This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may get a small monetary kickback. More info
The Big Shift with Parenthood
Hey moms. There's something that happens when you have a kid, besides the joy (and immediate fear) of having a precious tiny human to keep alive.
Aside from the new set of responsibilities, a big cultural shift happens with your friends, especially with those who aren't parents.
You know the feeling—you have your first baby and you're flooded by attention and love, then suddenly it starts to feel like your baby shower was the last time you had any meaningful social interaction with your crowd.
Non-moms: you're on the other side. You find your friends have kids and they subsequently disappear. Suddenly they're too tired to meet up for happy hour (even though they might've been gung-ho right after birth). Planning get-togethers with your parent friends is difficult and it seems like you need to pencil something in weeks in advance.
No matter what side you're on, it's frustrating, and it can feel very isolating.
If you're on the non-mom side of things, let me reassure you that your mom friends are still there. This is a post for you: to help you understand the perspective of your mom friends.
The Daily Life of a Mom
I don't want to glorify busy-ness, but let me assure you: your mom friends are busy. Especially working moms with a long commute.
Moms of Newborns and Infants
If she's caring for a newborn, she's getting next-to-no sleep. She has to wake up every 2 hours every night to feed the wee one. She has to change a never-ending slew of diapers. She has to make sure the baby isn’t too-hot or too-cold, or spending-too-much-time-on-his-back or spending-too-much-time-on-his-tummy, or isn’t too-hungry or covered-in-vomit, or isn’t stimulated-enough or is too-stimulated.
When she has free time, I guarantee you she just wants to catch up on sleep.
She may not even have time to feed herself simply because she's doing a never-ending pile of shit-stained laundry. (Seriously, the poop gets everywhere. Who knew such a tiny person could create so much waste?)
If it feels like she's ghosting you, she's not. She may not even know what day it is anymore. Time stands still simultaneously blends together for new moms, and that's not even mentioning the potential for postpartum illnesses.
Moms of Toddlers
If she's caring for a toddler, she's dealing with a very opinionated little firecracker of a person who demands her every ounce of attention.
Think about trying to dress someone while they simultaneously run away screaming at the top of their lungs. It doesn't make for smooth or zen-like mornings or evenings.
If the mom prefers household peace, she just may prioritize the kid's early bedtime over dragging the kid out for a stressful hangout which would probably end up pissing you off because the child would rather run all over the restaurant or ask a zillion questions instead of sitting quietly and listening to the conversation.
A Note About Babysitters
Sure, your mom friends can get a babysitter. However, it turns out kids are expensive. Hopefully your mom friend made an educated decision to have a baby, but it's easy to be clouded by cuteness and procreation and forget about those extra expenses.
Babysitters are just downright expensive, especially when you think about it in terms of leaving a 50% tip at the dinner you invited your mom friend to. Or more.
Ok, parents can get grandparents to babysit. They can rely on aunties and uncles. But moms probably don't like to over-use their generous resources.
A Side Note About Co-Parenting Moms: Moms who co-parent might cherish the time with their kid even more, since they don't have access to him or her all the time. So getting on your single mom's calendar might be even harder, because she won't want to hire a babysitter during her days.
Moms of Older Kids
I can't speak much to the daily lives of moms with older kids, but let me say this: she's now shuttling kids to and from school, practice, and other events. She's not only having to remember her own lunch, but will also have to make sure her offspring are clothed, bathed, and fed. She has to negotiate with strong willed humans with no filter.
And at any point in this child-rearing lifecycle, she needs to (try to) take care of herself, and try to prioritize her relationship with her significant other, who is probably also at the end of his or her wits trying to raise the little ones. Not to mention the pulls from her family and her career.
Your Mom Friends Are Still There, Physically and Emotionally
Mom friends are still there. Even though they may live farther away, they're still reachable by phone or text.
They're still the same people. Sure, their priorities may have shifted, but they still care a lot about you.
While your mom friends may seem more unavailable than ever, they're still there. They might need more prodding and check-ins, but I promise—your mom friends will greatly appreciate a catch up call or a meaningful, "hey, how are you doing?" text.
And your mom friends can still be there physically—just remember time is at a premium for her and she won't take calendared plans with you lightly. Do her a favor and offer to come to her more often—she will appreciate the extra time gained from the lack of a commute so she can clean up the tornado of her house before she sits down with a glass of wine with you.
Most importantly: Mom friends will still put their life on hold to help you when they're really needed. They will drop everything to help you in an emergency.
Your mom friends still need you as a friend, even if you're not a mom. Maybe even especially if you're not a mom. Because while it's fun to talk shop about what crazy antics your kid got into today, it's even more important for your mom friends to obtain a sense of self.
Even if it may not seem like it, your mom friends still love you and think about you all the time.
Moms/parents: did I miss anything?