I was the first one of all my girlfriends to have a baby, so I never ran into this problem… but now that most of my girls have caught up and jumped on the mama-train, I’m starting to notice a trend emerging, and it has something to do with pissing off our single or childless friends. Have you ever heard a new mama say “I’d love to hang, but it has to be between 10-1 or 2-4, because that’s when he takes his nap”? Just hang on while all your non-parent friends puke in their mouths.
I get it… trust me I do… being a mama is hard work. It’s a 24/7 non-stop ride that consumes our every breath, but that doesn’t mean we need to alienate our girlfriends. Remember… she was your wingman before you found your hubby. She listened when you cried about getting dumped, and she lent you her favorite jeans for your next date. She was at your engagement party, your bridal shower, your bachelorette party, and she marched in your wedding (just add up all those gifts for a second). Then she planned your baby shower… and the minute that beautiful, snuggly little bundle came into this world… you forgot about her. Well, you didn’t forget, you just got consumed, and she wouldn’t understand, because she’s not a mom, right?! Wrong. She understands, but she’s getting sick of hearing about it. She feels left out and left behind, and she’s still single and out there looking for a hubby of her own, but all of her wingmen are married or mommies now.
Here are a few signs that you are THAT mom:
1. Everything you post on Insta/FB is about your baby. This is a sure-fire way to get unfollowed… by your former besties. We know that you know that your baby is cute… but keep the flaunting to a minimum. It makes your non-mom friends sick (to their stomachs), and you are only rubbing it in. I know it’s tough, because everyday something world-stoppingly cute happens, but limit yourself to a certain # of baby posts per week, and try to alternate with stuff about the rest of your life (which hopefully exists).
2. You only hang out with other moms/couples. Because they can ‘relate’. But remember how it felt way back when one of your close friends got married and YOU were still single… remember that lonely, jealous feeling? You wanted to be happy for her, but inside you were crying. Try to keep THAT in perspective. Your girls still need you. Whether they can relate to your mommy life or not… YOU can relate to what THEY might be going through, because you are a woman, and you have been there.
3. You plan your life around your baby’s nap/sleep schedule. As a mommy of 2, I will tell you that this is your biggest fail. Becoming a mom doesn’t mean that your life needs to stop and revolve around your baby. Make plans, and your baby will adapt. In fact, if babies are pro’s at anything… it’s adapting. Yes, all babies are different and have different needs and routines, however, from their first day of life they are little sponges absorbing everything about this world, and learning from you. If you teach them early on that THEY run the show, then you are doomed. We all have that one friend who can’t get her baby to sleep (or whatever it is) because she always gives in and gives the baby what she wants. Show your baby whose in charge early in the game, and I guarantee you will be less tired, less anxious, and you will have far better relationships with your girlfriends AND your hubby. If you want your kids to be flexible, YOU need to be flexible first.
4. You can’t remember the last time you got out. I will be the first to admit that I don’t get out much… but when I do, I do it right. Let your girlfriends know that you need advance notice to make plans, and make those plans. Get a sitter, pump some milk, and get out there. And when you do… don’t spend the entire time talking about your baby (or hubby). It doesn’t have to be a drunken adventure on the scene. Go for dinner, grab a drink, catch a flick… just GET OUT. In this age of social media networking we are starting to take real life face-to-face encounters for granted. Laugh out loud (for real), and re-connect with your girls. Let daddy take the morning shift if you need to sleep in. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to remind him once in a while that you have a life too (and that you still look fly in those heels). Which brings me to #5…
5. Even your hubby is feeling neglected. Crazy concept right? We fall in love, make a baby, and then lose all the passion that lead to said baby. Well unfortunately it happens, but our hubby’s need attention too. If you want to keep that honey-moon flame alive, you’re gonna need to remember your pre-baby self and be his girlfriend again. Your man also loves his child, but he loved you first. He loved your curves, he loved the way your jeans hugged your booty, and he loved the way you made an effort to be attractive, and actually tried, to impress him. Now you are always tired, always wearing sweats or yoga pants, and could care less about mascara… it’s all about the kids. You complain when he comes home late, but you aren’t exactly jumping him at the door (like you used to). The reality is that if you don’t take care of your man’s needs, he might find someone who will… and she’s probably already poked him on FB. So just like your single girlfriends need you, you don’t want to alienate your man. Make time, make the first move, and make your marriage stronger.
Lastly… remember that having a baby isn’t the be-all-end-all for many women. Maybe your girlfriend has no intentions of ever getting knocked up… should that be the end of your friendship? Try to remember the reasons you were so close in the first place, before husbands or babies came along. True, some friendships just don’t last forever and we naturally grow apart, but ALL relationships are work and require nurturing, from both parties. And the reality is… one day, when our kids grow up and don’t need us anymore… we’re surely gonna need our girlfriends.