The Challenge of Maintaining Friendships after Baby

Nurturing friendships after baby with focus and grace.

Simple ways to nurture relationships with friends.

There’s no doubt that friendships ebb and flow as you enter various seasons of life. Learning how to make friends at a young age, deciding whether or not you fit with a certain crowd as you grow more independent, and looking for lifelong friends as you reach adulthood are some of the many ways friends are incorporated in the day-to-day.

Yet, no matter how often you insist friendships won’t change after baby, everything seems to shift overnight once that little bundle of joy arrives. All of a sudden, you're focused solely on being a parent, learning about your baby and meeting her needs. 

While forming and maintaining friendships can be difficult with an infant at home, there are simple ways to invest in friends' lives and overcome the challenges of caring for baby while nurturing relationships with others.

Why to Invest in Friendships

On Becoming Babywise describes a healthy home as one of the major factors contributing to a child’s well-being. New parents are encouraged to maximize their parenting influence by remembering the following:

Continue living! Life does not stop once the baby arrives. It may slow down for a few weeks, but it should not stop entirely. When a couple becomes a mother and a father, they do not stop being a daughter or son, a brother or sister, or a friend. Relationships important before the baby comes will still be important after the baby arrives. They are worth protecting and keeping.

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Friendships that were important before baby’s arrival are worth investing in even after your family has grown.

While time spent with friends may look a bit different post-baby, spending time with someone who understands the joys and trials of motherhood is important to your well-being. You’ll undoubtedly find grace amongst friends who understand your current stage of life, not to mention you will be rejuvenated when you spend time with other adults and experience life with them.

Challenges to Investing in Friendships

Although maintaining friendships after baby’s birthday is important, this task isn’t without challenges.

There are times when you’ll find yourself and your friends at other ends of the spectrum. Perhaps you are the only person in your circle of friends who’s entered motherhood. This, undoubtedly, brings challenges as you try to assimilate to life with a little one and continue being friends.

Other differences may not be so blatant. Varying perspectives on child rearing, focusing solely on baby’s needs for a season, and being so tired that socializing feels like another to-do item all pose potential problems to friendships.

While these issues may seem insurmountable, they’re only bumps in your road during the journey of friendship.

How to Invest in Friendships

Continuing friendships after baby’s arrival takes a bit of focus and a lot of grace.

One of the most helpful ways to be involved in friends’ lives is to communicate often. Text messages, emails, or commenting on friends' Facebook posts are all ways to keep in touch. Interspersing a phone call or in-person visit every once in a while will help.

Work to schedule face-to-face time together. Perhaps your children are both on similar schedules and you can find a time for a playdate or meet up during nap. Or find a time where your spouse is available to care for baby while you go out for coffee or shopping.

Stay involved in your friends lives, celebrate victories together, and work to problem-solve the dilemmas of motherhood. When schedules don’t merge or it looks like meeting together isn’t working, try to keep your perspective. Know that relationships ebb and flow and work to continue including friends in your lives.

The early days of motherhood can be some of the busiest (and loneliest). Sharing life with good friends helps to smooth even the bumpiest of journeys.

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Jess Wartinger

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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