“OMG that is so true… Let me call Lu…”
Oh that’s right I have no friends.
Now honestly I’m not looking for sympathy or emotional support, because I have truly gotten over it. But the reality is when you have a child you end up losing friends.
I remember when I got pregnant with Splod it was hurrays and hippie from my ex friends. All day and late night chats about how they couldn’t wait for him to arrive and how we would do this and that.
Granted when Splod did arrive they all flocked around him with oooh and aaahs… Now 10 months in, where are they?
I didn’t expect them to be all over us like a rash, but the texts stopped and there was no more visits.
The two times they did visit was over personal issues I was going through and needed their support. The struggle to get them over was ridiculous. Which resulted in me having to go over to see them on the bus, with a no more than one month old, even though they drive. Once at their place, it was quite obvious they just wanted to hear the juicy gossip of my life, rather than just being good friends.
“They have their own lives” I told myself when I was feeling particularly down (post natal depression). I started making excuses for their absence and blaming myself “maybe I should of been more active and bubbly in conversations” “maybe Splods crying does their head in”… The more negative I kept thinking the more negative I got. I became reclusive, I lost my voice and became housebound.
“Go to baby group and make new friends” my boyfriend told me. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to make new friends, I wanted my old friends.
Then sadness turned to anger. “Fuck them” I said one morning. I don’t need them. I was allowing myself to be swallowed into a shell and not face reality just because I had no friends.
I found the courage to combat my shyness when meeting people for the first time and took Splod to baby group. It was so nerve wrecking initially as the mums had already formed friendships with other mums, and instead of trying to interact, I kept my head down and tried to guide Splod to play with some toys. But I didn’t let that first mishap stop me. I kept going and after a while I found myself cracking a joke with one mum, then it turned to more conversations with a few other mums and now 5 months later I am friendly with all the mums there and have also formed close relationships with two of them. Yes they are new friendships and with all new things potentially might not last, but they are so lovely and we have so much in common, number one being that we are mums. We don’t expect too much from each other, and if one of us don’t get into regular contact it’s not taken personally because we can relate and know that we might just be very busy or truthfully just cant talk at that very moment.
Do I miss my old friends… Truthfully yes and no. Yes I miss them when I think of the good times we had and the personal things we shared, but then I don’t miss them because I can’t remember any good times we had after I had my son and all I can think of was the pure drama of trying to see them.
So to all the mums and mums to be out there who might, or have already gone through this. There is light at the end of the tunnel. It will feel like you are going through your most darkest moments but trust me it’s probably the lack of sleep that has you feeling that way mostly. Don’t waste your thoughts and hold a grudge for too long because if they were really your friends they would still be around today.
This experience has really taught me a lot and I value so much more the people who I have in my life. Below are my tips on how to maintain your friendships after having a child and also what to do if you ever find your self in my position.
TALK – Remember communication goes both ways. Don’t wait for them to always call you. Sometimes they need to feel like you still want to hear from them
VISIT – This again is a two way street. Your friends should be more compromising to come see you, especially if you have just had the baby. Other than that take a weekend and leave your little one with their dad, grandparents, etc, to go and see your friends for a couple hours, or even meet up in town to have coffee and a catch up.
RESPECT – If there is no respect for one another in the friendship, its straight up not going to last. If there is something bothering you over the friendship then talk about it with that person. The worse thing you can both do is to start gossiping to others and abusing the relationship. Its not healthy and it can seriously deteriorate the friendship.
SPACE – We all need space time from time, to be able to just think alone or simply to grow. Having a healthy amount of space from one another is very beneficial as it allows the friendship to grow without being in each others faces 100% of the time, plus it gives you both a chance to miss each other. This can really strengthen the bond between you and your friend.
BEING YOURSELF – There is nothing worse than having to compromise the real you just to please others. To be honest this is something I still struggle with as I am a people pleaser. If your friends are truly your friends then they will accept you good or bad. Now I’m not saying its acceptable if you are constantly be a moody git and your expecting them to always be around when you are feeling soppy, because they do too have their own shit they are probably going through. but there needs to be a nice balance of mutual love and understanding for one another.
JUSTIFYING BAD BEHAVIOUR – So your haven’t seen your friends after a certain amount time that doesn’t seem plausible. Don’t automatically cut them off. Try and get into contact to see what the issue is. If they are feeding you with a whole load of nonsense that you don’t think is good enough then let it go. Do not justify their behaviour for not being a good friend, once you start letting that happen expect to see it more often. Know your self worth. Do I deserve better than this?
REPEATING THE CYCLE – You came to your senses and realise that your friend was no good for you. Don’t go and make the same mistake by finding another friend and going through the same process again. You are essentially starting from fresh so don’t go looking for the same type of person that later down the line will have you back at square one again.
GO OUT – Staying indoors and not wanting to see the day of light will have you eventually going insane. You need to just get up and go out. Getting some fresh air will do the body and mind some good. Get yourself into going to different group or events where you can meet new people. As the famous saying goes ‘This too shall pass’, Just know you wont remain in this funk forever.
POSITIVE FRIENDS – Do make sure that the people you have in your life or bring into your life are positive people. There is nothing I hate more than a constant Negative Nancy. You need to surround yourself with good energy. Someone you can laugh with, who is caring, genuine, patient, empowering and inspires you to be a better you. That’s a true friend.
ACCEPTING IT’S OVER – Realistically we have to acknowledge that not all friendships will stay the same forever. Its going to be gut wrenching, painful, saddening, and sometimes quite scary, especially when you have grown up with that particular friend/s. At the end of the day we are all changing everyday and nothing ever remains the same. Naturally you will just drift apart from people. When its over, its over. Try not to dwell to much over it and find the time to heal and take it as good learning experience. Remember that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it was not written for them to be a permanent fixture in your life, maybe they came in to your life for some unknown purpose, whatever it may be, its fine to feel how you feel… but just know you will be OK regardless.
Woooo that was an emotional one. As much as I do love to have a laugh and a joke on my blog, I like raising topics and awareness of the things we as human beings go through. The tips are not just for people who have kids but for anyone, if you put it into your own perspective. Has anyone or anyone you know gone through this? What did you do? What did you advice? I would love to hear from you all. If you would like personally do not hesitate to send me an email, which you can find the Contact section, or you can send me a DM on my Twitter . Thank you so much for reading guys and I’ll see you in my next post.