It can be hard to relate to a friend who has kids.

My Friend Had a Baby and I Can't Relate to Her Anymore

by Eliza Martinez

Chances are, you and your friends have encountered times when your lives don't converge. This might mean you spend less time together and don't have as much to talk about. If your friend has a baby but you haven't reached that stage in your life yet, it can be hard to relate to each other. You don't have to stop being friends, but you might have to work harder to maintain your relationship through this stage in your lives.

Why It Happens

If you've never gone through pregnancy, delivery and caring for a child, it's not easy to carry on a conversation about these topics with a friend who has experienced them. You don't know anything about having a newborn, sleepless nights, breastfeeding or the chaos that having children brings to life. That makes it hard to commiserate with your friend when she calls to talk. At the same time, your friend might not have much to add when you start talking about your latest work project or your boyfriend difficulties. Your friendship probably isn't over, but the dynamics are different for the time being.

How You Feel

You might feel like a bad friend, but chances are you're probably tired of hearing about diaper changes, late night feedings and post-delivery pain. You don't have anything to add to the conversation, and it can get monotonous to hear about the same things all the time. If you're having trouble conceiving a baby of your own, you might feel jealous and sad listening to your friend talk about the joys and trials of being a mom. You might feel like avoiding calling her or taking her phone calls. Feelings of resentment and anger are possible as you work through this phase of your friendship.

How Your Friend Feels

Your friend isn't trying to monopolize the conversation with talk about her new baby, but having a child is so life changing that she might not be thinking about anything else. Your friend might also feel jealous about your ability to make spontaneous plans and go out with friends, things she can't do anymore now that she has a baby to care for. She might feel separated from your life together and unable to add to your conversation about your work at the office or your trip out of town. With such different lives and priorities, she might not feel like the two of you have anything in common and might not want to commit to time together because the situation can feel awkward.

What to Do

Just because your friend had a baby doesn't mean your relationship is doomed. You have to adapt to the changes in your friendship and work around them to stay friends. Call your friend with the expectation that she'll want to talk about her baby, but have stories and news to share as well so you can both feel part of the conversation. Invite your friend to spend time together with her baby. Go for a walk in the park and or cook dinner at your house. This way, you can be together even if it's not the same as before her baby was born. Accepting the changes in your relationship can help you stay close even when you're in different phases of your lives.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

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