Ten Ways To Love Your New Mom Friend
By Abbey + Hannah
The first year of motherhood is truly a fog. We remember some of the first trips out of the house after having a baby and realizing that somehow life had continued on while we were in an isolated bubble of breastfeeding, sleepless nights and an all-consuming new role as moms.
Motherhood has redefined us, but it is not the only thing that defines us. It can be hard to relate to, especially if you haven't been a mom before, but we need our friends as much as we need our sleep. For those with a new mom friend in their lives, here are some things we want you to know about befriending your mom friend during that very hard and wonderful first year of motherhood.
1. Please show up on time.
Especially within the first few weeks of bringing a baby home, we have likely scheduled your visit to a tee. We want to have quality time with you and for you to enjoy our baby, so we've timed our baby's schedule around your arrival. Showing up a half hour late will likely mean needing to end our visit 30 minutes early if we run into a witching hour or need to feed our baby. Sometimes we might not mind whipping out a boob in front of close friends or giving our babe a bottle, but if a feeding happens during our visit and breastfeeding has been a struggle, it might mean needing privacy and having to cut our time short.
2. Friend time might happen in skinny jeans or pj pants.
There are times we will need an excuse to get out of the house, take a shower, and put on real pants. But there are also times we will just want to be home and have someone hold our baby while we enjoy a cup of coffee or put away laundry. Know that this isn't forever, but we appreciate and need the freedom to decide about going out or staying in.
3. Be persistent and patient.
It might take a while to feel like we have the stamina to hang out again with friends. When we cancel plans or say no to getting together, it doesn't mean we never want to get together again. Please be patient and encourage us even if we aren't together face-to-face. A simple text or dropping off a coffee on our doorstep might just be the lifesaver we needed that day.
4. Complaining doesn't mean we are ungrateful.
From a healing body to little sleep, being a new mom isn't a walk in the park. Some days we'll need to vent about our clothes not fitting, financial woes, and sleep-deprived arguments with our spouses. Just because we are complaining doesn't mean we aren't grateful for having a baby. We understand that there are so many women wanting to be moms and we consider ourselves blessed. But please give us room to complain and don't try to justify it. It will be enough to just listen and let us talk to an adult for a change.
5. Please ask about my baby, but also about me.
There's nothing we want to talk about more than our babies, except for maybe ourselves. Motherhood has wrecked us physically and emotionally. Don't forget about us and how we are doing. We want to tell you about our birth, the 1.5 hours of sleep last night, the crazy things that happened to our bodies, and how our hair is literally falling out. We also want to tell you about our fears for going back to work, the anxiety of being a good mom, and how we are really feeling.
6. Going out takes more planning, but count us in...sometimes.
Having a baby doesn't mean we are housebound. Our spouses, parents, friends and sitters are all capable of caring for our babies so we can slip away. We do want and need time without our babies. Feel free to include us in the group texts planning Friday night margaritas. Just know we will need to plan ahead and start at 5PM instead of 8PM.
7. Even if you're not a baby/kid person, acknowledge this is a big deal to us.
We know that some of our friends aren't obsessed with kids or might not ever want have their own. We offer no judgment, but please remember this is a big deal to us. Our lives have been completely turned upside down and being a mother is currently all-consuming. Even if you don't want to hold our baby, checking in and being present in our lives is all we need.
8. Trade in lunch dates for Target runs.
We might not have the time to go to our favorite restaurant together, but grocery shopping still has to happen. Offer to ride along with us and hold our baby so we don't have to maneuver a carseat and shopping cart. We promise friend time won't always be so practical, but for now, having an extra set of hands goes a long way.
9. Have a lot of grace.
It might take us days to text back, we could forget important dates or seem preoccupied with our child during our visits, but we still appreciate your friendship. Grace upon grace is needed from those closest to us. Thank you for not holding a grudge because of what we said when we hadn't slept in 48 hours or had run the same load of laundry for the third time. Your friendship during these hard times is appreciated, even if it is not always voiced.
10. Encourage us and don't forget us.
Being a new mom is hard and our minds are often running with things we feel like we aren't doing well. We're trying to not compare our babies, bodies, or breastmilk supply with other moms and their kids, but it's likely happening. We need encouragement that we're doing okay, that we look okay, and that everything will turn out okay. Please don't forget us while we're in a period of life that is a bit selfish and preoccupied. One day, we'll have normal conversations about movies and travel plans, but today it's just diapers and cute onesies. Please remember us even if motherhood has hijacked your old friend. When, or if your day comes, we'll be at your doorstep armed with lasagna and Lanolin.