Dear Is This Normal,

I had my first baby 4 months ago, and so far everything has been pretty great. Hard, but great! But I’ve noticed that since I’ve been pregnant and especially since I had the baby, some of my friendships have changed a lot. I had a few friends who I considered to be close friends, and suddenly they’re nowhere to be found. Texts go unanswered for days, phone calls have stopped, and I haven’t seen them in weeks. I knew my life would change when I had a baby, but I wasn’t expecting to actually lose friends I’ve had for years, and I’m really hurt by it. Is this normal?

Signed,
Friendless in the City

Dear Friendless,

Oh mama, my heart goes out to you, it really does. I have been there! I think that if you polled parents all over the world, you’d find that a pretty good chunk of them have been there, too. It’s such a weird time in your life—all these massive changes! Your life has changed, YOU are changing. It makes sense that some of your relationships would change, as well. But it doesn’t make it any less sucky. Losing friends, particularly at a time in your life when you need them the most, sucks. And it never gets easier, I don’t care how old we get. 

So obviously, when you have a baby, your social life takes a pretty major hit (at least in the beginning). You’re not really available for an impromptu coffee date or bar-hopping on the fly. “Unplanned” no longer works in your life. If it is not on your calendar at least two weeks ahead of time, it ain’t happening! 

Even the planned stuff only happens about half the time. Doesn’t matter if you have pit tickets to see your favorite band of all time—if your baby has a fever, your mama radar dings and you accept that those tickets will be going to someone else that night. So in this sense, it totally makes sense that your more social friendships would dwindle out after you have a baby. You have different priorities now and there is nothing wrong with that. 

You may also lose friends who aren’t exactly … how shall I put this … kid-friendly? People who don’t like kids, don’t like being around kids, and generally don’t enjoy the company of small people. 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that either! Kids are not for everyone. Lawd knows they aren’t even for me sometimes, and I have two of them. Those friendships will diminish, and you just kind of have to shrug your shoulders and roll with it. You shouldn’t expect someone else to adjust their personal feelings or comfort for your benefit. 

However, when you lose a friend you thought was a real, through-thick-and-thin friend? That’s a blow. And that hurts. But sadly, it happens. The truth is, you’ve changed! Whether you realize it or not. And sometimes, this new piece of our puzzle doesn’t fit exactly right with our old pieces.

There are so many reasons a friendship ends after you have a baby. But remember, just because you’ve grown apart for now, doesn’t mean your friendship is over forever! It could be they’re just giving you the space you need to adjust to this massive change in your life. If these are friends you have a true bond with, people you shared real intimacy and love with, I wouldn’t completely write them off. Check in with them, let them know you’re still here and miss them, and see where it goes from there. 

But here’s the silver lining in all of this: becoming a parent is going to open you up to a whole new world of friendship possibilities! Now listen–making friends is hard, especially as an adult. I am TERRIBLE at making friends, I get it. But as your little one gets older and you start going to mommy and me classes and join the preschool PTA board and spend all your time doing kid stuff, you’re going to meet some new people! People with whom you will already have a built-in connection: your children. These friendships, when they strike the right chord, will become some of the most special relationships in your life. And if you’re really lucky, your kids will grow up as friends too and GAH to watch your little person and their little person bond over time is just something. 

Give yourself some time, Friendless. And give your maybe-former-maybe-on-a-hiatus friends some time, too. Having a child is a huge thing, and it sends shockwaves across every aspect of your life. Those fleeting friends, the ones you have a real bond with, they may be back sooner than you think. But you’ll also have the chance to add some pretty amazing friendships to your life in the meantime.

Oh mama, my heart goes out to you, it really does. I have been there! I think that if you polled parents all over the world, you’d find that a pretty good chunk of them have been there, too. It’s such a weird time in your life—all these massive changes! Your life has changed, YOU are changing. It makes sense that some of your relationships would change, as well. But it doesn’t make it any less sucky. Losing friends, particularly at a time in your life when you need them the most, sucks. And it never gets easier, I don’t care how old we get. 

 

So obviously, when you have a baby, your social life takes a pretty major hit (at least in the beginning). You’re not really available for an impromptu coffee date or bar-hopping on the fly. “Unplanned” no longer works in your life. If it is not on your calendar at least two weeks ahead of time, it ain’t happening! 

 

Even the planned stuff only happens about half the time. Doesn’t matter if you have pit tickets to see your favorite band of all time—if your baby has a fever, your mama radar dings and you accept that those tickets will be going to someone else that night. So in this sense, it totally makes sense that your more social friendships would dwindle out after you have a baby. You have different priorities now and there is nothing wrong with that. 

 

You may also lose friends who aren’t exactly … how shall I put this … kid-friendly? People who don’t like kids, don’t like being around kids, and generally don’t enjoy the company of small people. 

 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that either! Kids are not for everyone. Lawd knows they aren’t even for me sometimes, and I have two of them. Those friendships will diminish, and you just kind of have to shrug your shoulders and roll with it. You shouldn’t expect someone else to adjust their personal feelings or comfort for your benefit. 

 

However, when you lose a friend you thought was a real, through-thick-and-thin friend? That’s a blow. And that hurts. But sadly, it happens. The truth is, you’ve changed! Whether you realize it or not. And sometimes, this new piece of our puzzle doesn’t fit exactly right with our old pieces.

 

There are so many reasons a friendship ends after you have a baby. But remember, just because you’ve grown apart for now, doesn’t mean your friendship is over forever! It could be they’re just giving you the space you need to adjust to this massive change in your life. If these are friends you have a true bond with, people you shared real intimacy and love with, I wouldn’t completely write them off. Check in with them, let them know you’re still here and miss them, and see where it goes from there. 

 

But here’s the silver lining in all of this: becoming a parent is going to open you up to a whole new world of friendship possibilities! Now listen–making friends is hard, especially as an adult. I am TERRIBLE at making friends, I get it. But as your little one gets older and you start going to mommy and me classes and join the preschool PTA board and spend all your time doing kid stuff, you’re going to meet some new people! People with whom you will already have a built-in connection: your children. These friendships, when they strike the right chord, will become some of the most special relationships in your life. And if you’re really lucky, your kids will grow up as friends too and GAH to watch your little person and their little person bond over time is just something. 

 

Give yourself some time, Friendless. And give your maybe-former-maybe-on-a-hiatus friends some time, too. Having a child is a huge thing, and it sends shockwaves across every aspect of your life. Those fleeting friends, the ones you have a real bond with, they may be back sooner than you think. But you’ll also have the chance to add some pretty amazing friendships to your life in the meantime.

You’ve Got a Friend In Me,
Is This Normal

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