Alan and I are at that phase in our life during which almost all of our friends are having kids, but it’s still something that is several years down the road for us. In fact, we are one of the only couples in our friend group who are still childless, and we often joke that by the time we finally have kids, our friends will have children in middle school.
In September, Kelsey, one of my best friends since kindergarten, had her first child. I am incredibly happy for her, as this is something she and her husband have wanted for years. And, while I was (selfishly) worried that her becoming a parent would change the dynamics of our friendship, we have still managed to stay close despite conflicting schedules and commitments. In fact, Kelsey has done a great job of maintaining many of her friendships after having her son Memphis, so I asked her to offer some advice to new parents and friends of new parents for this post.
On becoming a new parent: “Being a new parent is an amazing adventure. It’s probably one of the hardest jobs, but it’s also one of the most rewarding.”
On maintaining friendships: “Keeping friendships as a priority can be difficult, because it’s easy to get in the groove of just taking care of your baby and forget to keep up with your closest friends. I try to make a habit of contacting my friends a couple times a week, if possible, just to check in.”
On what friends of new parents can do: “I know my friends can feel like I’m busy with Memphis and they may not want to bother me, but motherhood would be even more difficult without their involvement and support. I think being flexible is the most important thing. Date nights have become the best way for us to hang out with friends, because we already have a babysitter lined up, and if we aren’t able to find a babysitter, we just bring Memphis with us. It may mean that we have to change locations, but it’s a great way for our friends to get to spend time with him, too.”