I really had this notion in my head that after having a baby not much would change. I would continue Mexican dates with my best lady pals, go out to the movies and to fancy restaurants with my husband, stay out past 8:00… none of this happened. My husband and I are busier than most: we both work, we own a photography business, he’s in a band, and I run this blog. Yikes. Add an 8 month old to the mix? It almost seems impossible.
But, I’m happy with where my life is.
The first several months of having a baby, I was in total survival mode. Little sleep, plus working, owning a business, and trying to keep the house straight had my brain in a dysfunctional-state (not to mention, those post-partum baby blues.) I saw many of my close friends within the first few weeks so that they could meet my son, but after that point I kind of went into hibernation mode.
Thankfully, I think most of them understand. I say “understand” in present tense, because not much has changed, and it likely won’t. My life isn’t parallel to theirs any longer.
I’m 27. Not young or old for having a baby, but most of my close friends don’t have children yet. I think in the coming years that will change for many of them. I’m in a different phase of life, and the good friends understand that this is a change that we wanted.
Even though I’m not texting and snap-chatting my close friends like I used to, they’re there to snap me back ugly faces when I have the time (seriously though, if I send you the ugly face Snap Chats, I essentially trust you with my life.)
So, when I decline the late night Halloween party, or the Dave Matthew’s Band concert that we go to every year, I’m glad my friends are understanding.
Not all friends are. I’ve noticed a few kind of “drop off” because I’m not doing the things that we used to do. In reality, I understand. I still think that most of them would be there if I called them up with some free time wanting to hang out. But if your thing is bar-hopping on a Friday night? You’ll find me putting my son to sleep at promptly 8:00 and then settling in for a night of Netflix and an Angry Orchard.
So the best way to keep some of those friends and nights out? Schedule them. Let your friends know that if you make plans in advance you can make something work.
- My husband and I try to have regular date nights. Lucas is watched by a close friend or his grandparents, and we head to dinner so that we can talk, just the two of us.
- Schedule times when your spouse or significant other can watch your little one so that you can go out with your friends. Ryan and I have done this many times– because we all need some personal space. It’s good for both of us to get out and have some fun.
- Let your friends know that sometimes your baby will be coming with you, and plan accordingly. Head to the mall or a loud, casual restaurant where you will be more comfortable with your noisy child throwing puffs onto the floor.
- Make sure to plan in advance. Friends have called me up MANY times with a spur-of-the-moment plan for a night out. No can do. Finding a sitter with an hour’s notice? Yeah right. Can I come in my yoga pants?
So things change. The sooner you prepare for it, the easier it will be. Your friends will (mostly) still be there, and when they have children of their own (if they do) they’ll understand and have YOU as a friend to be understanding towards them.