When you fall pregnant, you’re inundated with everyone’s opinions, advice, horror stories and warnings about how your life is going to change and relationships/friendships are right at the top of that list. I am rapidly approaching the milestone of being a first time mum for one whole year. So, let’s have an honest chat about whether becoming a mum has really changed my relationships with my friends.
Having a baby has changed every aspect in my life (in a good way), and friendships were definitely not left untouched. It’s affected each of those relationships in so many different ways. There are some friends who I see and speak to less, as time seems to disappear so quickly right now. This was inevitable and I am not ashamed to admit that it’s mainly friends who don’t have children. That doesn’t mean to say we have grown apart; it’s more that we are just going down different paths at this time in our lives. In my experience, I have been very fortunate and I don’t believe my friendships have suffered because of this; they just require a little bit of extra effort on my part. When I do get a rare chance to see these friends and catch up, it’s as though we have never been apart. They remind me of where I have come from and allow me to have a sense of the old me.
There are other friendships that have grown with me. I have some friends who have had babies at a similar time to me and we have gone from boozy meals on a Saturday night to taking the babies to classes on a Monday morning; all within the space of a year. We have grown together and it’s been amazing to share the journey, try and support each other through this new part of our life and experience each new adventure just as we have done with other things in life. This has been a special experience and I am so lucky to be able to share the fun with them.
There are also the new friends. When you become a mum, you find new friends along the way who you now have a lot in common with and not necessarily just the fact that you both have tiny humans to look after. These are the ones that I speak to daily, the ones I can chat with at 3am during the night feeds and of course ask all the crazy questions; confidently knowing that they won’t judge me. These new friendships I have made along the way have been some of the quickest and easiest friendships I have ever made and ones that I am extremely grateful for. They are the ones that keep me going on a daily basis.
Whether it’s friends I’ve had for years or those that I have only just met, I have learnt that each and every one of them has a special part in my life. I am grateful for all of them and for their support in my journey through motherhood because let’s face it, it’s not a straight forward one. If you are pregnant, have a new baby or just feel like you have lost your way a little bit with your friends, then don’t panic. The friendships that are worth your time and energy will always be there, you might just need to work a little harder at them sometimes and it’s definitely worth it. If you are looking for some new friends (mums or not), I cannot urge you enough to just do it. Be brave – put yourself out there, reach out to someone new or say hello to another mum at a group; you won’t regret it. They say it takes a village to raise a baby and your friends are part of that village!