The Art of Maintaining Friendships While Adjusting to Mom Life
Remember back before you became a mother, when your brain functioned properly? It was so easy to have friends back then— you could meet people for lunch, carry on conversations about a variety of topics, and stay up past 9 p.m.
It can be difficult to manage a social life when you suddenly feel like a whole new person with new priorities, but keeping that part of your life alive is important. Maintaining friendships while adjusting to Mom Life is an art, but you can do it by remembering a few key points.
Do NOT Talk about your baby.
Talking about your baby is the cardinal sin of motherhood. I know, I know— you grew that thing from scratch and lugged it around inside you for the better part of a year, then suffered through a freaky medical event to get it out, and have devoted your life to nurturing it ever since. But nobody really wants to hear about your kid.
You know what people do love to talk about, though? Dogs! And lucky for you, dogs and babies are pretty much the same thing. Next time you’re with a friend and you feel the urge to talk about your baby, replace the phrase “my baby” with “my dog.”
- I’m worried about “my dog” because he hasn’t pooped since yesterday morning.
- Last night “my dog” was snoring in his sleep and it was so adorable!
- “My dog” chewed through my slippers this morning.
People will love those stories! The sooner you accept that your baby is a glorified pet, the easier it will be to talk to your friends.
Find common ground with different lifestyles.
Some of your friends may be in different life stages than you are, like that one friend who’s continuing their youth until further notice. These Peter Pans party on weeknights. They invite you on spring break even though you’ve been out of college for a decade. While you’re home rocking a baby to sleep, they’re out doing something wild, like catching a movie that doesn’t even start until 8 p.m.
Instead of focusing on these differences, look at what the two of you have in common:
- You both only get four hours of sleep each night.
- You both show your boobs in public sometimes.
See, you guys can relate on so many different levels! Probably stick with the nachos though.
Don’t forget: poop is gross.
Did you ever think poop would take up such a significant part of your life? Something you used to be repulsed by has become a natural part of your day. If you want your friends to keep hanging out with you, you have to remember that to normal people, poop is gross. Here’s a complete list of times poop is gross:
- When there is some poop.
- When there is a lot of poop.
- Anytime there is any poop at all.
Are you debating whether or not to change your shirt because it only has a tiny bit of poop on it? CHANGE YOUR SHIRT. I know it’s hard to relate to, but there will never be a time when your friend sees poop on your shirt and thinks, “Hey, that’s barely any poop.” (See also: boogers.)
Fake it ‘til you make it.
Time works differently in motherhood. You should have plenty of time, especially in those early baby days. Sleep when the baby sleeps, right? Read a book while they nurse in your arms. Write an entire doctoral thesis while the baby entertains itself for four hours at a time!
Motherhood is an unexplored vortex that sucks up all extra time, leaving moms unable to find a minute to do anything— including nurturing a friendship. Don’t hesitate to pull some innocent tricks to make time for your friends:
- Get on Reddit and read what other people are saying about the latest Netflix show you haven’t had time to watch. Use these opinions to participate in your group chat’s discussion. When in doubt, reply with, “Haha I know, right??”
- Nobody really needs a shower every single day. Tell your partner you’re going to take a shower, turn the water on, and then sit on the floor and FaceTime with your bestie for half an hour.
- Put makeup on your baby and take her with you to Girls’ Night. Introduce her as your work friend, Donna.
Remember that your friends are your friends for a reason. They love you and they’re there for you! Adjusting to Mom Life is hard, but reach out to your friends when you need them for a shoulder to cry on or if you just need to let loose. Just please, trust me on the poop thing.
Written by: Kristen Mulrooney