What (Really) Happens When Your Best Friend Has A Baby
Written by Joanna Riedl
Photography by Photographed by Maria Del Rio
You’ve received the big news: Your best friend is preggo! You knew it was coming, she’s been trying for a while, and it’s finally happening. You’re both crying, you can’t even believe this is real life. “We’re having a baby,” you shout! Your wifey, your road dog, your partner in crime is finally knocked up. You are over the moon with excitement to share in this journey with her. You do everything together. You guys will obviously raise this baby together. Over the next 9 months, you’re accompanying her on doctor appointments, binging on whatever she’s craving (solidarity, right?), taking cute belly pics, and daydreaming about the future of the little nugget inside there. Then the baby comes. And in a second everything changes. Chances are, this is not a change you’ve prepared for…but we’ve got you (somewhat) covered below.
BFF Time Turns Into Family Time: Once the little one arrives, the family (not including you) needs time to bond. So, just like that, you’re out! You go from spending every day together, texting non-stop, you’re even in the hospital—for hours on end—when the baby is born, and then boom. The cord’s been cut, and it can feel like you were, too. Ouch. Our advice: Let yourself feel the pain of being shut out—and know that it’s not intentional. All of the sudden, your friend and her partner have a huge task to navigate—learning how to keep another tiny, very demanding being alive, and that all-encompassing task has literally changed their every waking (and sleeping) second. While you come to terms with your new role, seemingly on the sidelines, the best thing you can do is stay calm and support your bestie in any way she needs. Set up a meal train, give people updates on her and the baby, bring her things that make her happy. (Check out our list of 20 Ways To Help A New Mom for ideas). Trust us, she’s not taking all of this effort for granted.
Don’t Expect Your Visits To Look The Same: Remember when you guys used to joke and laugh and lose track of time, watching “your shows,” or being spontaneous and going on last-minute adventures? Say goodbye to that former life…at least for a while. Instead, be prepared to do a lot of the extra lifting when it comes to keeping your friendship afloat (it sucks, but she’ll return the favor someday). Your one-on-two time (yep, there’s another person in the picture now) will now revolve around when the baby eats and sleeps, and when mama is feeling the most social (unfortunately, her bandwidth for long conversations has changed, too). The good thing is that once you get this new schedule committed to memory (it’s often very reliable!), you can identify the ideal times to regularly see your bestie and her/your new bundle of joy. But just beware that your quality time might not resemble the good ‘ol days—chances are her attention span is very limited and the entire conversation might revolve around what’s top of mind for her, a.k.a. the baby (good thing you love that little sucker!). That wide open world of adventure that used to be your life together can suddenly feel very small, and chances are you’re both mourning it. But if you’re able to act selflessly and put in the effort, the future of your friendship will thank you.
Brace Yourself For The “Mom Friends”: You’ve heard about it, seen it in movies, then it happens to you—the other mommies, “mom friends” if you will, move into your territory. And, as a non-mom, you feel like you’re suddenly on the outside of your best friend’s life. They might try to include you in things, babies bouncing on everyone’s lap except for yours, and you genuinely want to be part of the group, but for some reason it can feel like it’s always them vs. you. While it’s easy to fall into the trap of this way of thinking, we suggest using this shift as a chance to make some new friends. Just because these women are moms doesn’t mean you don’t have anything in common with them. You can even insert yourself as the cool non-mom who has time to keep all the time-starved mamas informed of what’s happening in pop culture. Rihanna’s latest video? You’ve got the 411. And count yourself lucky—at the end of those playdates you get to go home, or not go home, or get a massage, or take a nap, or go see another friend, or go to a movie…you have a freedom they no longer have. Live it up!
Embrace The Change: If you’re able to stick in there, it could be the best thing that’s ever happened to your friendship. While your BFF days might feel like they’re over, let us be the first to say it’s really just beginning. Sure, it’s an emotional roller coaster and you’ll experience a plethora of feelings from abandonment to jealousy, but change equals growth, and in the end it’s a really cool experience to see your best friend unlock a new side of herself and to watch yourself evolve into the Best Auntie On Earth. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to watch a deeper friendship unfold right in front of your eyes, and you get a mini-me version of your bestie out of the deal, which is pretty rad. Plus, if the day comes that the pregnancy test shows up positive for you, she’ll owe you big time.
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