It really depends on the people.
I’ve been really lucky in that in 99% of my friendships nothing has changed.
I would go as far as to say that I feel closer to most of my friends now.
I am the first in my close friends to have a baby (besides my wiser friends who have adult children) and they have predominantly made me feel like I am the same person as I was before.
Which inherently I am although I have grown in several ways;
1. I am calmer
2. I take less shit
3. I don’t bother much with people who don’t bother with my son
After the vulnerability of first time mum fog moved along it became very clear to me that the people who are your tribe, the ones who value what you value and work really hard to understand your new role – they never faltered.
I understand people grappling with someone who has just had a baby, it’s a strange time for everyone involved. The new parents entire life has just been turned upside down and if you don’t know how the hell to support them – just ask.
Shrinking into the shadows and carrying on with your normal life will put a level of separation between you and the new parents that may not be fixable.
I am part of a first time mothers group on Facebook and it breaks my heart how these women are completely abandoned by their nearest and dearest. The number of these women who have had babies and their friends haven’t even picked up the phone to see how they are getting on.
YES their life has changed but a few hours out of your day to sit with her and have a cup of coffee and tell her what a great job she’s doing is the least you can do.
YES it’s a faff for her to get the baby ready and out but suggest a shopping trip and I guarantee she will take you up on it.
YES she might not be ready to leave the baby just yet so make a plan, set a date, plan ahead. Let her know you’re sticking around.
The only reason friendships disappear after a baby is born is because;
- You don’t know how to help
- You’re not sure how your friend may have changed
- You’re not comfortable around babies
- You just can’t be bothered
Besides the last one, you can work around the others and if you’re really invested in this friend you will do what you can to be a friend, baby or not.
It’s scary when you’re on your own but don’t make excuses for people just because you’re scared of having no one. I totally get that this is easier said than done BUT remember your son or daughter will grow up watching you make excuses for people who do not value you and that’s not something you want for them.
Thank you to my friends for always being considerate, for asking when you weren’t sure and for loving my sweet boy with all you have.
Also to my new mum friends, you have such a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to carry on this journey with you.
To those friends who haven’t known what to do, who haven’t tried to be part of my new life and who haven’t invested time with my beautiful boy. I understand and I appreciate the time you were in my life.
Any mamas who are feeling isolated or alone, you are not alone. We all have those days. Reach out to groups, your health visitor or just go out for coffee with your baby. I find it so much easier to start conversation now I have my little sidekick in tow.