Life after babies is a totally different game in every aspect. Be it your relationship with self, partner, friends, or family, everything gets affected by the arrival of your little one. In a way, parenthood is like being reborn and starting from ground zero again.
Having a network of supportive friends is essential during those first few months of parenthood and beyond. But at the same time, having the physical and mental capacity to invest in this village is difficult. New moms find it almost impossible to socialize and reconnect with friends postpartum. A majority prefer staying at home rather than getting ready, getting the baby ready, preparing everything for the baby, and then heading out to the potential disaster this meet-up can turn into (if you’ve ever had to deal with a blowout while out and about, you know exactly what I’m talking about).
If you find yourself struggling to reconnect with friends after having a baby, or are thinking of ways to make new ones, this article is for you. Read away and try out the tips that sound best to you.
10 Tips for Reconnecting with Old Friends and Making Some New Ones
Reconnecting with old friends or making new ones may seem like a luxury limited to people with loads of free time. In truth, all it takes is small, consistent efforts and a positive attitude. The first step is the hardest, so take the leap and commit to yourself.
Life after having a baby is isolating for many parents. This is particularly true for moms, as they are the primary caregiver in most cases. Staying estranged from adult interaction can really affect your mental health at large. So, what to do then?
- Reach out to your friends
You may feel like your friends should be the ones reaching out, but the reality is that you may have to make the first move. Your friends might not want to bother you, figuring that you’re tired or busy with the baby and everything else. Make the effort to reach out and get a chance to chat and catch up with them- you’ll thank yourself later!
- Invite friends over to your place
It may seem challenging to invite friends to your place with a new baby and all the chores that need to get done, but it can be pretty convenient. You see, taking the baby somewhere is a bigger hassle than hosting a small get-together. At home, you’re in your comfort zone, you know what to do when your baby gets fussy, and everything you might need for the baby is right there. If you’re worried about cleaning before or after, remind yourself that your friends know you just had a baby and let them help before they head out (with no shame).
- Be an active part of the social media groups
Do you know what many moms’ favorite pastime is? It’s scrolling through social media day in and night out. If you’re already active on social media, why not take advantage of it? Peanut, also known as mom-tinder, is an app that helps moms, moms-to-be, and prospective moms navigate fertility, pregnancy, motherhood, and menopause. It is a giant community of more than three million women who are there to support each other, connect, listen, and share valuable advice. You should definitely check it out.
- Don’t be afraid to spend some child-free time with friends
There is nothing wrong with taking your child with you, but there is also nothing crazy about wanting to have some child-free time with friends. You need adult conversation to stimulate your brain before any remaining fragments of your old self are lost, like that one sock in the dryer. So leave your child with your spouse, a trusted family member, or a babysitter, and make your adult social time a priority.
- Video calling at your rescue
Friends can stay connected over the phone. The internet has made it so easy for us to communicate with anyone around the globe. And if you are worried about your greasy hair and the crusty stains on your t-shirt, then hold the phone close to your face and the baby close to you. That way, your friend won’t notice your less-than-glamorous life. And even if they do, does it really matter?
- Attend their parties/get-togethers as well
You have to get out of your home every once in a while if you want to have humans as your friends. It’s easy to sweep every invite under the rug and use your baby as an excuse for not attending. FYI, doing that is not going to help you. If you really want to make new friends and connect with old ones, then you need to respond to at least some invitations with your presence.
- Be open to making new connections
Your body language and ability to hold a conversation are important in your efforts to maintain friendships and make new friends postpartum. You can’t expect others to want to hang out with you if you roll your eyes at every other thing, isolate yourself in a room full of people, get defensive, or hold a resting mom face throughout the party. Instead, try smiling to give off a welcoming vibe. Think of something happy, so it doesn’t look forced. And if someone that seems nice approaches you, be cordial and open to expanding your circle.
- Make an effort to talk to other moms
Starting a conversation is not always easy, especially with strangers you see at playgrounds, libraries, parks, or grocery stores. The best way is to gather your courage and talk to a mom who looks relatable. Here is another chance to put your smile to use. If the smile is returned, give a friendly comment or compliment to take the conversation further. You can say something about her baby or make it about her - moms appreciate being noticed too!
- Follow up
When you meet new and old friends, be sure to update your contacts and follow up with them later. The reality is that people don’t make an effort to maintain a relationship if it’s not reciprocated, friends included. So do your best to stay connected with the people who match your vibe. Obviously, people know you’re busy and adjusting to all the new stages of motherhood, but you can call or message on and off. You can also easily interact on social media by sharing funny memes and reels or replying to their stories and posts.
- Self-care comes first
The responsibilities of a new baby to care for often lead to you ignoring yourself to a point where life can become gray. While doing something for yourself may seem like an added task to an already never-ending list, self-care will ultimately make things easier for you. On the other hand, neglecting your physical, social, emotional, and mental needs will cause burnout. So practice self-compassion and don't avoid doing things for yourself, including reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.
Postpartum social life is in shambles for many moms. Needless to say, maintaining old friendships and making new friends is a job easier said than done. But you need to put in effort if you want to reconnect with old friends or make new ones, right? Take the initiative to connect and be friendly. Try some of the tips mentioned above. Over time, with continued, small efforts it will fall into place.