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With Friends Like These

How to Maintain Your Non-Mom Friendships

By Leah Furman, co-founder of Mamaista.com

Once upon a time, you had a group of friends with the same interests. You went to sleepovers at one another's houses, then moved on to fraternity parties and finally graduated to cocktail receptions. You shopped as a team and lunched as a unit. You took group vacations and spent hours on conference calls.

But baby took you away from all that. ...

Now, you go to playdates and kiddie birthdays. And when you point out a “cute boy” to your girlfriends, they're usually disappointed to find that you're referring to someone way under the legal age of consent.

That's what happens when a good friend goes mom. And when that mom is you, keeping your non-mom friends can seem like an uphill battle. But it's far from a lost cause. The following tips will help you weather the transition and emerge with your bond intact.

1. Don't be smug: Now that you're a mom and experiencing the sundry joys of love unconditional, you may be tempted to fall into the trap of thinking that everyone wants what you have. Instead of perpetuating the grass is greener myth, remind yourself and your friends that by no means is your life perfect. By sharing some of your woes and hardships with your non-mom friends, you'll be able to forge a deeper connection.

2. Baby talk: Baby's first smile. The cute way he said “ca ca.” How she's only six months and already nearly walking. When you're a new mom, it's hard not to wax rhapsodic. The trick is knowing when to quit. “Of course, your friends will ask about the baby,” says new mom Buka Ross, “because they care about you. But no one wants to hear the details, so I answer their questions, but try to keep the baby talk brief.”

3. Party protocol: Since your last 53,682 parties revolved around tots and screaming babies, you may want to spare your non-mom friends the headache. Don't. “Tension arises when relationships feel unbalanced and one person feels they are putting in more effort,” says Jessica Denay, author of The Hot Mom-to-Be Handbook. “Try to involve your friends as much as possible in your new life as a mom and new baby.” Just don't take it personally if they don't always take you up on your invites.

4. Judge not: “It won't be long before your friends start to think you are preoccupied and boring, fulfilled purely by the musings of your offspring,” Denay explains. Meanwhile, “you may feel that they are thoughtless, self-indulgent or immature and have no idea what it is like to be up every hour with a newborn.” The point is, well, that you both have a point. Instead of focusing on the differences, think about what you still have in common. After all, what does it matter that she stayed out all night and you stayed up all night if you're both exhausted the next morning?

5. Find your inner non-mom: While your baby may be an all-consuming passion right now, there will come a time when you will want your old self back. It could be next year or in the next 10 minutes, but one thing is for certain: You'll need your non-mom friends to remind you of who you were and what you were interested in before baby made three. “I try to pursue the life I had before I became a mom, talking about politics with some friends and going to concerts and museums with others. Each friend contributes something different,” says Ross. “It takes effort, but my attitude from early on in the pregnancy was that a baby will be a great addition to my life, but I don't want my life to revolve around the baby.”

How do you maintain your non-mom pals?

BEWARE THE FRENEMOMMY

  • Courteney and Jen are still super-BFF despite their differing family lives.

    Lester Cohen/WireImage
With Friends Like These
How to Maintain Your Non-Mom Friendships
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