As women, we deeply treasure and rely upon our friendships. Many of us have created long-lasting relationships that started when were in a more youthful and carefree state of mind. But as we grow into our motherhood identity, our friendships become an even more imperative part of our lives- we begin to rely upon them not just for fun but even more for support and guidance. While preparing for baby to arrive, we might start to notice that our needs, wants and inclinations are changing. Our time is becoming limited, our bodies are changing and emotions are fluctuating. We are changing- and so are the relationships we gravitate to.
How do we stay open to the new kinds of friendships that are presenting themselves naturally, at this phase of our life? How do we hold onto the friendships that we hope will stand the test of time? Sadness and confusion may arise, but new exciting connections are also on the horizon. It’s all about staying awake and aware of what you need from friendships in this new stage of your life and never judging it.
Here are three ways in which you can embrace friendships that speak to the NOW of pregnancy and beyond!
- Nurture your long time relationships with awareness that they may feel different.
Relationships are living and breathing things and the people within them are always changing. When we enter pregnancy and motherhood we may notice that our conversations shift because our focus and concerns have. Be sure to be honest about what’s on your mind but also make an effort to retain the connections of such a long time friendship. Make time for your long time friends- trust me, when you become a mom, you will love the moments with your old friends, reminiscing about times long ago when you were not a mama.
- Invite new friendships that feel positive and validating.
Motherhood and pregnancy can be overwhelming so be sure that the new friends you invite into your life are people that keep it positive and upbeat. Ever notice that you start to feel bummed when you hang out with someone who complains a lot? It’s important to be able to talk to about anything (the good and the bad) with a friend while also having a positive outlook at the end of the day. If you’re reinventing a bit, consciously bring in the people that make this new phase feel exciting and full of purpose.
- Trust that every phase will look a little different and your friends will reflect that.
As you change, so do your relationships. Change is hard and can be accompanied by some grief and sadness. That’s ok. When you feel those emotions, understand they are part of your growth. Trust that every day will look a bit different and so will every phase. When change feels overwhelming and you’re having a hard time connecting to the idea of “trust”, do something to connect to the parts of you that are consistent and nurturing. This could be a meditation practice (there are guided meditations about trusting the journey), workouts, writing, cooking- the things that make you feel good.
As we change, it’s so important to hold onto the best of the old and be open to the new. Friendships allow us to do just that. Enjoy the journey of rediscovering the people and dynamics who will support you forever and the folks who will enjoy and share in the experiences you’re going through right now.