After Baby BFF

This post is dedicated to the pregnant women and their husbands and all the new mothers in the audience.

Women seek out friends in times of stress.

Why do your best girlfriends seem to change and the friendships fall apart when your baby arrives?

The Tide Turns

Your child has more power over your relationships than you ever imagined. The mother-child bond is so close it builds walls between you and your best girlfriend. She knows you well enough to know she has moved down your priority scale.

She tells you:

We were always there for each other. Now I barely exist.”

You could point out a few realities:

  • You average seventy (70) diaper changes per week.
  • You sleep in three hour segments (if at all).
  • You run an all night deli.
  • You hardly have time to remember if you’ve had a shower.

Solution: Think of your friendship as an asset, rather than a demand. Make and keep a steady date to spend time with your friend, even if you can only manage once per month. Email one another in between dates.

Friendship builds a buffer against sickness and helps you maintain a sense of mental well-being, often lost during sleep deprivation. Let your dates be something both of you can count on for stability.

She tells you:

All you ever talk about is the baby.”

You could tell her about the milestones, how excited you are about being a mom and how you don’t understand why she is not excited for you.

Solution: Listen first. Find out what is going on in her life and pay attention. Keep your baby news updates brief. The more you listen, the more she will, too.

She tells you:

Your baby interferes with our plans.”

You could tell her naps and feedings are better at certain times and in conducive environments (unlike the open air concert she invited you to attend).

Solution: Be realistic and vocal about your limitations.

  • You know you are completely spent after 8:00.
  • Set a dinner date for 6:00.
  • Explain why you need the meal earlier.
  • When you cannot go out, schedule a girl’s night in.
  • Share by going to her house from time to time.

She tells you:

We have nothing in common any more.”

You could tell her you have nothing in common any more. She has the single life or the newlywed life, and you are a new mom. Your priorities are different now.

Solution: Stay positive. You and she were friends before baby, and more than likely, you will be again. And she doesn’t need to rush out and get pregnant for the two of you to share again. Keep sending invites for kid-friendly affairs. She will join in when she is comfortable.

Is it really over?

If you have done your best, but the relationship is still floundering or is emotionally draining, pull the plug. There is no shame in calling it quits, if you do it right.

What is “right”?

It is not fair, and often hurtful and confusing, to abandon a friendship without saying anything. Do keep it impersonal. The end is not about her, but about the change in your life. Feel free to blame it on the baby.

A safe swan song is:

A new baby is just more of a time commitment than I thought it would be, and I cannot keep up with friends the way I did.”

Not all of your friendships are doomed during your delivery. Remember, friendship is like wearing a comfortable pair of shoes with a hole in the sole. You don’t have to censor yourself, and your friend sees the real you. The real you is now a new mother. That level of comfort is exactly the kind of friendship you really need.


Have you stayed friends after a baby? Have you talked to your best friend before the baby arrives about what to expect and how you see your friendship changing?


(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2007-2011
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  1. Angela Young

     /  December 6, 2011

    And yet, your real friends will understand because that’s what real friendship is about. Sometimes you breathe in and sometimes you breathe out. But, when you breathe in, it’s as if you were never apart. Sometimes we have to evaluate if our friends really cares about us or just wants us because we make them feel good or something.

    Of course, sometimes that friend is the daddy! A new baby puts everyone on the back burner – even the mom – but it’s only for a time. Except that the friend sounds a little demanding, this is good advice. Most friends will understand if you just let them know you still want to be friends, but have to do other things for a time.

    • The big thing here is “real” friend…the one who loves you for who you are and not what you (give them, do for a living, earn, help them do, have). Over the years, I have heard each of these complaints a minimum of twice. Some came from my real friends, who, after sufficient explanation, saw I had not replaced them.

      In fact, the relationships matured because of the rough spot…as most relationships do. Remember, steel is tempered by fire 😉 Red.

  2. This is great 🙂 As is my best friend. She was the first person I told about the pregnancy and the ONLY person (other than hubs) who knew for about ten weeks what was a-brewing. And when I told her that she would be the only person who knew for awhile, she called me daily (she lives across the country) to make sure all was ok. She is the most supportive person in the whole world and I love her tremendously. We’ve supported each other through a ton of stuff and I have no doubt she’ll be there for every milestone (and very less important events) in my life.

    • That is excellent! I have seen so many pregnancies end friendships. I do so love to hear about the friends who stay supportive. And you know a secret? The less important events are just excellent. 🙂

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