Becoming a mom is an incredible, stressful, and terrifying experience all rolled into one. Every parent’s experience is unique, with their own set of challenges and triumphs. One thing is for sure, it’s never as simple as mom makes it look.
Understanding how your friendship may change once your friend becomes a mother can help you maintain the relationship going forward. To help with this transition, we've created a list of 5 easy steps you can take to be a supportive friend to the new mom in your life.
1. Give her a free pass
Being a mother is difficult, to say the very least. Your friend is learning how to be the best mom she can be while merging her old and new lives. You may be left on read, and your plans may be cancelled… and that’s fine! Mom’s brain is in survival mode thanks to the new responsibilities of motherhood and a lack of sleep. She’s just doing her best, try not to take it personally!
Make plans around her schedule and provide options. Going for a walk, watching a movie, or simply having coffee and donuts may be all she can commit to right now. Most importantly, be understanding if she can’t make plans right away.
2. Remind her that she is doing amazing
If you’re going to do anything, make sure to tell mom she is doing a fantastic job. Even though she appears to have it all figured out, she likely doesn’t feel the same. Like most things in life, becoming a parent is a learning experience. A gentle reminder that she is doing amazing may be exactly what she needs to hear.
3. Always ask before coming over
You may want to pay a visit to your friend as soon as she has her baby, and we get it, babies are cute! Make sure mom is up for company before making any plans to drop by. There is no set timeline as to when she will be ready. Simply ask and let her know that you’re there for her whenever she is up for it.
Most importantly, no surprise visits! Respect her privacy and time, giving her the chance to prepare for visitors.
4. Don’t arrive empty handed
While being present for your friend is plenty, we recommend bringing something small with you when you visit. Whether it’s a coffee, her favourite meal, or a package of diapers; this small gesture will mean a lot.
If you don’t have the means to bring over goods, that is okay! Sometimes the best gifts in life are acts of service. Offering to do a load of laundry, wash the dishes, or run the vacuum are simple gestures with a big impact.
5. Ask her how she is doing, and do so sincerely
Beyond being excited about the new baby, ask your friend how she is doing, like, really doing. Whether she chooses to confide in you or not, be open and willing to listen to her feelings and struggles. Allow her to vent, especially if she only wants to be heard!
Be mindful if your friend is looking for you to listen or looking for advice. We're only human after all. Sometimes we just need to vent about our day. If she is looking for advice, our suggestion is to offer it positively.
While your friendship may not be the same as it once was, be mindful of why you became friends in the first place. If you can’t relate to her as a parent, you can relate to her as a person. The best thing you can do in this new stage of her life is to let her know you love her and will be there for her when she is ready.
At the end of the day, keep being the wonderful friend you have always been to her!