What Happens When You’re The First In The Friend Group To Have Kids
After the first woman in my friend group to become pregnant had her baby, I felt a shift in our relationship. And, honestly, it was kind of my fault. The moment my friend became a mom, some switch went off inside of me—something that told me “Things are different now. She’s different now. You have to be different now.” I just wasn’t behaving completely naturally around my mama friend. She could feel it. I could feel it. It all came from a good place—I ultimately just wanted to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes, or accidentally do something that made her life as a mother harder—but at the end of the day, we didn’t feel as close as we had before. So, I finally just decided to be open with my friend and tell her what I’d been feeling, and ask her if there was anything I should know about being a friend of a mother. It turns out quite a few of our friends had been acting strange, too. In fact, my friend spilled a lot about her experiences as the first friend in the group to have kids. Here’s what I learned.
Some people are too casual about it
A lot of friends (including myself) surprisingly only sent a text congratulating my friend on her baby. They didn’t send a card. They didn’t send a gift. And they even texted her about something other than the baby—something frivolous—only a few days after she brought her baby home. Since they aren’t mothers, they didn’t quite grasp what a huge deal this was.
Some friends hover
Then she had had a few friends who tried to be helpful but really just got in the way. They’d show up all of the time, trying to help out around the house, but ultimately just doing things wrong/putting things away in the wrong place/needing her guidance and causing more of a headache than being of help. It’s best, she said, if friends ask specifically what task she wants done.
The social media fan from afar
There will be a few friends who religiously like every single photo or video she posts of her baby online. They’ll comment on what an angel she is. They’ll praise how perfect she is. But they will not pick up the phone and ask how she is since having a baby.
People don’t ask enough about the baby
People who don’t have kids don’t realize that…it’s kind of earth-shattering. Moms don’t expect all of every conversation to be about their kids but, many find that their friends who don’t have kids don’t even ask about their children. Um…hello…it’s sort of a big deal.
Or, they belittle their own experiences
Then there are friends who take the opposite route, and refuse to talk about themselves at all—always stating, “My life isn’t important. I mean—what’s a job promotion/good third date when you have a baby! I just feel stupid talking about myself.” But that’s not right, either. Again—the whole conversation doesn’t have to be about the baby.
Friends withhold the gritty stories
My friend noticed that some friends who used to always tell the grittiest stories about their sex lives and darker corners of their experiences don’t tell her those stories anymore. She didn’t become a kid—she had one.
She realizes who her needy friends were
My friend realizes that some of her friends are just too needy. They always demanded a lot of her attention (calling a lot/needing her to rush over to their place a lot) but she really realizes how needy they are now that she has a baby. She didn’t ask for two babies.
Apparently, now her and her partner are official
A few friends make comments like, “I guess you and your husband are definitely staying together” or “You’re official now.” Um…they were always official. What?!
Friends who don’t want kids say “No offense”
Any time a person says they don’t want kids, they say, “No offense.” The mama really didn’t take offense to it until they said “No offense.” Now, clearly, they believe there could be something offensive about having kids.
People are oblivious to baby-friendly venues
People will invite mothers to the least baby-friendly venues claiming this lunch is about you and the baby. But they go somewhere that is so fancy and quiet, one couldn’t possibly bring a newborn in there.
Some want to babysit, but she needs to say no
Some friends offer to babysit and, though the mama loves them as friends, she doesn’t necessarily think they’re ready to care for children. They become insulted when they see her hire a stranger from a babysitting service instead of them. They don’t realize that it takes more than good intentions to care for a baby.
Some never offer to babysit…excuse me?
Then there are the friends who never offer to babysit. My friend probably wouldn’t have taken them up on that offer but…really? They don’t even bring it up once?
Not everyone will enter the parent world
Some friends won’t touch the world of parenthood. They won’t come to a mom’s house. They won’t pop by the toddler’s birthday party she invited them to. They just ask that she let them know when she’s “Free of mommy duties.” She wouldn’t mind if they just visited her in her world. Oh, and ps, she’s never free of mommy duties.
Some feel bad about flaunting their life
After telling a long story about doing a lot of things a mom can’t do now that she’s a mom (taking spontaneous trips, staying up all night, dropping tons of money on something irresponsible but fun), friends, say, “Oh. Sorry. I didn’t mean to rub it in your face.” She didn’t feel that they were—until they said that.
Some ask if she misses her kid-free life
Then some friends ask her if she misses the way life was before she had kids. What?! What kind of a question is that. The kids are here now. There’s no looking back.