Dealing With Friendships After You Become a Parent in Relationships
Friendships can be complicated and often change after you’ve become a parent. Huge changes in your life can make it harder to keep in touch. The Ping young parent group share their experiences of becoming parents and juggling friendships.
“None of my friends have had babies, and didn't know how to act when I was pregnant and post birth. They kept inviting me to the same events, parties, and days out as I attended before being a parent, not understanding that I can't drop everything to go out clubbing, or even just for a coffee.”
“I find it difficult, the loneliness, living alone with 2 children and I hate being tied to my phone for communication with people. I'm on my phone more than I'd like but I find by not having contact people fade away because in reality the friendship isn't a proper one. “
Now that you’re a parent your priorities will have changed and sometimes just getting out the house can be a challenge. Both men and women can find keeping up with friends difficult as your shared interests change and you have less time to spend with friends. Be honest with about how difficult it is and try to plan ahead.
“I plan trips very far in advance, usually about 1 month. We agree to keep the day completely free, knowing that I can't easily rearrange. We then meet up and spend the day doing things. It's important to plan instead of trying to randomly organise things the day before. I think it's also important to tell them what's going on. Tell them outright that you don't have the freedom that you didn't before, and that you can't just leave the house when you fancy. Sometimes they don't realise, and appreciate being told. “
Finding time for yourself can be difficult when you’re a parent but it can help to set aside time to meet up with friends. It’s important to remember that you can have time alone and be ‘you’. You may only be able to focus on a few really important people and it’s natural for some friendships to fizzle out. Having at least one friend to rely on is important to well being and can help keep feelings of isolation away.