When you become a mom, it’s natural that you may temporarily lose touch (or at least communicate less) with your childless friends for many reasons. For one, "a parent's schedule and availability are far more affected than a person who is simply married," says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., (aka "Dr. Romance") psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage.
But that doesn't mean your friendship with your childless friends has to come to a screeching halt!
Tessina adds, "Often, when one couple has a baby, they will essentially disappear for a while, but if friends are patient and understanding, the friendship can grow beyond these changes. When friends' lives progress together (they marry and have children at similar times or their careers go through similar changes), the connection is strengthened.
But, when lives take different paths (one remains childless and has a career, the other gets married and has children), it can often challenge the friendship. Those friendships that survive these challenges and continue to deepen are often the most rewarding."
It may not come in the first month you have your baby… It may not come in the first year you have your baby. But the time will come that you will need a little "mommy time out" away from Baby and you’ll be hoping that your old girlfriends are around for a quick happy hour dish session or a pampering mani/pedi.
Staying connected with your childless friends can connect you to your old self — the one who got to sleep in until noon on Saturday if she had one too many margies on Friday night! And while you may feel very far from that person you used to be now that you’re a mom, your old self is a part of you. And so are your non-mom friends. Just don't bore them with too many details about spit-up and the color of your baby's poop. Save that for your new mommy friends.
Barbara Stratton, M.A., LMFT, with a private practice in Broomfield, Colorado, and author of the parenting book Your Child: It's Up to You!, says, "It's very natural for a woman to define herself by the role of 'mommy' because the routines and responsibilities in her life are so dramatically directed by that role."
She adds, "A very conscious effort and commitment is needed to maintain an expanded version of who she is. The valued, childless friend offers an opportunity to stay in touch with her passions and interests, her professionalism, her spontaneity, the 'tomboy' or little girly-girl in her."
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