How to Stay Friends With a New Mom
After one of your girlfriend’s has a baby, her life as she knows it changes completely. Her focus has shifted from independent life to motherhood, and the free-time she once had with you, now comes second in line to having a new child. As a childless friend, you must be wondering where you fit in! Well, for those who want to remain by your friend’s side through the ordeal of a post-birth, can certainly keep the friendship alive with these tips:
1. Keep your visits short and brief – 20 to 30 minutes tops!
Keep the time in perspective as your visiting a new mother. She won’t have as much time on her hands as she used to before the baby was born, so do less talking and more helping out if you can. While you’re at it, set your timer to 20 to 30 minutes! A trusted friend will ask for help and if needed, step in for a baby drill (changing diapers, feeding or soothing back to sleep). If a child does fall asleep, then you could probably stay a little longer with the mother’s permission.
2. Recommend a sitter so you can both go out
You might have felt the restless tension in the room before leaving your friend with the baby, all alone to fend for herself. It was a challenge for you in the limited time you had, let alone for her as she’s forced to be there for round-the-clock care. If the topic hasn’t been brought up, you should probably recommend a part-time sitter so you can treat her out for lunch or hair/makeup session. This would take her out of her element.
3. Respond to texted pics as opposed to phone conversations
The new mom might unintentionally badger you with talk about the baby, pictures of the baby and how much pampering the baby needs morning, noon and night. It’s a lot for someone with no children, especially if you’re far from having children of your own. One scenario could be a instant message from your friend who’s excited to show you the latest baby photos. You could use texting as a shield for how you truly feel, instead of listening to what she has to say over the phone and be forced into a conversation.
4. Change the subject abruptly after the conversation has gone too long about cartoons
If your friend’s desire is to talk about her child over and over, then your alternative is to abruptly change the subject when you feel she’s gone on for too long. It’ll give you other things to talk about instead of the baby, which is constantly on her mind. Ease your way into another subject so she doesn’t feel let down or disrespected.
5. Bring a meal for two instead of one!
It shouldn’t be a mystery to you that pregnant women love to eat! Even after the pregnancy, your friend might be craving some key lime pie or lasagna which you just stopped by to get on the way to her house. Ask her if she wants a slice or a meal so she doesn’t feel left out. It would be considerate of you to include her or others who happen be there.
6. Have her tag along for a “girls’ only” shopping spree
Rather than you getting special treatment on the weekends, bring the new mother along for the ride! That way you could both enjoy each other’s time without having the baby’s cries interfering with the moment. Jot down a list of places you both like so she doesn’t find an excuse to shop for the baby, yet again! Stress to her that this her time away from home instead of the other way around.
7. Give her a shoulder to lean on if she’s hormonal
Usually women who’ve just given birth will experience mood swings that take you in for a loop. Your better judgment should tell you that it’s only natural for a new mother to cry, complain about her body image or get really upset for the most mundane things which might involve you as the scapegoat. Don’t fly off the handle! Cater to her needs if she’s hormonal by talking to her in a calm, rational manner.
8. Run some errands for her
New mothers look to reliable friends who can be at their beck and call. We aren’t suggesting you drop your bags for a quick run to the grocery store, but if there’s ever a free chance in your schedule to handle errands that your friend can’t do, why not help her out? Take the weight off her shoulders a bit, and find out what she needs taken care of. You might have to get a pack of diapers, drop off clothes at the cleaners or fill the gas tank before she heads out.
9. Get together for double dates if you each have a spouse or partner
The best part about having a friend with no children is letting her fill you in on the bachelorette days when it was just you and her. But probably the most fun to come from that experience were the double dates where each of you would have a spouse or partner to go out to a party, dinner or exclusive lounge with! Why not enjoy yourself again? You could leave the baby behind with a trusted babysitter so you, your friends and dates could have the whole night to yourself like old times!