When you become a mum, it kind of takes over your whole life. There is no doubt about it. Many would agree that being a mum is an all-encompassing and fulfilling role, although I acknowledge that some may disagree.

Motherhood for me was, and still is one of the hardest but rewarding accomplishments I have ever undertaken as a person and a woman, but one area that I definitely struggled with was hanging on to my friendships after having children.

Our friends are there to enrich us emotionally and be there to prop us up when we are weak. Who else knows about the awkward phase we went through in our early twenties, or how devastated we were when ‘Bola’ broke our heart! Our friends are able to share similar life experiences, swap stories, and also provide support and a sense of belonging. But the sad truth is that many friendships tend to dwindle when one friend starts a family, making it hard to be as available as you once were. However, there are ways to ensure your friendships are nourished and well-maintained. The key is to invest in your support network so that it remains healthy and rewarding.

Below are some ways in which you can keep your friends after motherhood.

Plan mini-events
Having children doesn’t mean the end of your social life. It’s important to catch up with friends as this is not only good for your mental health and well-being but it keeps you in touch with the world outside of your kids. Catch-ups can be planned well in advance so your childcare can be organised well in advance. Switch up the venues, a stroll through the park, chilling at your house, a cookery or pottery class or a much-needed girl’s night out. I once set-up up a clothes swap and manicure/pedicure event at my house when I had my first child and was desperate for some adult company and it was a huge success.  Mini-getaways are another way to catch-up with friends, there are so many deals on various travel websites which provide low-cost weekend breaks, mini-getaways or mini-cruises, places like Bruges, Amsterdam, Copenhagen don’t really cost an arm and a leg to experience. You don’t have to leave the UK either as staycations have now become extremely popular.

 

24446494 - woman visiting pregnant friend with son at home How to keep your friends after motherhood
Image Credit: www.123rf.com.

 

Be interested
You should make the effort to take an interest in the lives of your friends, their lifestyles, future plans and interests. As well as giving you a break from all the baby-talk, your friend’s lives and interests are important too! Taking an interest in the lives of your friends show that you care and are willing to sustain the friendship by being aware of the goings-on in their lives.

 

Limit the baby/kids talk
Catch-ups are for bonding with your friends. It’s probably not a good idea to lead endless chatter about your babies. Their first tooth or word may be exciting at first but can quickly become boring. Catch-ups are a time to rediscover the ‘you’ before kids, and to focus on the relationship you have with your friends.

 

24446491 - woman visiting pregnant friend at home How to keep your friends after motherhood
Image Credit: www.123rf.com.

 

Acknowledge that not everyone can remain a friend
While it’s important to maintain friendships, you need to recognise that some relationships go through a natural change through differing values, interests etc. As hard as it is to admit, some friends do turn to acquaintances. If a friend has cancelled on plans for the umpteenth time it may be a good idea to think really hard about letting go. Look at this scenario positively as it could be your chance to develop new friendships.

 

Finally, while a friendship community is important for women, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a large group. It can be either two, three or more people but the important aspect is that you are able to share burdens and encourage each other. Friendships like this should be valued. Motherhood should not divide or separate friends but bring togetherness, love and unity amongst women.

 

This article was written by Modupe Omolabi.