Friday, July 11, 2014

Friendships after baby

Last night two of my good friends came over. I made pasta, they brought salad and dessert. Wine was had, catching up was done, we did some itsy-bitsy spider with the Pepper, and they finished off their visit by reading her a bedtime story. It's so nice when I get to have some girl-time with my friends and it got me to thinking about maintaining friendships once you have a baby.

I hear a lot of moms talk about how difficult it is to maintain friendships once they have their first child. And yes it's harder to get together with friends. But this isn't unique to motherhood. Any major life change usually has an impact to your social life. If you start a new job you may be working longer hours for example, or when you start a new relationship you'll have fewer evenings available. The biggest challenge with having a baby is the schedule. They need to eat and sleep and you try to get into a rhythm with this stuff because it's helpful to maintain a routine. But, I tried to keep our routine flexible enough that we could accommodate a lunch date or a dinner party. One thing that has helped is that our little one actually doesn't go to bed very early. She usually goes to bed between 9pm-9:30pm which means we can still get together in the evenings with friends. For example, last night the ladies arrived around 6:30 so we still have a few good hours to together before I had to get involved in bedtime.

The other challenge is that babies are babies. They need attention, they cry, they need to be changed, they can be gross. While some people don't like trying to deal with these distractions,  I've found most of my friends are very accommodating. They love my little girl! They like interacting with her and playing with her. And while it can take us longer to get through a conversation now that I often need to pause to help the Pepper with her toys, we still get there. And these friends end up developing a relationship with my child too which I think is great. I want the Pepper to have lots of wonderful "aunties" in her life. On that note, I want to give a special shout-out to my friends last night who were very gracious when the Pepper pooped on the floor in front of them.

As a mom I also found that I made new friends with parents who also have children of a similar age. And luckily those relationships can be easily kept-up through play-dates and such.  Those women are so important because we can talk about the particular challenges of motherhood and learn from each others experiences. But, I also value my friendships with the woman that I've known a long time and who are in a different phase of life than me. And with a little thought and effort (and understanding on their side) I have found it's not impossible to maintain those friendships. Which I am thankful for.

Image from a recent LA visit from my dear from New York (right). Other dear friend and her daughter also joined (left). We all became friends back high school!

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