It happens to the best of us. You have a baby, or a few babies, and suddenly those girlfriends you used to be so close with have disappeared. Although our schedules become hectic and we have less time for friends, it becomes vital to make the most of the time you do have, in order to maintain your sense of self and for your emotional health.
Maintain The Old Friendships
There will be a day when you want to be reminded of your 23 year old child-less self. The carefree girl with cute clothes, sun-kissed skin, and a cocktail in hand. No one will do a better job of bringing this girl back to life for the night than the friends that were with her from the start. Parenting is hard work, so treat yourself to a night away every once in a while. If you are still in the new baby haze and trying to figure out how to keep the friendships alive until you have time for your friends again, the answer is simple. Make time for the simple ways of showing you care. Don't forget to call or text. Invite a friend over for tea during nap-time. Remind them that you are alive; just tired for the next few months. But, when you are ready to have a life again they will be waiting for you.
Find Some New Friends
If you are one of the first in your group to have children, do yourself one huge favor. Get yourself some friends with kids. Find someone you can talk with about runny noses, c-section scars, and temper tantrums. Your other friends will thank you too, because not all of them will understand the life you're living right now.
Be creative when finding these new friends. Some might be older or younger than you. Some might be people you only know through the Internet. What matters is that you have someone to tell you you're not going crazy, but understands why you think you are.
Baby Classes And Sports Teams Aren't Just For The Kids
Join a class or team close to your house. Find other families for your family to start doing activities with. The kids can gain friends and so can you. We emphasize staying close to home for these activities because you are much more likely to take a visit to the park, walk around the block, or have a wine night with people you live close to.
Help Romantic Relationships
Having one parent stay at home can be a little trying on the other. Of course, Dad wants to hear about the adorable things they missed that day with the kids but hearing the same things every night can get a little old. Who can blame him for tuning out when you have told him the same version of a kid-related story every day? Expanding your personal life will help fill your romantic relationship as well. New stories to tell your husband when he comes home. New couples to go on date nights with. You get the chance to realize that all husbands make their wives angry over the exact same things. It will help your temper in the next fight if you can realize so many people are arguing over the same thing. Is it really worth it? And, when it is worth it, you will have a friend to go to when you need to vent!
Motivate Each Other
We have all had that friend before, the one who knows how to politely tell you that your hair looks terrible or you look as if you got dressed in the dark. Husbands become scared of our hormonal, emotional swings (and rightfully so!) so they just let things go. Your friends though, will hold you accountable. Make a date to go for a jog and lose those the last 5 baby pounds. Make an effort to pamper your mind and body, not just your childrens'. Girlfriends are the best motivators when it comes to things like this.
Photo Credit: The Art Of Making A Baby