Written by: Mae Kroeis
Things change, sometimes in the form of an infant.
If you don’t have a baby or babies are the farthest thing from your mind, it can be a little scary when a good friend gets a new Before-Anyone-Else in baby form. How will you relate? What will you talk about? Will you still be good friends, or friends at all?
I can tell you from experience that things will definitely be different. But one thing is for sure, your bestie-turned-new-mom needs all hands on deck, and as much understanding and support that you can give.
But how do you know the best way to be that best friend to a new mom? When you can’t relate, you might not notice the extra bag she’s carrying (that would be the diaper bag, please carry it!), or realize how useless a brain can become without sleep and regular adult conversation (don’t be offended if she doesn’t even acknowledge you’ve spoken!), or know how heavy a car seat feels after a day of bouncing a crying baby (please do the heavy lifting).
No need to panic and start running the other way. With this list you are no longer at risk of being that totally clueless friend. These are some of the best things you can do to help your bestie out as you get used to sharing your BAE with a tiny little human.
1. Let her talk about her baby.
Yes, people like to talk about their kids (and their dogs) a lot. It can get old fast. But a new baby is the biggest thing happening in your friend’s life right now and isn’t friendship all about sharing your lives with each other? So yes, you do have to listen to her talk about diaper rash, reflux and breastfeeding, but she also has to hear about your horrible Tinder dates, so consider it a fair trade. Don’t worry, after a certain amount of time it becomes acceptable and even welcome for you to move on (see number 2).
2. Have some other easy topics to talk about.
Many moms will welcome the distraction and the reminder that there is still life on planet Earth. Stick to easy topics (like the latest goings on with the Kardashian/Jenner clan – tho maybe that’s not an easy topic) and don’t ask difficult questions. Her thoughts on immigration are a little overshadowed by the fact that she may have puke in her hair.
3. Don’t be offended.
You’re used to asking her what she thinks about giving Mr/Miss Saturday Night a second date or her opinion on how to handle that conflict with your co-worker. She does want to be there for you, but unfortunately now is just going to be one of those times where you will have to give a little more than you get.
4. Buy her a coffee and a snack.
And prepare to be confronted with a bad case of the hangries. She likely hasn’t had a second, or a free hand, to eat anything all day. You + Starbucks = the best part of her day.
5. Hold the baby when it’s crying.
Yes, holding a crying baby isn’t on your to-do list, but sharing the good and the bad are what relationships are all about. Like the times you’ve held her hair over the toilet, just knowing you’re there is a comfort. Even if you can’t do a thing to make that baby stop crying.
6. When the baby is crying, keep talking.
She might not be able to listen very well but it will be a welcome distraction and she won’t have to feel bad for her baby interrupting. Screaming baby doesn’t care about your dating problems – don’t take it personally.
7. Make follow-up plans.
Plans with other adults and doing regular adult things help her stay grounded. If you take the lead on planning your next date and put it right into her calendar for her, it might just be the light at the end of another sleepless tunnel.
8. She will be late.
This one’s just a heads up. See number 9.
9. Give her a compliment.
You don’t need to tell her she looks great (she’ll know if you’re lying), but she probably feels like a total mess and needs to know she is doing something right. Even if it’s just that her hair looks especially silky (but be sure it’s not just grease from missing a few too many showers).
Tiny human beings might not be on your radar yet, but trust me, they’re coming. Flag this article for when the time comes and thank me later.