Keeping tiny humans alive can really affect your social life. Here’s one mom’s honest experience with friendship after kids.
When we are young, we just can’t seem to have enough friends. Everyone is friends with everyone and making friends comes so easily. More often than not we learn the hard way that it is not a matter of having a lot of friends that truly matters, but having real, trustworthy and honest friends; that’s what’s important. This becomes especially clear once you become a mother.
As we go through different stages in life, friends that we consider close either stick with us or go their separate ways. In my case, the people I considered my friends while growing up really weren’t my friends at all, even though I thought were at the time. In hindsight, they were actually the people I could depend on the least. They were the people who, instead of encouraging me and supporting me, tore me down time and time again. Live and learn right? Well it took awhile but eventually that’s exactly what I did. I took each experience and used it as a lesson in what a true friendship looks like.
I noticed the biggest change in my friendships when my husband and I decided to start a family. Not only were we the first of our friends to be married but we were also the first to have children. I never anticipated friendships changing as a result, but they did. It’s hard for people to relate when they don’t have that shared life experience or when your lives are going in two different directions.
At first, I tried not let it get to me, after all, I was still me. Once that baby arrived, my friendships and my priorities shifted. I was no longer available at the drop of a dime and, sleep was far more important to me then just hanging out. A lot of the people I thought were my friends just couldn’t understand or didn’t want to understand. They wanted a friend that was available to do all the fun things that they wanted to do. That just wasn’t me anymore. So there I was, alone or so it felt. Those that I might once have considered good friends had grown to be more acquaintance-like and I was ok with that but I felt alone.
I’ve tried to make new mommy-friends by joining playgroups and have had some success but making friends is not as easy as it was when I was younger. People have their own stuff going on, babies are on different schedules, and so on.
Here I am,a thirty-something and a mom of three and I can honestly say that I am surrounded by some amazing people that support me, encourage me and truly uplift me but I still find it excruciatingly hard to create and build new friendships. I know, I should be happy with the few close friends that I do have but that part of me that needs to be surrounded by people lives on.
To be honest, I am not looking to build a friend-army. But I find that the effort I put into building new friendships is one-sided. As a mom, I get that life is busy and our focus is all over the place but I can’t possibly be the only one looking to make new friends. Can I?? I just want to find a few new friends with kids the same ages as mine. Friends that share the same interests and values. But why is it so hard? I find that I am that person that always reaches out to others. I’m the one that is always trying to make plans. Doing the checking-in or hosting the parties. I’ve noticed that if I don’t, then no one else does.
I keep telling myself to just go with the flow and to be open and friendly to everyone. I’m okay now with not having a lot of friends but it was something I needed to adjust to. The people I call my friends today are the people I know will stand by me through thick and thin, that will be there to pick me up when I am down but more importantly are the people that I can trust and to me that matters more than anything. I guess new friendships will evolve at some point or another. I am going to stop worrying but I will never stop trying because that’s just who I am!
Have you found that your friendships have changed since becoming a mother? What ways have you found to meet new “mom-friends”? Share your experiences in the comments!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.