Having a baby is definitely a life-changing event. From adjusting to a new routine to sleepless nights; feeling drained but also trying to soak up all the sweet moments that go by so fast. Parents are faced with many challenges in parenthood. However, there are also other changes that can occur after having a baby. One often overlooked change is that of parents’ social circle.
In fact, having a baby can either break up some friendships; like it can also strengthen or create new ones! In this article, we’ll discuss ways in which friendships can change after having a baby and provide tips for dealing with these changes. If you’re a parent or parent-to-be seeking support and understanding, then keep reading!
1. Shift in Priorities
The arrival of a baby can cause a significant shift in priorities. Your baby is now your #1 priority, and their needs take precedence to anyone else’s.
Where your priority might have been about maintaining your friendships in the past, or seeing your friends on a weekly basis; this might change. You’re trying to adjust to a totally new routine and a new little human being!
It’s normal for this to happen. Sleep deprivation, especially in the first few months or years, can take a toll on your energy. And sometimes, you’ll just want to relax and prioritize self-care or alone time rather than focus on socializing.
Also, maybe you were used to going out to bars or clubbing with your friends. It’s possible that your interests change after having a baby. A pizza dinner while staying in for the night might be more interesting to you than going out clubbing until 2am, for instance.
Again, this is all personal to each individual. It doesn’t mean that your priorities will absolutely see a major shift; it might be very subtle.
2. Feeling Less Included
Because of this change in priorities, you might start feeling left out. Your friends might stop inviting you to certain events or you might not be able to attend, for whatever reason.
It can be hard on both ends of the friendship. If you always say no to socializing, then friends might start feeling like they’re putting in a lot of effort that isn’t being reciprocated.
3. Growing Apart
Some friends may lose interest in the friendship and can slowly start slipping away.
They might feel like you don’t have much in common anymore or they might not be able to comprehend or sympathize with what you’re going through as a parent.
In parenting, we seek a lot of support. But sometimes, some friends aren’t able to provide that for us and we might find that difficult. And, we might, ourselves, lose interest in those friendships as they might not be offering what we truly need.
How to Deal With These Changes
- It’s normal. Your baby’s needs are the most important to you right now.
- Take it easy on yourself. Being a parent is a lot of work, and it can be hard to juggle other things in life, including friendships.
- Communicate your feelings openly with your friends, expressing any hurt or feelings of exclusion.
- Ensure that both you and your friends make an effort to maintain the friendship.
- Understand that if friends don’t have kids of their own; it’s hard for them to understand your situation.
- The best part…finding friends that are also parents can really help and can be a lot of fun! You might find that your relationship with friends that are already parents become even stronger than they were before!
Parenthood can bring immense joy, but it can also affect other areas of your life; namely, friendships. Balancing the demands of parenting with maintaining friendships can be challenging, and some relationships may change or even fade away. Just remember to take it easy on yourself. Embrace these changes and focus on cultivating friendships that are supportive and fulfilling.
Mamas, how did you deal with your friendships after having a baby? Comment below!