4 Steps to Maintaining Friendships with Those Who Don’t Have Children

friends

Pre-baby, you spent hours with your “bestie” each day, chatting on the phone, laughing in the coffee shop, and watching romantic comedies in her living room.

“The birth of a child changes one’s life drastically, including the friendships.”

Now, it’s been so long since you’ve seen her you can’t remember the color of her eyes.

Pauses in friendship are an unfortunate, albeit common, experience after a new baby’s arrival, particularly when only one of you two has a child. Though this drifting apart can happen immediately following birth, oftentimes friendship migrations happen so slowly you may not notice the rift until you’re oceans apart.

While you may think this could never happen to you and your best girl, Tina B. Tessina, PhD (aka “Dr. Romance”), psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, says, “The birth of a child changes one’s life drastically, including the friendships.”

Your life, which may have revolved around shopping and coffee and chatting about life pre-baby, will, at least for the first several months, be devoted entirely to your new baby’s needs. Often, says Tessina, when a couple has a new baby, “they will essentially disappear for a while.” Midnight feedings, trips to the doctor’s office, and a teeny tiny baby that depends on you for everything creates the need for a new schedule, which your friends may not be able to follow.

{ MORE: Successful Play Dates for People Who Hate Play Dates }

Though, Dallas Louis, author of The Mommy Diaries: How I’m Surviving Parenting without Killing Anyone, says, “It’s always important to try not to isolate yourself and become an ‘island mom’ all to yourself and your new baby.”

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4 Steps to Maintaining Friendships with Those Who Don’t Have Children

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10 comments

  1. LIZ says:

    this give some ideas 🙂

  2. Jessica says:

    Sometimes it is hard to go away without the baby. Even when they are older, if you don’t have childcare or family in town. I’m not going to pay a babysitter to go to coffee when I can hardly pay one to go out with my husband.

  3. Leanne says:

    I had a friend drop me after she had her baby. I had asked her to be my matron of honor in my wedding before she found out she was pregnant. She agreed and everything was fine. When she called to tell me she was pregnant, I tried to help her as much as I could, cooked and took her food to freeze for after baby came, helped her with shopping, etc. But I put my foot down when she wanted to bring him to every wedding event. She brought him to all bridal showers but it was too much when she wanted to bring him to my bridal luncheon in an upscale restaurant. Luckily, the hostesses handled it beautifully so there were no hard feelings but I kept thinking, “why can’t I have one event for my wedding without her baby being there?” She has since become a SAHM and dropped out of all extracurricular activities like women’s groups/clubs, and looks down on other mothers who work. Now her baby is a year and a half and I am pregnant with my first. I hardly hear from her, except for a brief email with stuff like, “the mommy play group is going here or there. Want to go?” And I reply with, “no, I have to work,” to which she doesn’t respond. It really hurts my feelings because I felt like I did a lot for her when she was pregnant and after her baby was born, even though I was getting married and super busy planning the wedding. She kept telling me she would be there for me but she hasn’t even offered to do anything. Maybe she needs to read this article.

    • Zahra says:

      Frankly, if I had been your friend, I would have brought my baby everywhere too. I assume the babe was less than 6 months old when you got married? They are exclusively breastfed (if breastfeeding) at that age and pumping is just not the same. (And really? If you don’t bring your child, you have to pump at the times your child would have eaten. I think you’d prefer seeing a baby breastfeeding rather than a mom pumping her milk. Believe me, the latter is much more immodest, inconvenient and time-consuming.)

      I had an aunt getting married last year. She wanted to go to a store with “all girls” (my aunts, cousins and me). My baby boy was not invited. My refusal was a bit confrontational: I said that if I came without my boy, I would have to pump and where would I do that? She suggested the restroom. My answer was along the lines of “Forget it.”

      I’m pretty sure that if I had had a girl, she would not have been invited either. The “no chromosome Y” rule was just a convenient excuse.

  4. Phammom says:

    I’m lucky to have close friends who already have, love, or trying to have kids.

  5. EbyMom says:

    Thanks to this article but sometimes spending time with your children creates misunderstanding that is hard to heal among best friends any way it is good to note the points.

  6. Brittney says:

    "Some friends don’t want to hang with you and your baby, so get a sitter.”
    I totally understand that, my friends and I 2021 y/o and all. But sometimes you can’t get a sitter and it seems unfair that friends don’t want to hang out with you if you have your baby. Since your child is the number 1 priority and part of your life forever

    • jesster131 says:

      I do agree here. I have lost a couple friends since my son was born. They don’t have kids & have no interest in hanging with us if he is with us. We can’t always get a sitter & a weekend get away without him is tough. It can be done Grammie loves to “steal” him for overnights. I however am not all about getting rid of my son as they think I should be. I love having him around 97% of the time. There are those moments when all I want is a break but then all I usually want is a few hours of solo time. So I have let those friends slip if we reconnect in time we do if not so be it. The little man is a part of the package now so thats just the way it is. I have friends who want him with us so we are all good.

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