Before having Mason, one of my biggest fears was becoming unavailable to my friends. I surround myself with considerate, empathetic and lovely loyal people which is the foundations of our friendships, we’ve always had time for each other. Yet time is the one thing that’s limited when you become a mum. The amount of time a baby can take is immeasurable. No it is measurable, it’s all of it. Even when they’re not physically around you, they’re in some way in your thoughts. This can often cause irritation between friendships as things between your relationships have evolved as life’s journey always does. The important part is to maintain your friendships, simply because your life has changed it doesn’t necessarily means theirs has too. They’re still great people, so lets keep it that way?
Communication | Stay open and honest
The hardest part for me is to explain myself to anyone. Maybe it’s an issue I have with authority or maybe it makes me feel vulnerable but I do it, because they deserve it. Some times updating your friends on where you’ve been and why you haven’t had a minute to text back is all it takes. It’s OK that you had to take a nap. It’s OK that you were out all day running errands. It’s OK that you simply had no motivation to talk and just wanted a minute to yourself. When you can, reassure them that you still love them, you want to hear all about what going on in their lives too but at the moment need to slow down your own life. Communication is crucial whether it’s a phone call right before you go to bed or a text while baby naps.
Set a date | See each other sometimes
Once a month can come round quicker than you think so arrange something a month later. That can be enough to have some quality baby-scream-free conversation and give each other a hug over an hour or two drinking coffee. If you plan in advance, it could alleviate the pressure of wondering when the next time you’ll speak will be, make it easier to plan for someone to have the baby and early bird bookings always save money.
Social media | Seek out their profiles
Every now and then engage on a picture or status to metaphorically raise your hand and say “hey I’m still here, I see this”. It’s a simple way to touch base, have a short time commitment free conversation real quick. Like photo’s, share messages and tag each other on posts. These little stress free ways can be all it takes to show someone you’re still thinking of them.
Post a present | A little gift to the doorstep
We all like the buzz of surprise, so this could be one small way to brighten up a friends day. By ordering something for them with a small budget you can afford, whether it’s a keyring or some ear muffs for Christmas it could show thought and effort on your part. Maybe deliver a short message in a beautiful card or have some flowers delivered on the day of that special occasion you couldn’t make. It’s important that they’re understanding for you and you show your appreciation in return.
Become E-pals | The 2018 friends
Maybe it’s just not possible right now. Maybe you don’t want to be on your phone long enough to text and don’t know what tomorrow will bring let alone planning a month ahead. So create a dedicated email account you can use as an online journal and email it to them. Maybe start a blog, send a newsletter, maybe once a year send a Christmas card or send an email every few weeks of all you’ve been up to, to each other. You can do this.
Skype Silently | Be in the room together
Sometimes if talking and sitting still at he same time is too difficult, then video call each other for free via Skype or WhatsApp and put the phone down somewhere while you get on with your tasks bringing the camera along. This allows you to zone in and out of conversation and have further insight in to each other’s lives without needing to talk. It may feel your friend is in the room with you and that may be enough.
Movie Club | Same film same time
One option could be to watch the same film at the same time but in your own homes. This doesn’t require conversation, so if you get distractions you need to attend to for a minute you can without sensing you’re having to get away from your friend. Zone back in when you can, knowing your friend is watching the film too. Friends physically apart but never in heart. This allows you to be doing something together, and having the chance to catch up about later.
Don’t talk | No seriously
Some friendships don’t necessarily need to be maintained. In baby terms, they self-soothe. Maybe you’ve been friends 1 year or 10, you’ll naturally know how comfortable and secure you are with each other enough to know speaking every few months is the only option and that’s perfectly fine. If you can both be understanding and patient without the option of doing any of the other options listed, then maybe you don’t need to. Be there for each other when you can, even if that isn’t that often.
It’s difficult to manage time being a wife, colleague, sister, daughter, aunt a friend and take a minute to be alone for yourself. But it’s not impossible.
Do you have any other tips not mentioned above? Leave it in the comments below.