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After Baby Arrives, Still Friends!

Having a baby changes a lot: your body, your job, your free time — and sometimes, your friendships. But change doesn’t mean  relationships have to go sour. It may take a little adjusting, but try these tips to keep friendships strong when a baby arrives.

Be yourself. Share your feelings, surprises and joys about your baby with your friends. Even ask advice. They might be fascinated to share in  your experiences and joy.

Be honest. If you feel awkward with your friends, sense tension or feel distant, talk it out early. Reassure your friends that you don’t want them to feel uncomfortable. Listen when they express concerns about growing apart. Acknowledge the new differences in your lifestyles.

Develop a plan. You may feel on call 24/7 and your friends may have a hard time stealing your attention. Set up a time to connect on the phone or in person when there’s little chance of be interrupted. Naptimes, evenings when your partner is feeding the baby or early on a Saturday might work.

Take interest in your friends’ lives. Make sure you listen to your friends’ concerns and stories with a sympathetic ear. Share common challenges and fears associated with change.

Reclaim your common ground. Find new ways to spend time on the things you used to enjoy together. Maybe you  used to grab drinks at a Mexican restaurant every Friday.  If you’re breastfeeding, you can whip up non-alcoholic margaritas and share chips and salsa.

Include old friends in your new life. Perhaps you’ve met new friends through a Mommy and Me class. Include your old friends in get-togethers and help new and old friends mingle.

Be sensitive. Friends who long for a family, have miscarried or are waiting for an adoption could find it difficult to spend time with you and your new little one.  Find ways to be alone together for a friend-to-friend walk or a dinner out together.

Sharon Miller Cindrich is a  freelance writer.

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