After I was married I didn’t think my friendships would change. I thought I would still be close to my friends, I wasn’t prepared for what came next.
Before marriage, my friendships didn’t take much work. The occasional phone call, texting more often than anything, and of course the almost weekly girls night out. We talked about marriage, how we would raise our kids together, it would be easy. The thing is no one warned us about how hard it is to keep a friendship healthy. It’s hard. Then add to that having kids and it’s a recipe for the end to a great friendship.
Now don’t get me wrong. Not all friendships will be like this but I do warn that many are. Things get hectic. Life gets busy. Friends go weeks if not months without talking. When I had my first son I felt so alone. My best friend was going through relationship drama and wanted to find someone to settle down with. I was preparing to bring a life into the world and felt like I couldn’t talk to her about any of my concerns. Once baby was here I was always exhausted. Invites to go out were not feasible. I was a milk making machine so if baby couldn’t be with me then I couldn’t go.
She enjoyed her freedom and I enjoyed my family. She still came by sometimes to see the little one and talk to me but it wasn’t like it was before. Soon I was expecting baby number 2 and our friendship took another hit. It was hard to not have my “person.” When we talked she went on about her boyfriend, job, or an adventure she had that week. I talked about the kids because, well, they are my world. Did we have anything in common anymore? Was there even a friendship to save?
By the time I had my third child we hardly ever talked. She would check in on me sometimes and I would check in on her sometimes. The conversations didn’t last more than a few minutes. It wasn’t the ideal situation. Finally I just talked to her about what was on my mind. I was honest, maybe too honest. At the end of that conversation something changed. We started to become closer. We text weekly and have random phone calls (let’s face it, phone calls with 3 children between the ages of 6 and 2 isn’t going to work out well). We make it work.
So what I have learned is friendships after marriage and children take WORK. It isn’t going to be easy. The carefree days of gossiping and laughing for hours are gone but a more meaningful friendship develops. You can’t expect someone else to know how you are feeling if you don’t tell them. Talk to them. If you want to save the friendship then put in the work. If it doesn’t work out then it just wasn’t meant to be. As a mom I know how lonely it can be in the role of motherhood, but I also know that I am not alone even though it feels like it sometimes. Things may be different than they once were but that isn’t entirely a bad thing. Yes I have lost some friendships along this journey of life, some I miss but some I know were not good for me. Learn to see friendships for what they are. Save the ones that need saving, let go of the ones that don’t. You’ll become a much happier person if you do.