Although I’m totally excited to become a mom, one thing that I worry about is staying social and close with my friends after I have the baby. I’m sure that Patrick and I will find ways to make it work, but I always hear about how hard it is to keep friends once you’re a parent. It might be one of those things that people like to complain or scare you about (like “oh, you’ll never get through college without pulling all-nighters!” or “in order to get ahead in x, y, or z, company, you have to put in 80 hour weeks!”), but I’m sure that there is some truth to it. You do become responsible for another human being, after all.
I was thinking a lot about this last night, so I decided to do some searching to see if other people have creative suggestions for how to stay close with friends once you become a parent. Unfortunately, there’s not much out there. Here are the only relevant articles that I found:
- -This kind of crazy/angry post on the Berkeley parents network about a mom who is mad at her friends who don’t have kids
- -An article about how to make new friends once you’re a mom (I want to keep my old friends in addition to making new ones, so all of this isn’t relevant to me).
- -Can moms keep friends without kids? I certainly hope so!
- -This article actually has useful tips for staying close with friends after having kids and she follows up with this one about how you envision your life goals as a parent
- -A general advice piece about making and keeping friends as an adult
Other than these articles, the only things I found were “ways to help your kids make friends” or “how to make your baby social.” Not what I’m looking for.
Here are my ideas for how to stay close with my friends after we have our daughter:
- -Stay involved with sports (Patrick is currently on 2 soccer teams and I played before I got pregnant). We’ve discussed either bringing our daughter to the early games and rotating who plays or having some of our friends “babysit” while we both play (I’m talking to you, Team Amuuurica!).
- -Invite people over to our house more frequently for dinner or to just hang out.
- -If our daughter can handle it, taking her out to restaurants earlier in the night.
- -Rotate who takes care of the baby so that we can both have one night out per week separately to hang out with friends.
- -When she’s older, have one set of our parents (hey Mom and Dad!) take care of her for a weekend so that Patrick and I can either take a trip alone or with friends.
I think that with enough effort, I’ll be fine and will be able to maintain my friendships. I’m sure that my life will change a lot and that things won’t work out perfectly, but I’m ready for the challenge and my friends are really important to me! After viewing an episode of Pregnant in Heels where the mom literally hadn’t changed out of her sweatpants or even showered for 4 days because she never left the house, I vow to not become that person!