Sunday, October 11, 2009

Motherhood, Party of One…How To Stay Connected to your Friends Without Kids

I was one of the first of my group of friends to have children. Having a child puts you in a different frame of mind and in a different stage in life than when it was just you and your significant other, that’s for sure! I had to figure out how to navigate my friendships once I had my sweet daughter and life was turned upside down, and years later, I have found that many of my friends are now mothers themselves! It has come full circle. But what do you do in the meantime, when it’s just you that is experiencing the wonderful world of motherhood?

Once you have kids, you are not able to hang out with your friends the way you once did. Last minute movie dates, all night concerts, and weekend getaways are a thing of the past (at least, at first they are…you work your way back to those luxuries!) But how do you stay connected to your friends that do not have kids?

Here are some tips on how to make the relationships work with your friends without children.

- Utilize your phone, but wait and talk to your friends on the phone once your kids are napping or after their bedtime. It is so hard to have a conversation with a friend when your child is trying to get your attention or grabbing the phone to try and talk. If you want to have a meaningful (and let’s face it, non-annoying) phone conversation, wait until your children are asleep to phone a friend!

- Make plans ahead of time. If you want to hang out with your friends, then make a point to get some plans on the calendar far in advance so you have time to get a baby-sitter. That way, your friends can’t complain that you “never hang out.”

- Invite your friends over for dinner. Entertaining at home, especially when you have a newborn baby and he still sleeps a lot, is a great way to stay connected to friends. For older children, set the dinner time close to their bedtime so your friends can still visit with your kids, but it leaves you with plenty of “adult time” to enjoy your friends’ company once your children are in bed.

- Be sure to ask your friends what is going on in their lives and try to curb the baby talk. Yes, your baby or child is a huge part of your thoughts, but try to steer the conversation to other places, too, so your friend feels comfortable conversing with you about what’s going on in their lives as well.

Relationships most certainly go through stages, but all it takes is a little time and attention to keep your friendships flourishing during motherhood!

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