Since I gave birth to my daughter, my friendships have shifted. A lot of this occurred because, after I gave birth, the focus became my kid. In the very beginning, I was simply trying to keep my child alive and, when I wasn’t, I was trying to sneak in a nap in order to NOT kill my child. In essence, at the beginning of parenthood, it is all about you and your family’s survival. Literally. This isn’t an exaggeration (well, it’s kind of an exaggeration but I’m a huge fan of hyperbole.)
Therefore, these initial months of motherhood can make you kind of an asshole to outsiders – many of whom are your friends.
You can’t go out last-minute to Happy Hour because you can’t do anything last-minute (you can’t even shower). You can’t go to that amazing pilates class that everyone is raving about because you can’t get a sitter. You can’t always be there for your friends in a way that you used to be (ie, able to talk at 2:30 in the morning about a break-up because you’re snoring on the couch covered in your child’s vomit and you didn’t hear the phone.)
Some friends take this in stride and are still there for you and some friends kind of go a different way. They assume you can’t do things anymore because, well, you usually can’t. It’s not their fault and it’s not entirely your fault; it is what it is.
And then your child is a toddler and she’s in Day Care and you are sleeping regularly and don’t feel insane anymore but your friends have moved on. I’m not saying ALL your friends have moved on but a lot of friends have because, well, your behavior was necessarily selfish for a while (go back to the part about just trying to keep your child alive for the first few months.)
The result of this phenomenon has been that, for me, I now have to initiate almost all social interactions. I was so focused on my child and was so sleep deprived and was also trying to get back to work that I seemed disinterested in my friendships and now, this is the result. I have to be more proactive about reaching out to old friends (rekindling the friend-flame) and it’s been rough sometimes. I’ve felt a little rejected and sometimes pretty lonely (I also attribute this to moving out to the suburbs), but I get it. I understand why this happened and I definitely played a large part.
But to people who have friends that are having babies, let me say that it might suck for a while, but unless your mom friend is a total dick, she’ll be back. Don’t give up on her and think she’ll be an asshole for the rest of her life.
And to my mom friends, reach out. Don’t just expect your old friends to call you because, most likely, you’ve been absent in their lives; but that’s alright. Sometimes, these things aren’t personal and are just normal phases in life. Just because you are in a different phase than your friend, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t still love there.