How Having a Baby Changes Your Friendships
When I was pregnant with my first child six years ago, I had no idea how much my entire world would change. I knew that life would be much different, but never did I expect that my friendships would change, too. As a childless professional, I often met my colleagues for brunch or went out for happy hour after work. I also attended a weekly knitting group in downtown D.C. I loved these weekly rituals and friendships I built over yarn and sandwiches.
Now, as a mom of three, I am lucky to squeeze in coffee with a friend. Typically, at least one child is in tow, unless it's right after work. Then, of course, the guilt fairy sits on my shoulder the entire time, whispering in my ear, “You really need to go pick up your kids from daycare. They have been there all day. I thought you missed them all day.” It's true, I miss my kids all day while I'm at work, yet I need a few minutes to unwind after working with my patients (who are kids). The majority of my friends are moms, so they understand the need for quality friend time.
Oddly enough, as a working mom, I find it even harder to make friends. Most of my mom friends are stay-at-home moms who often get together during the work week. On weekends, they want to spend time with their husbands after being home all week with their children. When I was on maternity leave last summer, it was extremely difficult to nail down plans with any of my stay-at-home-mom friends. Often, we would make plans, and they would cancel them on the very same day. I tried hard not to feel let down, but the summer was only so long. Before I knew it, I was back at work, missing out on all the fun playdates and library story times.
I wonder if my friendships will change as my children grow. Will my friendships always revolve around my children while they are school aged? What will happen to my current friends who all have children the same age as mine? As our children grow separate ways, will our friendships as well, or will we nurture our friendship through a new phase of life when our children need us less—a time when we will likely be searching for ourselves again? For now, I will enjoy the fun times I have with my friends and their children. Watching our children grow and learn together fills my heart with so much happiness. It's rewarding to witness my children learn how to be a friend.
How have your friendships changed since becoming a mom?