Remember when you first got married and everyone told you how much your life was about to change? Shoot, having a spouse is a cakewalk compared to having a baby! At least with your partner, they are an adult who is responsible for themselves (umm, relatively speaking)!
A child? Here’s this tiny human being, who actually resembles you, who is looking to you to meet all of their needs. Talk about an overwhelming reality check!
The first year or so after you bring your baby into the world is going to be one of the most amazing and challenging times of your entire life. You’re going to need your friends, more than you ever have.
Don’t look at it as being “needy”. See them as being lifesavers. (Because they will be!)
Everyone---and we mean
everyone---is going to have to adjust when your baby is born. Your time and availability is not going to be what it used to be. Neither will your energy levels. You’re going to need friends who have a thick skin and won’t take your time of getting used to things too much to heart. Sometimes support will mean taking one of your calls and listening to you vent. Sometimes it will mean coming by and helping you clean up so that you can see the bottom of your floors and kitchen sink again. Good friends know that there are sometimes seasons when one has to do more work than the other. You’ve been there for them. Allow them to be there for you too. Even if they're just stopping by to drop off some flowers to brighten up your day.
A Flexible Schedule
When you’re adjusting to a new baby, even you don’t know what each day brings. Sure, you may be trying to put your son or daughter on a schedule, but even that’s a process. Your friends will need to understand that you might be able to call them back in 15 minutes, or you might need to wait until the next day. If they love you, they’ll be patient. If they
really love you, they’ll text.
It’ll probably be a while before you’re ready to let someone watch your baby. We’re not talking about the newborn. We’re referring to your other children (if you have some). Going from one child to multiple ones can be super-challenging. Anyone who is willing to take the older kids off of your hands for a few hours are the best friends ever!
A doctor, a midwife, a doula or a mother. These are all priceless gems right now because when you’re learning how to adjust to your baby, good advice is always welcome. If your friends fit into any of these categories, welcome them with open arms. Do set boundaries with pushy people, though. You need folks who will give you food for thought without cramming it down your throat.
First seek to understand, then to be understood. A good friend gets this. They’ll know that you’re overwhelmed and that means sometimes you’ll be irritable, moody and not the best company. They’ll also know that now is not the time to take things personally, but just to be by your side, even if it’s in spirit. A friend who says “I’m here if you need me” and puts that on repeat a couple of times per week? That is a friend for life!