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How can I maintain my friendships now that I have a baby?
It’s quite normal that you find yourself drifting away from childless friends after having a baby. Having a child, especially your first one, requires a huge adjustment and it means that you and your friend are at very different stages in your life.
As a new mom, you’re likely to be tired and busy. You wish you could share the joy and hardships of parenting with your friend, but she does not understand and would rather have the ‘old’ you back again!
The first thing you need to do is decide whether the friendship is still as important to you. If it is, then you will both need to make conscious decisions to spend time working on it. Like any relationship, friendships take time and effort to maintain and you’ll both have to compromise if you want to keep yours alive.
Try not to wish that your friend would be more understanding or share your feelings about motherhood – until she is a mother, that isn’t likely to happen. Rather focus on the things that brought you together in the first place – whether it’s gossipy phone calls or long lunches.
Once you remember what you used to enjoy together, it’s time to create a plan. Come up with ways to make time for each other and make sure to compromise. Sometimes you’ll be able to take your baby along on your outings, but on other occasions you will have to arrange child care. Choose activities you can do at home, or choose family friendly outings.
Make a definite date to get together once or twice a month and try to stick to those dates – the more you see each other, the more likely it is that your friendship will survive.
Whatever you do, don’t expect things to stay exactly the same. They will change – because you have changed! But if you’re both committed to making it work, you will, and one day when she has her first child you can be there for your friend too.
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