Easier or Harder?

Dear yayas, 

Do you find friendships easier or harder once you have children? I’m getting ready to have my first baby and a friend of mine casually mentioned that friendships are easier now that she is a mom, but that pretty much means you can’t be friends with people without kids once you have them. Most of my friends don’t have kids yet. You all have kids…is she right? Did you stay friends with your kid- less friends after baby arrived? 

– Friends Forever?

Friendships are interesting. We grow and change so much our whole lives, even when we’re adults. I feel like our friendships can grow and change along with us. There are some pretty big events that mark major shifts in our lives: graduation, wedding, moving, etc…having a baby is definitely one of those big events. I think you’ll find that (more than anything) your friendship circle will expand with the birth of your baby, especially if you seek out the support and friendship of other mothers with babies the same age as yours. You can grow and learn together, side by side, and that’s really powerful stuff. It’s okay to focus on you and your mom friends when they baby comes. It’s just sort of the season of life you’ll be in. And that’s okay. What you can give in your friendships will change when baby comes–time and energy will be limited and baby will be your number one priority. And what you get from your friendships (what you need) will be more mommy-centered for a while…and that’s okay. So in some ways, I think it’s easier to make mommy friends and in other ways harder because it can feel like starting over. But be yourself! And really look at not only what you get out of your friendships–new and old–but what you give, too. Best of luck with your new transition into motherhood! You’re already part of an awesome community of inspiring mamas and we’re glad you’re here! #yayatribe – Lori Beth

I have to be completely honest here as it is way easier to be friends with people who have kids. I am still friends with my friends who don’t have kids, but I do not see them that much. We often do not want to do the same things and our interests are different now. On the flip side I have found it way easier to make friends with other moms (now that I am a mom) then I did making friends with other women before I had a kid, if that makes sense. You instantly have something to connect with when you meet someone who has kids too, especially as a first time mom. So to answer your question, it is easier to make friends with other parents and harder to make friends with people who do not have kids, at least in my experience. – Nadia

In my experiences, having moved several times in adulthood with and without children, friendships do evolve over time. I’m sure it depends on your own unique situation, though I’ve been able to maintain friendships with those who do have kids and those who do not. Because shared interests and experiences make up a big part of friendships, I think we naturally gravitate to others who also have kids. Like any relationship, you’ll make time for those people that mean a lot to you, whether they have children or not. – Diana

I’m not sure I’d say you “can’t” be friends with people without kids once you have them. Although I do think it depends on your age and theirs. For example, I was married right before my 21st birthday and had my oldest son right before I turned 27. Because my friends were still single, or at least didn’t have kids yet, they were going out a lot still and were at a different stage in their lives than I was. Having said that, I think it’s more important to have things to talk about and common interests with your friends than it is whether or not you both have children. Even in my 20’s I still saw my friends who didn’t have children yet, however it often seemed to be more one on one time. Now that we are older and several of us have kids, it’s fun to get a whole group together, with or without the kids. Even in those groups of friends I have, we are still a mix of single, married, with and without kids. So, I guess to answer your initial question, I personally feel that real friendships require more work to maintain after you have kids, but also that they are more rewarding because you appreciate the adult time!!! – Lorelei

In my experience, convenience friendships get easier but deep friendships require more work. It isn’t that they are harder—that seems unfair—but I have to put more effort into giving of myself into a friendship that isn’t as surface-y. Have you seen that meme about a mother’s brain being like a computer browser with hundreds of tabs open? That’s kind of like motherhood at times. It’s also tough for me to carve out time away from my family for the time for quality, deeper friendships repeatedly. Relationships take work, different degrees depending on the person, but you have to invest energy into things that are worthwhile. Friendships are worthwhile but they are also one of the easiest things to push to the back burner. I will say that my mom friends completely get that and most of my non-mom friends do, too—for them the distraction is work or a relationship. That said I did stay friends with most of my non-mom friends after my kids. The dynamic changes, some aren’t as close, some are closer, but it’s totally possible. The ones I don’t speak to regularly anymore, well, we just kind of drifted apart, but that happens at times regardless of mom status. I have read that some friends are for a reason, some for a season, and some for a lifetime. I think there is truth to that. Don’t worry about it-you and your friendships will survive. – Cortney

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