Having a baby changes everything. This is a fact. But one of the things I have heard over and over again from other people is how their friendships suffer. I hear from mothers that their single friends do not give them enough time to plan and my single friends feel like their mommy friends flake out more times than not.
I have had the opportunity in the last three years to be in the middle of this change. I have four very close girlfriends with whom I have basically grown up since we were fifteen. I was the third out of the five to get married and have a baby while two are not quite there with babies and the two others are both on their second. So we have a huge spectrum and many different views! This is eye-opening, so I would like to share what you can do to make the relationships work and what things both sides HAVE to realize to survive.
For my non-mommies:
- You need to give your mommy friends time to plan. Unfortunately mothers cannot just meet up for happy hour at a drop of a hat and even worse we have to find a babysitter. If you ask around two weeks in advance you will usually guarantee a great time.
- Try to visit them more at their house in the beginning. A newborn is brutal, so if you can bring a bottle of wine or some food to their house you will help them more than you can know. It is a bitch to pack up a kid and deal with them in public.
- Women have to adjust to what I call the identity crisis. You were one person for 20 to 30 something odd years then all of a sudden you are a mother. Some women can balance this, and some lose themselves. You will not know in the beginning but hopefully the momma will come around.
- Do not think or tell your best friend what she is doing wrong as a mother especially a new mother. We are all perfect parents until you have one.
For new mommies:
1. You are a mother and that is fabulous but dropping off the planet is not fair to the girlfriend who probably helped plan your baby shower. Between Facebook, texting, and a cell you CAN call someone here or there.
2. You have a baby and it is life altering but do not downplay your non mommies’ lives. You used to complain about your pant size, haircut and men too.
3. Stop saying “Well you just don’t understand, you don’t have kids.” This is by far the most obnoxious, condescending thing to hear. It is true we are not moms but that does not mean I cannot relate or even better bring you out of your “crazy” mom only thinking. Sometimes another perspective can be helpful.
4. If you keep flaking out do not be hurt when you stop get invited out. You have to make an effort as well and cannot expect because your single friend does not have a child she doesn’t have a life.
I have been lucky to have girlfriends who make a conscious effort to keep our longstanding friendships continue. I also try my hardest to text, call or at least Facebook to let them know I am alive. I know it has changed, we are no longer 15 on the phone till midnight or even 22 going to the club every weekend, but I want my children to know that friendships are long-lasting and that mommy can stay sane by having fun every once in a while.
How have you acted before or after kids? Have you had a hard time keeping friendships? Any tips on helping the “change?”