Are you scared to lose your friendships once you have a baby? If so, you’re not alone! It’s hard enough to maintain friendships as you and your friends get married. Add a baby into the mix, and it may seem like you and your single friends are in two different stages of life.
Here’s the good news: Even when friends are in different stages of life, it’s very possible to stay close! As your single pals continue in their careers and relationships, you can continue to deepen your friendships with them. Here are a few ways to do so.
1. Be the Host.
When you were single or without a baby, it was easy to pop by a coffee shop for a few hours. Now you have to work around nap time and feedings. How do you make time to meet with your girls?
A great way to do this is to be the host. Invite your friends to your house instead of going out. If you can, schedule your coffee dates or Pinterest nights to happen during nap time, giving you two to three hours of uninterrupted time together!
If baby wakes up early, teach her to play quietly as you talk. By teaching independence early, you can train little ones to entertain themselves and be less high maintenance during girl dates (with grace for interruptions).
2. Deepen Your Conversations.
One of my own dear single friends told me her biggest issue with friends having babies is when all they talk about is their kids. It’s easy for our children to become the consuming topic of conversation, but that’s not sensitive to where our friends are in their lives. Instead, deepen your conversations by asking questions and introducing new topics. Read a book together or join a Bible study. Ask your friend what she’s learning lately. Discuss politics or cultural issues. Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean the conversation has to revolve around her!
3. Stay Involved.
Life gets busy with kids—but life is busy no matter what stage you’re in. We have to be intentional about our friendships. Stay involved by texting, calling and FaceTiming your friends (particularly the long-distance ones!).
I love handwritten letters, and it’s hard to make time to write them. I’ve started keeping my stationery and stamps on hand and writing down birthdays on the calendar to prompt myself in this area. It means a lot to receive something in the mail!
4. Take Your Baby With You.
Babies benefit from learning how to behave in public, and they are capable of far more than we often believe. Take your baby with you on coffee dates. Teach him how to be quiet in public, how to eat nicely at a restaurant and how to be patient during conversation. Obviously, there will be a time frame on how long a child can last (nap time is calling!), but it’s good practice nonetheless.
5. Keep in Contact.
Don’t let your baby make you fall off the map! Learn to schedule your day so you can prioritize your friendships. As stated earlier, this takes intention—it won’t happen on its own. This may mean you do most of your communication at night when the baby goes to bed, or during midnight feeding sessions. You might not be as quick to respond, but at least you’re responding!
You can also come up with creative ways to spend time with your friends by hosting Pinterest parties or a roundtable group, or joining a club. I have a walking partner who meets me at 5:30 a.m.! A good friend is willing to work with your schedule to make the relationship happen—because kids or no kids, it’s worth it.