All of us have friendships that come from all aspects of our journey leading to motherhood. We have friends from childhood, friends from high school, college, work and so on. Some friends marry before you, get a house before you, have children before you. And there comes this point in time when there is change. Either your friendship is going to survive and thrive, or it isn’t. You gain friendships in motherhood, and most certainly you lose some.
Two years ago before I got pregnant, I had a lot of free time. I could go to happy hour any day of the week, I could meet up for brunch on Saturdays or even go to Yoga at 6am with a friend. Once I had my son, my availability changed drastically. I pretty much have to plan out a month or so in advance to attend any event or before I make a promise to do dinner. I get lucky if someone asks me a day before to meet up and I have a free schedule. But I recognize that it is very important to make time to spend with my friends. Those women who have been there for me through the ups and the downs deserve my 100% effort in keeping the friendship alive.
Now I will say, that there are friendships that will just not survive your journey through motherhood. Just like when you get married, becoming a mother brings about change that some women do not know how to navigate just yet. It could be because they have not experienced this life changing journey themselves or because change is not easy for them. I lost a couple of friends when I got married, I lost friends the moment I announced I was pregnant, and even more after my son was born. Women are emotional creatures and some struggle with change, especially if motherhood is something they want to experience but it has not happened for them yet. All you can do is do the best that you can to remain a good friend, which takes hard work and prioritization.
Here are just a few ways you can make sure you show your friends that you value your friendship despite the heavy demands motherhood calls for:
- Make sure you call and/or text your good friends at least once every month to catch up with them.
- Try to call or text when you have time and can give your undivided attention to the conversation. It can be annoying to try to catch up over the phone when you have a crying baby or screaming kids in the background.
- Set up a lunch date and make sure it’s a day when you have the time to sit and talk without several interruptions.
- There is nothing like being able to catch up in person over brunch or lunch. Try to limit your phone conversations and surfing the web to stay plugged in to your conversation.
- Try to make it to every life event to show your support to your friends, ie. baby showers, weddings, birthday parties, housewarmings.
- Nothing shows I care about you more than actually showing up to these important life changing events. Use these events to show up and show out in your friendships.
- Use social media to stay connected and show your interest in the friendship, it should not be the only form of communication, but it is a start.
- Social media is not a substitute for good old fashioned friendship. Just treat your friendship as if Facebook or Instagram didn’t exist and I am sure you will see a more personal connection.
Not all change in friendship is bad, sometimes it is time for your circle to change. It is natural for other moms to gravitate towards one another. But for the other friendships that do survive your journey through motherhood, make sure you balance your schedule and pencil them in for afternoon tea. Remember just because you have kids and they don’t does not mean the friendship is over. It just takes more effort and understanding on both sides for the friendship to succeed.