When your new baby bundle arrives, every little life event feels like front-page-worthy news. You likely feel like a geyser ready to gush, but not everyone is going to want baby bulletins 24/7. Especially not your friends without kids, who may be struggling to find their place in your new life. Here are five tips and tricks on how to stay close with your child-free friends after your new addition arrives.
1. Know Your Audience
There are many reasons people are childless. Some are by choice, but if your friend is struggling to conceive (or hasn't met the right partner), it might be best to tread lightly on the baby bulletins. In fact, waiting for your friend to inquire about your newest addition is best (but hard to do!).
2. Keep Up with Traditions
If pre-baby you got together for brunch once a month or took a yearly girls’ getaway, make a point of prioritizing these special events. You may not have the time (or energy!) to keep up with your previous social plans, but carving out the time and space for events that foster meaningful connections is key.
3. Make Your Friend the Headliner
Chances are, you and your babe are the center of a lot of people’s attention (yours, your partner’s, your parents…. You get the idea!). When you're together, turn the spotlight onto your dearest friend and let them share their week's (or month’s) highlight reel uninterrupted. Meeting up while your baby sleeps helps you give her your undivided attention. Asking your friend to join you on a stroll or hike while you push the stroller is a great time to catch up. Or grab some coffee or a quick lunch while baby dozes in the buggy.
4. Save Your Parenting Woes for Other Parents
You’re exhausted. We get it—down to our core! But telling non-parent friends they couldn’t fathom your next-level fatigue won’t win you any bestie awards. Parenting struggles are best shared with other new moms; they get it and will have mom-tested advice. If you need more support, try finding a local mom group to commiserate with.
5. Make Friends Part of the Family
It's important to carve out child-free time with your best pals, but if your ride-or-die friend treats your newborn like her next of kin, it might be time to make room for an honorary auntie. Including your child-loving (but child-free) friend in kid-friendly and family-friendly activities means you get to see your bestie more often, and she's just that much closer to you and your child.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers