When you become a Mom, but your friends don’t

Who has friends?
All of you? Ok, great. 🙂

Now who can say they have ride-or-die friends?

Hopefully everyone can say they have at least one ride-or-die friend. Don’t know what that means? A ride-or-die friend is easily described as someone who has your back 24/7 no matter what. A friend like this is usually acquired after experiencing the ups and downs of life together. You may have known each other for 30 years or 3 days, doesn’t really matter. What matters is the trust and loyalty you have built together. A ride-or-die is an essential part of your dream team… and your relationship… But that’s another post for another day. Today’s blog post is on what happens to your friendships after you become a mother. Your friendships will change, some will be completely broken, and if you don’t know who your ride-or-dies are, you’ll find out!

Motherhood: the craziest, most rewarding experience – at least that’s how I would define it. When you are pregnant the list of symptoms and stresses you could experience seem endless! You may suffer from health concerns, have experienced something in your past that causes your pregnancy to be high risk, personal difficulties within your relationships, tons of stereotypical symptoms, work and home life responsibilities. Unless you are what I like to call a “mommicorn” the list goes on and on. When I was pregnant there was quite a bit of stress but I was still in love with my pregnancy and thought it to be the most miraculous thing known to man. Enjoy those bumps while you have them mamas!

My friends supported me in my pregnancy journey. They expressed their sincerest elations and were very supportive of my needs. Was I noticing a shift? Sure. I was to become a mother – a stay-at-home mother in fact which seems to be polarizing – and my priorities were going to be severely updated. As empathetic as my friends were to my experience, they didn’t know what it was like first-hand. I would say 75% of my closest friends were married before my husband and I were even engaged. My group of friends were the engagement and wedding trail blazers and now the roles were reversed. And if we thought pregnancy was hard to describe and relate to, motherhood is a whole different ball of crazy.

When your child (or children) is born you have an out-of-body experience.  Not only is this tiny, new human thrust into your arms but you are solely responsible for this baby’s every need! What about those women who experience complications after birth? Experiences such as emergency delivery, problems breastfeeding, hemorrhage, NICU stays; again, the list could go on and on. My birth experience had its fair share of complications. I’d love to share my birth experience in detail but again I’ll have to save that for another post. It wasn’t until about 2.5 months into my daughter’s life that I started feeling like my old self and could tell my body was healing. I’m still healing – giving birth is no joke! My support system had been drained with everything that happened. So how do you go about explaining this monumental experience to your friends or express to them how desperate you are for help? I shared my story with my group, their sincerest empathy was given but again it was something they had never experienced first hand. Conversations would end and people would go on about their lives. Labor & Delivery are hard enough as it is minus complications. How are your friends supposed to even come close to realizing the gravity of it all and how it impacted your little family?

The disconnect with your “non-mom” friends continues into your new role as a mother. Becoming a mother is a HUGE adjustment. You have a HUGE responsibility comparable to nothing else in life. You begin to experience mom life – no sleep, demand feedings, being needed and touched 24/7, loving someone more than you ever thought possible, recovering from pregnancy and labor, changes in your relationship with your significant other and all the duties that go along with caring for a brand new baby…just to name a few. Again, how can you even begin to accurately explain this new life you’re living to others who aren’t mothers? You can’t. You find yourself gravitating towards those with commonalities. Other mothers who you can relate to in some form or another. Everyone knows being a mother is hard work but only a mother knows just how hard.

And as this happens you will notice a shift. A shift in your previous friendships where your priorities are baby and their needs, and your friends’ priorities are still self motivated. Its harder for you to be and care about the same things you did before getting pregnant. Moments when your friends don’t understand why you’re not able to call them back right away, why you can’t invest in that TV show you used to be obsessed with, why you make baby’s nap time a priority, why you start missing get-togethers, why you make every breathing moment baby focused. And unless you’re willing to put in extra effort with all your new found free time…😏…you drift. Its also in these moments you find your ride-or-dies. They are there to stick it out no matter the changes. They are willing to accept this huge life shift you’ve had. They want to be there to help or listen as much as they can despite being unable to fully understand or relate. As you experience growth, they want to grow too. Thank goodness.
When you grow in life your friendships may grow in your commonalities together or you may grow apart. We’ve all experienced these events of growth – graduations, death, moving, engagements, etc. But the one that is most impactful in my experience is motherhood. Motherhood is something that not everyone can relate to…or even wants to try.

Whatever your experience is as a new mother, it will most certainly be impactful on your friendships. Some may grow, some may fail. Find those ride-or-dies mamas and hold on tight!
Straight up sincerely,

Alyse

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