Your friends have seen you through hellish jobs, heartbreak, and probably a few hangovers. You've been through the good and bad, and don't know where you'd be without their support. So when news of a baby throws your life for a loop, it's normal to worry about your longtime buddies getting lost in the shuffle. You’ve heard a million times that having a baby changes everything, and just hope that your friendship is the one thing that can withstand the new addition. But to keep your friendships strong after you have a baby, you're going to have to put in a little extra effort.
Granted, as a new mom you may not be able to get turnt up on a Tuesday, but you and your friends can adapt to the new normal and stay as close as ever. As long as you’re open and honest about what is possible with the demands of an infant dominating your schedule, your friends don’t have to fall by the wayside. As long as they can be flexible — and maybe change a diaper here and there — you don’t have to resign yourself to a hermitic existence until the kid starts Kindergarten. Here, a few sage tips for maintaining strong friendships once your little one turns life upside-down.
1. Make Staying In Touch A Priority
Although your responsibilities quadrupled overnight the minute your baby arrived, it's important to keep your friends in the loop during this major milestone. According to Psychology Today, maintaining a circle of friends is crucial for decreasing stress and having a healthy life. Do your best to stay in touch, even if it's just a quick text now and then.
2. Be Honest
Follow this advice from Greatist and just be honest about your life as a new mom. If you're feeling overwhelmed, just let your buddy know. A good friend will be understanding; a great friend will show up and watch the baby while you grab a shower.
3. Talk About More Than Your Kid
It's totally OK to chat about your child, but you also need to ask about your pal's life (and why wouldn't you want to.) Today Parents acknowledges that friendships change once a baby arrives, but maintaining communication is crucial.
4. Use Technology
Social media is an okay way to maintain friendships when you're crunched for time. It's a great way to keep up with friends' day-to-day trials and triumphs so that you have a good place to start the conversation when you do get the chance to chat face-to-face.
5. Get Face Time
No, I don't mean the app. While technology is great, of course nothing beats a face-to-face conversation. A study published in Time found just being around a person on a regular basis makes you feel more friendly. So don't shut out your buddies during this time and, instead, invite them over for a low-key afternoon hangout so you have a chance to catch up.
The Mayo Clinic advises attentive listening and empathy as a crucial way of maintaining friendships. So while the whirlwind of having a new baby has completely changed your life, chances are your friends still have interesting things going on in their own lives. Ask about the new job or latest hobby to stay in the loop.
7. Maintain Common Interests
Chances are you became friends over a common interest or hobby, so make sure to keep that going once baby arrives. Invite your college buddy over to watch the game when your team's playing. Grab a jogging stroller and reconnect with your running buddies. Or even just pick a series on Netflix to binge-watch with your bestie. Maintaining that common bond will keep your friendships strong so you can still achieve #squadgoals as a new mom.