In the months prior to the birth of my first child, as I was busy choosing curtains, creating a registry, stressing about work, and planning for the major life change to come, it became clear that some friends were going to stick around—and some were going to fly the coop.
Almost every pregnant woman can attest to having lost some friends during the time between announcing their pregnancies and celebrating their baby’s first birthday.
“Your more stable, wise friends are like buildings built near fault lines—they’ll feel the relationship earthquake but settle right back into place, just a few inches west of where they once were,” says Lisa T. Bergren, author of Life on Planet Mom: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Your Changing Relationships.
“A new mom can quickly identify those friends who are not sensitive to her new life,” says Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of books including Postpartum Depression For Dummies and Pregnant on Prozac. “For instance, those who have no tolerance for a quick change of plans may need to be shed, at least for a while. There may be friends who are open to getting together with the baby, and those who wish to participate in only adult activities without kids. Both are fine, and there can be a place in the new mom’s life or a variety of friends.”
With this in mind, take note of the five friends every new mom needs:
1 The Supportive Fellow Mom: “I’ll watch the kids,” she says with a smile, and you know you will return the favor.
2 The Fun, Still-Single Girlfriend: She reminds you that sometimes discussing the latest celebrity fashion faux pas is all you need to shake a rut.
3 The One Who Tells It Like It Is: She talks you off the mommy ledge and hands you your bootstraps.
4 The Motivator: She walks you through losing the baby weight, plans trips to the museum, and reminds you to keep moving, even when you want to sleep.
5 The Mommy Peer: Her child is the same age as yours. Bring cookies to play dates and you’ll be friends for life.