I’ve realized over the years that friendships throughout adulthood aren’t all that different from making and keeping friends as a child. Seeking out peers, developing new friendships, and learning how to maintain relationships during rough patches can be tricky.

This is never more true then after you have a baby. The chasm between friendships pre-baby and those post-baby can seem impassable when you’ve journeyed into the land of motherhood and your friends haven’t yet. All of a sudden your world (and your focus) has completely changed.

While it is possible to maintain, and even grow, friendships even with women who aren’t moms, it can be tricky. Regardless, it’s important to invest in friendships, avoid potential problems, and work to maintain friendships even after you have kids.

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Potential Problems to Avoid

Maintaining any friendship in the early days of motherhood can be difficult as your perspectives have completely shifted from yourself to your baby.

Adding in a friend who doesn’t have the experiences of motherhood under her belt can make for a bumpy ride. Yet, being aware of what may lie ahead can help to smooth even the roughest of journeys.

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Take a look at these potential problems you’ll want to avoid while maintaining friendships with women who aren’t mothers:

  • Time - Shortly after baby’s arrival, reality sets in that your time is not your own. Baby’s schedule will dictate your days (and nights) and you may find less time for yourself and to meet up with friends.
  • Exhaustion - The early days of motherhood are exhausting. Recovering from giving birth, learning everything you can about your new baby, and settling in to life as a family take a lot of energy. It can be hard to maintain a relationship with your spouse during this time and finding stamina to invest in friendships may be just too much.
  • Priorities - Baby’s care comes before even your most basic needs. While your focus on baby is exactly what’s needed, it can be problematic for your friendships. No longer are you able to meet up spur-of-the-moment for dinner to catch up.
  • Interests - All of a sudden your interests may have shifted as you’ve become a mom. Instead of searching the latest fashion trends, you’re likely choosing cute clothing for baby. This disparity between your interests and your friends’ can make it hard to find much in common when you’re together.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Current Friendships

While it may seem nearly impossible to maintain friendships when you’ve become a mother and your friends haven’t, there are some simple ways to invest in these unique relationships.

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Check out these five tips for maintaining your current friendships after baby’s arrival:

Tip #1 - Be In-Touch

The strongest friendships are grounded in regular communication. Use technology to your advantage in the early days of parenthood. Keep up conversations of witty banter during a feeding, jot a quick message while you sip a cup of coffee, and use social media to keep up on what’s happening in your friend’s life.

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Tip #2 - Be Together

While new mother’s get a free pass on just about anything, it’s important to schedule some face-to-face time with friends once you’re up and getting around. Seeing each other is key to staying invested and involved in the lives of others.

Tip #3 - Be Honest

Friendships thrive on honesty; if you can’t be honest with your friends your relationship will eventually suffer. As you feel your priorities shifting after baby’s arrival, start talking with your friends. Be open and real about your new challenges (without making excuses) and offer suggestions of how you hope to continue being involved in your friends lives.

Tip #4 - Be Flexible

While it’s perfectly fine to adjust outings to mesh with baby’s schedule, it’s also important to remember flexibility is key in most relationships. Ask for friends’ input about timing, location, and events. This demonstrates that their needs are important to you as well.

Tip #5 - Be Creative

While you might not have the freedom to go out on a whim, there’s nothing wrong with finding creative getaways. Invite friends over for a game night, meet for a cup of coffee, or wander the aisles of a store together while you pick up essentials.

While your friendships may look different after you have your baby, there’s value to being connected to other people. Having someone to laugh, cry, and drink coffee with is one of the most refreshing things in the world.

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Jess Wartinger

Jess Wartinger resides in rural New York with her husband and five children. Formerly an early elementary teacher, Jess currently spends her time loving her kids and holding down the fort at home.

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