And I could never understand why.
From the time I was in middle school or either high school, I looked for motherly love in other women – my older cousins, aunts, godmother, my girlfriends’ mothers, and colleagues. At one point, physical distance made our relationship more amicable. But as I started to undo conditioned beliefs, become my authentic self, and heal my inner child, my relationship with my mother went from strained to completely estranged over the years. Believe me — I have tried to fix things with my mother. The pain just lingers. This is never what I had wanted. And I still don’t want it to be this way. I mean, what daughter would want that?
It took time and therapy, but I had to protect my energy and make peace with my reality. I love my mom as any daughter would. My mother is the reason I stand on my feet and not on my knees. I am more than grateful for my mother and everything she sacrificed for me. Because of my mother, I present and carry myself well. Extremely well. I am strong, independent, respectful, confident, responsible, educated, eloquent, well-dressed, successful, compassionate, well-rounded, graceful, disciplined, and hard-working. She raised one hell of a woman.
The relationship we have with our mothers is seen as one of the most important relationships in our lives. It is this type of relationship that dictates your interactions with other people. It is said what happens in your childhood shows up in platonic and romantic relationships. It’s true. Most of the time, mother-daughter relationships are portrayed as healthy, secure, loving relationships. Women often say, “My mother is my best friend.” However, this isn’t true for some women. As women have become more transparent about generational trauma, it’s definitely not true. What is true is that more and more women are sharing their experiences with having a toxic mother.
And I think it’s time we elevate the conversation about toxic mothers. It was within the last year or two I learned that the psychological term for an unhealthy relationship with our mothers is called the "mother wound." Thanks to theInstagram page @motherwoundproject, women like me have a resource to understand, validate, and cope with our own mother wounds. Let’s take a closer look at what the mother wound is, the signs of the mother wound, and how to find healing.
What Is the Mother Wound?
According to Stephi Wagner, the founder of the Mother Wound Project, themother wound is all the pain we carry from our relationship or lack of relationship with our mothers. It is thegenerational pain and a intergenerational complex trauma inherited and passed down between grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. The mother wound usually affects women of color, women from immigrant families, or women living in poverty. This pain can stem from childhood, adolescence, or adulthood.
It is important to note that the mother wound is not gender specific – both men and women can have mother wounds. However, it is more common in mother-daughter relationships. The mother wound can also be described as a loss or lack of mothering. For example, your mother may have been able to provide physical needs but could not provide for your emotional needs. Causes for the mother wound can range from neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, and/or sexual abuse.
The Signs of Having the Mother Wound
Every mother's wound is different and is experienced differently. It can cause emotional and mental damage. For me, my mother wound showed up as wanting my mother’s approval, trying to please my mother with my academic accomplishments, shaming my body, thinking my mother didn’t love me, conflict avoidance, and having weak boundaries.
According toPsychology Today, signs of the mother wound can look like this:
"Never feeling they had their mother's approval or acceptance;
"Concerns about not being loved by their mother or not being loved as much as other siblings or family members;
"Difficulties in relating to the mother on an emotional level;
"Feelings of having to protect, care for, or shelter your mother rather than her protecting, caring for, and sheltering you."
And according to theMother Wound Project, other signs of the mother wound may be described as the following:
"You feel responsible for the feelings and happiness of others;
"You have a history of unfulfilling, difficult, or even abusive relationships;
"You are either afraid of conflict and find yourself avoiding it at all costs, OR You find yourself seeking out conflict for the wrong reasons;
"You believe deep down that you are 'unlovable' or 'hard to love';
"You have a hard time saying no, setting boundaries, or asserting yourself, especially when others may be disappointed or upset;
"You care too much about the judgments and opinions of others."
These negative feelings lead to reduced self-esteem in your childhood and as an adult. Ultimately, one can end up having codependency issues in their adult relationships or struggle with an attachment disorder.
Healing From the Mother Wound
For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who had a difficult relationship with their mother. By speaking my truth, I found that three of my close friends also do not have healthy relationships with their mothers. And honestly, there was so much comfort and healing in knowing I had a friend that could relate to my experiences. It’s not easy to talk about the pain of not having a relationship with your mom. You are often envious or feel a way knowing that your friends have what you desire. The type of mother-daughter relationship filled with open communication, transparency, love, affection, and friendship.
Most of the time, friends like this don’t understand or can’t relate. They say things like, “I can’t imagine not speaking with my mom,” “You only have one mom,” or “It’s still your mom.” And to someone who struggles with not having their mom in their life - it’s probably the worst thing you could ever say simply because that is not our truth.
An article byMindbodygreen states that in order to heal from a mother wound we must learn to re-mother ourselves and set boundaries around the relationship with our mothers. We have to create a new relationship with ourselves and learn to meet our own emotional, physical, and practical needs. This means acknowledging our pain and grieving that pain with our inner child. It is recommended to work with a therapist to process those feelings.
I first addressed my mother wound in talk therapy and journaling. I also worked through my pain in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a past life regression (hypnosis), and equine-assisted therapy (horse therapy). The memories and feelings I had to unpack were uncomfortable but necessary for me to heal. I had to come to the understanding that the women before me didn’t know any better and were doing what they thought was right. By acknowledging this, I was able to change my reaction and/or responses, show compassion, and forgive my mother.
Please note that the mother wound is not a clinical or medical diagnosis. The mother wound just cuts deep. It is something that many women struggle to heal from. And if you are trying to heal from the pain of having a difficult mother-daughter relationship, I want you to know you’re not alone. It’s going to take some time.
And it’s going to take remembering things you don’t want to remember. You’ll unpack a whole lot of feelings. There’s going to be some ugly crying too, but the pain will soften. You will still have your moments and internal battles, but you will find acceptance, comfort, and peace. I have found that women have the natural ability to connect through our pain and heal each other just by sharing our truths.
So, if you think you are suffering from a mother wound or have a broken relationship with your mother, you can and will find healing.
I did and I am still healing.
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