Mom Friends – Things Have Certainly Changed

This past weekend we needed a chance to unwind. So we decided to do a family day at the park with our dear friends Stef and Moses and their little ones. Stef is my closest friend and will be a bridesmaid at our wedding! So it’s always nice to spend time with them. Especially now that we both have kiddos! I can’t wait until they are old enough to play together. All that said, our friendship has certainly changed now that we are both moms.

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It’s so weird to me that we are both moms. I mean Stef has been a mom for over 3 years now so it shouldn’t seem to weird to me that she’s a mommy, but I guess it does now that I am too. I look at that group shot of all of us below and think – when did that happen? We used to day drink by the beach in San Diego and spend all day working on our tans. Now we try our hardest to have a normal conversation even though one eye and one ear are always on our kiddos. Do you other parents ever notice that? That it’s almost impossible to have a focused conversation with another parent because they are never fully paying attention to you and you can’t fully focus on them because you have to be hyper aware of what’s going on with your child?

I know I personally have a hard time being present in conversations and in my friends lives in general. It’s been months since I’m seen some of my close friends. And most of those friends who I haven’t seen don’t have children. And it’s not because we haven’t tried to get together. We have! In ways it’s hard to relate to each other when life is so different for parents and non parents. I still love them just the same. It just hard to explain to them why I can’t be there for them in the ways I used to now that I have this little human to care for. I dunno. It makes me sad sometimes. I guess part of growing up and becoming a parent is growing apart in some ways. Your time isn’t your own anymore. And you only have minimal time to give to your friendships now that most of your time goes to your newest BFF – your child.

But some friendships get stronger after becoming a parent (both with friends who have kids and those who don’t) because of your limited time. You only have time for the people who you really care about and who really care about you. My friendship with Stef is one of those friendships that has grown stronger. We are closer than ever. We can relate on the shared experience of motherhood now and it’s really nice, but also because we MAKE time for each other regardless of the kiddos.

And our day in the park was just perfect. I mentioned in a previous blog post that little Miss Molly just loves to be out and about. When we are inside most of the day she tends to get really fussy. This girl needs some outside stimulation! So days at the park (in a nursing friendly outfit of course!) are becoming a regular thing for us and it was so great to be joined by my bestie and her family!

Have your friendships changed after becoming a parent?

 

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36 Thoughts

36 thoughts on “Mom Friends – Things Have Certainly Changed

  1. As a woman who does not have kids of her own, it can be a challenge to be friends with people who have kids. It takes effort on both sides and makes you aware of who your true friends are. I understand life is different, but perhaps your friends who don’t have kids are struggling with that, and for new parents to completely shut them out is pretty heartbreaking. It takes effort on both sides, but, becomes rapidly clear when people can’t find a way to incorporate all of their friends in their lives. It doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is very obviously a choice. It is unfortunately obvious you have made that choice to cut non-parents out of your life.

    1. Yikes what a terrible assumption to make that she’s cut non-parents out of her life. Ali that’s not obvious to me at all. I just pray that this new season of your life is wonderful and blessed as you navigate your relationships in a new way and figure out what it’s going to look like. Thanks for your honesty!

      1. Thank you Sara. This was meant to be a positive post. I don’t know why people think of it negatively. I am still friends with my non-parent friends. But it’s different now!

        1. I am a non-parent as well, with a lot of my very close friends recently becoming parents. It is very clear that life is totally different for them now that they are mom’s, but I’ve never thought of them as not loving me and our friendship anymore. It is sad, in a sense, because I can’t relate directly to a lot of what they are going through in life right now. But it is also very exciting because I hope to be a mom one day, and I know that shared experience will only bring us closer. PLUS, they’ll have all gone through being a new mom & can teach me the tricks of the trade 😉 Thanks for sharing and giving this some perspective!

        2. That was harsh. I never truly understood why, when I was the non-parent, my friendships got distant. And as a parent I can understand the other perspective. How it was an inconvenience to lunch with them because of their kids naps or kids being fussy around that time. Or get togethers at night when their dinner / bed time routine starts at 5pm and by 8pm the mommy’s are just exhausted. Or how interests and conversations change, and it is easier to relate to other parents who have children.

          Ali- I think you are doing a wonderful job. Like you said, it is a 2 way street. Sometimes you put your focus on what works vs fighting to make it work. And that’s perfectly fine!

          Kristel- you shoud not be so ignorant, say harsh words, and learn to be open-minded.

        3. I can so relate to this post just for the fact that it took me so long to realize that all the efforts to keep my non-parents friends were not enough. It was just simply that our priorities and interests were going in different directions. I agree with you completely, and I don’t think it is easy for any side of the friendship but it is essentially harsh reality. Now there is exception to everything and there was a friend who has eveN though single, accepted our new life and became just like an uncle to my kids. For the most part, loosing friends is a harsh but heartbreaking reality however becoming a parent fills your heart with so much love and joy which makes this transition a little easier.

        4. I just became a new mom 5days ago and in my close group log friends I am second to last to have a child. All the kids in my group range from 11 to 2. When my best friend/cousin first became pregnant 10 yrs ago, I was kind of bummed because I knew all the things we did before we wouldn’t be able to do for a while. We were both in our early 20’s and going out quite a bit. It was a little awkward for me at the beginning but after a while I would just tag along to the zoo or park and got used to her baby being out with us. Now I know my childhood friend is the same boat, she’s single and has no kids and now I have a child. I will still try to make time for her even of it’s to get out for a couple hours or hopefully she won’t mind tagging along to kid friendly places… It all works out and the awkwardness passes.

  2. I don’t think Ali has shut out her friends that are not moms. I think she is just saying that having Molly has made her closer with her friends that are moms since they can relate on parenting life now

  3. I can really relate to this, I don’t have many mum friends and I’m finding it really hard to relate or even find the time to talk to my friends anymore, whether they have kids or not. My time is taken up looking after my wee girl and I couldn’t be happier with that but it does get a bit lonely sometimes.

    1. I totally get it. I think that’s why my relationship with my mom friends are easier. Because my non parent friends love to go out (because they are awesome people and like to have a good time!) and I can’t go out as much anymore. Whereas my mom friends come over and we just watch our kiddos coo and drool for hours on end. Before I had Molly, I would MUCH rather go out then stay inside all day. And my non parent friends still come over, just not as much. And that’s ok. I don’t love them any less.

      1. That’s the positive thing in it all, the love we have for our friends isn’t lessened, it’s just different. And that’s the difference between life before and after kids, it has changed and you learn to adjust and adapt to it. I need to get some mum friends! You’re doing a wonderful job of being Molly’s mum and your positivity shines through, thank you for being so honest about life as a parent 🙂

  4. Ali, I totally hear you and agree. I didn’t have my first child until I was 32 so I had plenty of friends having babies before me- and inevitably our friendships changed. We had different priorities, different schedules, etc. It’s just a fact of life. Now having kids I’m on the other side- and it all makes sense. I don’t think people should take offense to what Ali is saying. There is no malice in her words… she’s just observing how life changes when your priorities shift. Thank you for sharing Ali!

    1. Thank you Christine! I appreciate you writing that. I wrote this to celebrate my friends with my best friend Stef and to point out how life is different now. I didn’t put my non parent friends down and would never do that. I love all my friends. If anything, I’m live vicarious through their fab lives while I sit home with spit up all over me 😉 I wouldn’t chnage a thing though!

  5. You know what’s a weird dynamic?! Having friends with kids with a lot of help when you have no help. Some of my mom friends don’t understand why we can’t just get a babysitter and meet for dinner. They all have family that watches their kids and we don’t have that. So I am super appreacative of my moms friends that don’t mind just staying in!

    1. We don’t have any help either so I totally get it. Kevin’s brother lives nearby so we could call him if we needed to but it’s not the same as having our parents close by. I so wish our moms lived next door! It would make life so much easier.

  6. Hi Ali! So sorry you have to read negative comments. As a new(ish) mom of twins I can completely relate. Especially during the early months – every free moment my husband and I had we wanted to spend together! To our non-parent friends I know it seemed strange because we were together almost 24 hours a day…but all of our attention was on the girls. Even now at 16 months my friendships are very different. I’m so grateful for the mom friends I’ve made but also sometimes need to swallow the FOMO and do what’s best for myself and my family when it comes to “non-parent” friendly activities. It’s hard! But the good ones know it’s not about “cutting them out” but just part of being a good mom. They’ll be in your shoes someday and will appreciate the sacrifices even more. Side note – we went to the same high school! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. When I became a mom, I would say I saw some of my friends less often but my friendships didn’t really change. I feel like I have enough important things in my life besides my children that I was still able to relate to my non-parent friends on different levels, just not necessarily the parent one and that was fine. Perhaps I’m different because I’m 5 years into this parenting thing with multiple children, but I actually really appreciate my non-parent friends and need them in my life. They are more readily available to hang out when I need a good girl’s night, are great listeners because they don’t have kids to distract them and it’s nice to escape parent talk sometimes. I try to involve them in our lives still as much as we can and I love seeing them bond with my kids. Of course, I love having my mama friends too and having people who can relate on that level. It’s absolutely necessary. I’m just finding how much I love having friends in a variety of stages of life the longer I am a parent.

    1. I completely agree Kaytee!! It’s so important to have variety in friendships. Each friendship brings something unique into our lives whether they are going through the same thing as us currently or not. At the age of 37 I do not have kids, yet I enjoy being around kids and I understand how hard it is to find babysitters and how much mom’s want to be around their kids, especially working moms since their time is limited with their children, so I let my friends that are mothers know I am okay with hanging out with their children AND them and I think they really appreciate it for many reasons. I feel like it’s a win win for both of us. You can’t possibly maintain friendships with everyone you meet in life but it’s always good to keep doors open because you never know when you may need that friend to lean on again or support them through their time of need.

      1. This is a perfect comment and much appreciated by your mom friends, especially those that work! My 3 best friends (we’ve been friends for 18 years now) don’t have children and only one of them is married (just got married 2 months ago!). I am always so thankful when they are ok with my daughter tagging along to dinner or if they are willing to come over to my house. We get together so much less than we used to, once every couple of months if we’re lucky, but I am glad that they let me bring my daughter along. I work 5 days a week and even though my daughter is now 4, I still have mom guilt when I leave her to go do something with my friends. I get such limited time with her that I feel I need to spend as much of my free time as possible with her. She was almost 3 years old before I even spent the night away from her! Sadly, though, I probably spend more time with my non-mom friends than my husband and I get to spend alone. I can easily leave my daughter with him to go out with my friends, but it’s harder to find someone else to watch her while he and I go out. My mom watches her all day, 5 days a week while I work, so it is really too much to ask her to watch my daughter in the evenings or on weekends too. I do occasionally, but it is very rare, because I know it wears her out keeping up with my daughter. Anyway, thank you for being understanding of your mom friends!

  8. Hi Ali! Sorry some people can be so judgy toward you and take offense to a non offensive comment! As a new mom I completely understand where you are coming from. My little Harper is 2 weeks younger than Molly and it’s been an adjustment for my husband and I with finding friend time. We have a mix of parents and non- parent friends and it’s just more challenging to say “we can’t go to Octoberfest with you, however if you all want to eat and meet at a brewery afterward we are totally down to meet up” I love reading your blog and see that other moms go through the same thing I am right now. Thank you for being so honest.

  9. You nailed it! Forget, all the negative comments. I didn’t read anything that was offensive to your wonderful “non-mom” friends. I bet your “non-mom” friends have read this blog and thought our poor friend….look at everyone giving her a hard time over us. I bet they love Molly just as much as your “mom- friends” do.
    Just sitting back nursing your baby with a good Mama next to you nursing hers with a delicious little snack or hot tea is a beautiful gathering. It is simple & relaxed. It makes for an enjoyable outing for everyone. The Hubby, Baby & Momma when everyone is on the same page! In the blog when you state not really in the conversation…..I absolutely relate to that! I am there physically but……you know ??

  10. It’s so amusing to me how some people want to fit a square peg into a round hole. The reality is that when you become a parent, friendships DO and will change! You can’t unmake that happen. And honestly, friends without kids aren’t going to totally get it no matter how much they think they might!! There are seasons in life for everything, even the degrees of friendships. Embrace those that make you feel good about your life, your new parenting role and give you strength and encouragement. I have met some of my best friends after being connected in some form or fashion through my children. And that’s ok!!

  11. I saw you IG post and went straight to your blog and I think the post is very real and true! If anything u said it makes u sad u don’t see your other friends. That’s why I love reading your blog and posts… U are always so honest with still having a big heart:)

  12. I love you!! I love how our friendship has evolved from our pre-parenting years to now. I will always cherish our limitless adventures before our kiddos and I look forward to every moment spent chasing around, cleaning up and laughing endlessly with our kids now. I’m grateful that you make time for me, and me for you, with all the craziness that is being a mom…or even just an adult. (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss a good ol’ fashioned “Sunday Funday” at the beach) But I wouldn’t trade anything for what we have now. Thank you for being a mentor, friend and advocate for lot so other ladies out there who need a place to share. Love ya mama!

  13. I was JUST saying this. It reminds me of when singles hung out with singles and couples hung out with couples… now couples with kids hang with couples with kids. We were at a welcome home party on Friday night and the main people we talked to were the 2 moms with babies and their husbands and the pregnant woman. It seemed as if all the single people/people without kids were afraid of the baby or something- but I remember it’s just not that interesting when you’re not in it. But oh my how the depth increases with those who have kids. There’s an immediate bond and sense of relief when they’ve experienced something you have too. Our little one will be 21 weeks old tomorrow (ok ok almost 5 months I know I need to get rid of the weeks) and still doesn’t sleep through the night. I was comforted by another mom whose baby was very similar– active, milk allergy, constantly needs interaction/attention, fussy at home and just started sleeping through the night at 7 months. Gave me hope! I left that party happy with that info but was quick to realize we didn’t have many in depth conversations with the single people. They can happen when we tune out baby talk but somehow it always comes back to baby, and how can it not, they’re our whole lives now! I think like someone said previously when the baby is older it’s easier to connect to kiddo-free people again because you have a little more time to regain your identity. The infant stage is just all consuming!

  14. I remember seeing a quote from Jessica Alba once and she said if something was going to take her away from her kids it had to be very important. That’s why I think it’s harder to hang out with friends without kids bc most of the time there doing things that I can’t bring my kids too. I just want to spend every second I can with my babies!

  15. I had my first baby 5 years ago…my best friend has struggled with infertility for 4 years since then. Despite that, she was a second aunt to my kids. She was there when they were born, hasn’t missed a bday party (despite living 4 hrs away), gives them her full focus when she visits. They adore her. She has never minded that I can’t chat on the phone for 2 hrs or drop everything to come for the weekend. This past January, she finally welcomed her first baby, and now I get to do all these things for her. Motherhood has def brought us closer, but I have always been so thankful that she truly met me in my early days of motherhood and understood that while our friendship was a little different, it didn’t need to be any less strong. Friends like that, and like your friend Stef, are def “keepers.” 🙂 Love reading your blog and reminiscing about my early days of motherhood. We are about to welcome our third baby, but there is nothing like those first days with the first baby.

  16. Ali, I’m not a mom yet but I totally get it and agree. I’m in my early thirties and something just shifts at this “age” where friendships shift for sure! I’m sort of in the middle, I relate better to my friends who have kids or are married (or both) and find myself wanting to spend more time with them then my single friends who still are up late and like to go out- do I sound old? Ha! I guess it’s because I really want to be a mom as well. Lots of my friendships have shifted over the past year or two and for no true reason why other than sometimes our lives take different courses, or at least that’s what I’m trying to realize. Anywho, just know lots of us gals can relate mom or not! Hugs to you and Molly 🙂

  17. My children are now 11 and 9 and I am just now starting to have relationships of my “own” again. While I love the play dates and being with my children’s friends parents, I now have a little time for MY friends. That has been a struggle over the years, not that I regret it but I absolutely understand where you are coming from.

  18. True story guys:
    I recently became a mom. My daughter is 3 months old. One of my oldest girlfriends, ever since I told her I was pregnant, all she can do is talk about how she might be as a mom. It’s soo weird. At first she seemed freaked out about me becoming a mom but now all she can do is say “when I have a baby I’ll do it like this.” She’s even recently started dated a guy and all she can talk about is how she wants to marry him and have his baby right away. She hasn’t even said she loves him. She just wants to marry and have a baby. She said it looks “so fun.” No matter what I say, I can’t talk any sense into her that marriage and a baby – while fun at times- is is a lot of hard work that you have be really really ready for. I’m so irritated by her making my huge life change all about her and saying she’s ready to take it on so flippantly. It’s really offensive and it makes me mad! Can anyone relate?

  19. Your post makes perfect sense to me! My friendships have all changed, in some way or another. Well stated- my new BFF is my baby, too.

    I’m just now getting around to writing you a comment, but I read all your posts and LOVE reading baby updates and your ups and downs as a new mom. I’m a few weeks behind you, with our sweet little girl, Ellie. She’s 11 weeks tomorrow. We’ve also noticed she loves to be outside! It’s really fascinating.

    Thanks for being honest about parenthood and sharing your adventures. Bed time here! <3

  20. I can totally relate to this, before I became a mom, I had a lot of “Mommy friends.” I never understood why they would not pick up the phone when I called or why hanging out was less and less, we were still really good friends, but it was just different. I missed my girl time. I recall, when I had my bachelorette party (it was a weekend shingdig at a resort) two of my mommy friends were saying how upset they were because they would have to leave their little ones for 1-2 nights. I just didn’t understand. I now see how selfish I was for not understanding their feelings, because I look at my life now and just could not image leaving my little one for a weekend.

    Things are just different now, but it’s a REALLY good different 🙂

  21. Ali,

    Thank you for this post! I’ve happily been following along with your pregnancy as it aligned with mine and it was always both comforting and insightful to hear your thoughts and feelings through this amazing transition into motherhood. It just so happened that our littles were born on the same day… And your blog posts have really helped me put into words some of the joys and struggles of this journey! Just yesterday in fact, I went to my first movie date with my close non-momma friends since babe was born, and I had anxiety going into it because I had no idea what I was going to talk about. These are girls that I’ve known for YEARS, traveled with, drank copious amounts of wine with, gushed about guys with etc.. And yet my life has now become so different (and wonderful! But soooo different) and suddenly it made me very sad that something as simple as a glass of wine and a movie date made me nervous. I love them just the same of course, but things have changed, and, as I find myself talking to my momma friends about baby poo, sleep training, sleep deprivation, and our latest tricks for finding time to shower… I struggle to find the energy to talk about some of the things I used to enjoy, like the latest Hollywood gossip, my newest shoe purchase (ha! Try slippers to wear during labour in the hospital!) etc. One thing that does bring me comfort is knowing that these girls love me to pieces, as I them… And in time, things will balance out a bit and I think we’ll both find a couple more minutes in the day to check in with our non momma friends, to talk about the latest Hollywood gossip, to share some wine (more than one glass, ha!), and talk about our latest non flat/slipper shoe purchases. It’ll come. Right now these adorable little babes require a lot, and it’s only natural for that to consume a lot of the daily conversation. And I think it’s comforting to find others that can relate, and share similar stories and experiences. But, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t sad, and I may have shed a few tears last night when I got home and things just seemed “off” …but at the end of the day, I love this new life of mine, and I embrace my momma and non momma friends, and, by the sounds of it, you’re doing a great job finding a balance as well 🙂 keep up the awesome blogging momma! 🙂

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