10 Ways Friendship Changes as a New Mum

One of the hardest lessons I’ve learnt so far since becoming a new mum is that your friendships change. As a deeply emotional person, and one who values quality time, I really like surrounding myself with good friends and good company. However, becoming a new mum changes things. Your socialising completely changes as a tiny little person starts to dominate your world. You will lose old friendships; and you will gain many new ones. The ebb and flow of relationships are inevitable, but at times it can still hurt to say goodbye to old friends. Here are the 10 ways I’ve found that friendship changes when you become a new mum.

10 ways Friendship Changes when you become a New Mum

5 “Negative” Ways Friendships are Impacted

Like with most things, there are always pros and cons. Similarly, as your friendship changes with a new mum, there are good changes and bad. We might as well start with the bad ‘news’ first.

Waiting Times

Depending on what your relationship was like before, your friend won’t be answering your texts (let alone phone calls) at the drop of a hat. In fact, in the early weeks and months, you may have to wait a couple of days before you get a reply. It takes a big toll on a new mum looking after their newborn baby, with breastfeeding, nappy changes and lack of sleep. They will become somewhat delirious, and will often read a message and then be interrupted. They aren’t ignoring you on purpose, but you’ll find you have to wait a while before they respond.

Curfew

Especially in the early days, new mums won’t be venturing out much (or at all) with their baby. When they DO eventually go out, you’ll often find they have a strict curfew of when they’ll be returning home. Not only will this have to do with their baby’s sleep and routine, but it’ll often take a lot of energy out of them to go out and socialise, that they’ll be exhausted too.

Interrupted conversations

If you are catching up with a new mum friend, you will find the conversation very stilted. Your mum friend may be feeding, entertaining the baby, trying to stop them from moving around everywhere, cleaning up after them, or trying to put them to sleep. You will most likely have to remind them continually of what you were talking about before they were interrupted.

Your new mum friends will also have lost all sense of conversation ‘protocol’. They won’t remember how to interact like a real adult for a child, because their sleep-deprived, delirious minds will forget the proper etiquette. These mums will have forgotten what adult interaction is like, so be kind to them and let them get the craziness out of their system.

Talk of babies – a LOT!

As friends, it is natural for us to talk about the things that are happening in our lives, and the newest experiences we’ve had. For new mums, it is all about babies. That is their whole existence at the present time, so be prepared for a lot of baby talk. While it may be frustrating, try and understand from their point of view – they most likely don’t have much else to talk about. On the flip side, they will probably be extremely interested in what you have to talk about if it is anything unrelated to babies.

Same Venue… Again.

If you’re keen for some longer social engagements (longer than about an hour), it will be easier to meet at the new mums house. You’ll find that this is a trend, and generally staying at home is easier for new mums. This may be annoying if you have to travel great distances, but also means that you can spend more time with your friend (especially if their baby can sleep at home while you both catch up).

5 Positive Ways Friendships are Impacted

While the above ‘cons’ to friendship changes with a new mum may sound unpleasant, there are definitely positives that come out of having a new mum friend.

More meaningful conversations10 ways Friendship Changes when you become a New Mum 1

Even though your new mum friend will be a bit delirious and yes, will make some silly comments or jokes, you will find that they are eager to have more meaningful conversations. As they don’t talk much to adults anymore (their repertoire now consists mostly of baby ‘goo goos’ and ‘gah gahs’), they will be eager to engage in proper, adult conversations. You may find that your friendship goes to a whole new level as you explore deep concepts and experiences, with your new mum friend keen to develop solid adult friendships.

No expectations

Your new mum friend won’t be holding any expectations about you contacting them immediately, getting back to their texts straight away, or wanting to hang out all the time. New mums will have reached a whole new understanding of the phrase ‘time restraints’, and won’t be expecting you to get back to them straight away. This will give you some breathing space, and you won’t feel pressured into doing anything right away – and in fact, this expectation-free friendship will likely make you more eager to get in contact with them.

You won’t get sick of each other

As you won’t be able to see each other 24/7, you are less likely to get sick of each other as friends. That will make your time together more enjoyable, engaging and a two-way street; rather than feeling as though you constantly live out of each others’ pockets.

Cemented friendship

If a new mum still makes the effort to chat or hang out with you when she can, it means the relationship is important to her. During the early weeks and months after having a baby, the focus becomes entirely on looking after bub because they are so dependent on you. New mothers who make an effort to catch up with friends, or even stay in contact when they can, are showing how much they value their friendship with you.

You become a new Aunty or Uncle

By far the best friendship change with a new mum, you will become a new aunty or uncle to their little bundle of joy. You will have this title bestowed on you lovingly, with great care and responsibility. Again, this is another symbol of a solid friendship. You will get to enjoy all the perks of a baby – the cuddles, the smiles and the playtime – without the added “bonuses” of smelly nappies or putting the baby to sleep duties (extra brownie points if you do though!).

Have you experienced friendship changes with a new mum, or since becoming a new mum? In what way did having a baby impact your friendship? 

(P.S. If you’d like to read more about relationships after a baby, you can read this guest post about maintaining your relationship with your partner after having a baby).

About Fi Morrison

Fi is a first-time mum to her beautiful, 11 month-old baby boy who she affectionately calls Starfish. She started Mumma Morrison as a way to document her life with her son, but also aims to create a supportive and encouraging community for new and prospective mums. She is returning to part-time teaching in July. Fi and her family live in Sydney.

Comments

    • I totally agree Natalie, they definitely change throughout all the major ‘milestones’ of our lives, but becoming a mum is a big one!

    • I’m so glad you’ve had understand friends – they’re the friendships that will truly last 🙂

  1. This is 100% accurate. I think every new mom needs to understand that your friendship expectations will completely change after the births of your children.

  2. What a lovely post. You’ve done such a great job of highlighting not only why the changes are happening, but why they’re important to the new mom. Thanks for this inspiring post!

  3. This is so true. While I may not talk to my friends who have kids as much, when we do connect, the conversations are deeper, the interactions more meaningful and the friendship is better for it. Great post!

    • So glad you’ve got greater connections with your friends Anastasia! They will be the friendships that last. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. This is very true! Most of my friends from back home who don’t have kids yet just don’t seem to get it. My life is my kids, so I love to talk with my “mom” friends about that!

    • 100% agree Sarah – our life is our kids now, ESPECIALLY when they’re so young and depend on us (even when they’re older I’m sure this would be true! MY son is currently 8 months). I too love my new mum friends that I have made, as it really helps to feel connected and on the same level as friends rather than an uneven balance of priorities with friends who don’t have kids.

  5. I can relate to this! I have several friends without kids and even though my kids are older now, it’s still hard. Kids are my world and I want to all about them when they’ve done something newsworthy but it’s awkward when you see friends without kids cringing with the “not another kids story” look.

    • Yes this is me too – I’m always excited about sharing my motherhood or kids stories, but sometimes I have to pick and choose who I share them with so it isn’t “too much”.

  6. Great post, Fi!!! I love the part about cemented relationships – so true! We moved a lot, too, when we were still having children, so friendships were hard to come by for many reasons…but the real ones, the true friends, the ones who have heart invested in the connection….they stick around. Great share!

    • Thank you 🙂 I agree, the true friends will always be there, no matter the time or distance apart. They are the friendships that will really last.

  7. The curfew thing is so true. I don’t even go out half the time, because I know I’ll want to leave way earlier than everyone else does.

    • This is me too Rachel, all the time. With or without bub, I find I am ready to leave way earlier than most. So hard sometimes!

    • Yes this is me too Emily! I’m very fortunate to have some friends who offer to come over so that I can put our son down and we can keep hanging out while he’s asleep (and also avoid the babysitting too!)

    • Thanks so much Anni. Becoming a mother definitely is a trying time all around, including friendships. I hope you have some true friendships that have been cemented since becoming a mum, as well as some new friendships with other mums too.

  8. These are so true! Those negatives are all things that take some adjusting too! Some of my friends that we could just talk for hours had to be cut short and interrupted and we definitely don’t see each other as often as we would like anymore. It is so important to make sure you contact friends and make the effort. Often it isn’t that they don’t want to, it is just they are busy too! BUt new friendships and like you said the lack of expectation when things happen is good too. xx

    • I totally agree Suzy, it is definitely a two-way street and even though our lives as mothers becomes a bit all over the place, we certainly need to be making an effort to contact our friends as well. xx

  9. Friendships change so much with marriage and then with children. What’s nice is when those close friends are having children too. And even though our friends are not as tight, you can always pick up with a good friend as if no time has gone by. Nice post, Fi.

    • Yes, friendships constantly evolve and change don’t they? Definitely through all the ‘milestones’ of life, just like Natalie said in another comment too. I love the friendships like that too – no matter how often you catch up, it is as though no time has passed at all. Thanks so much Barbara 🙂

  10. Life changes so much when you have a baby- why not friendships too? The only friendship I’ve had that has not changed in my whole life is a friend from high school- we’ve been through it all. Other than that, friends come and go like water it seems and it can be painful. But, understanding boundaries is helping me a lot!

    • Yes this is the realisation I’ve come to as well. I agree, understanding and also setting boundaries is so important!

  11. Having been now on both sides–a friend of a new mom, and a new mom–I can say confidently that you totally nailed all ten points! One benefit as a new mom: you find out who your real friends are!

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