Friendships After Having Kids

Having a baby will change many things. Career, body and relationships just to name a few.  Your bond with your partner will take a new direction, the kinship among your family members will be different and your relationships with your friends will be turned upside down. The change isn’t always bad.  While you may start seeing some friends less, others are bound to become a bigger part of your social circle.  

The change is inevitable. Maintaining friendships after having kids will take work from both sides.  Your priorities will shift almost overnight, making some friends feel as if they are being left behind.  While you are going through one of the most transformative experiences of life, both physically and mentally, your friend is not.  The excitement over your baby can take over and rule over all else, but no matter how excited you are, you must remember that life as usual is going on for everyone else.  Your friends are also celebrating in their own accomplishments or battling their own challenges and as a good friend, it is up to you to be there in support.

Each one of your relationships will be impacted differently, but what it comes down to is:

Some friendships will improve, some will weaken and some will evolve

There are the “in a relationship, but don’t have children” friends:

Sometimes childless friends can become distant.  There are many reasons this could be.  Maybe a mild resentment over something such as a fertility issue or unspoken jealousy.  Or maybe they feel like they are losing their friend and ally. Or maybe they just aren’t “kid” people and aren’t sure how to process the transition.  Whatever the case may be, voicing your concern and sharing an open dialogue will help to ease tensions and clear the air.  

Your single friend:

Let’s say you’re six months pregnant and your girlfriend calls you up for lunch.  Swollen feet, a crowded restaurant and a hot summer day aren’t at the top of your list. Don’t be quick to say no.  Friendship is a two way street.  And saying “yes” once in awhile to activities that aren’t baby-centered will keep your friendship balanced. Don’t forget about your girlfriends.

A friend who wants a baby:

Whether your friend has been trying a long time or not, be sensitive to the fact that your pregnancy may seem bittersweet to her.  Of course she is happy for you but on the other hand, she’s reminded of her own personal journey, making it hard for her to show as much excitement as you would want to share with her.  

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Studies have shown that women tend to gravitate to other women in similar relationship and family situations.  You probably won’t be with your “girls night” friends as much.  However, you are very likely to meet many moms at playgroups, story time and at the park.  These women are going through the same life events and you will find much to bond over. So while maybe you aren’t hanging out with your single girlfriends as much, you are bound to meet other moms who are in similar life situations as yourself.  

After your baby is born, make a point to participate in activities with your friends.  While you may not have as much time as you once did, make it a point to meet once a month and catch up.  And not just about baby stuff.  

Esraa Bani-Rothman

Esraa Bani-Rothman

Founder & CEO at Moms Guide Abu Dhabi
aka, Expat Mom
Sudanese-American working mom of three. Free Spirit. Idea Curator. Her brain moves faster than her body can go. A laid back chic who walks around with that stereotypical hippie vibe.She is never afraid to give you her unsolicited opinion about gentle parenting. Esraa has been actively over-sharing her motherhood and parenting stories on social media since 2008.
Esraa Bani-Rothman

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