Why do friends fall off the planet when you become a parent? Hundreds of Circle of Moms members, especially young moms, have shared that pregnancy and motherhood have led to the demise of friendships. Here we get to the bottom of why friends pull this hurtful disappearing act.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
Since pregnancy and motherhood can cause a drastic shift in priorities, many women find that motherhood makes them less compatible with old friends. As moms like Samantha R., who first became pregnant at 19, shared: “I think it’s a question of what stage your friends are at in life…if they have families of their own and if they share the same priorities you do.”
In other words, you may simply be growing up before your friends. Justine K. explains: “I just keep in mind that after you have a baby your priorities change, and that maybe it’s not my friends that are changing. Actually, my friends are exactly the same. It’s me that changed. I became an adult.”
Why Wasn’t I Invited?
When invitations from friends arrive less frequently, it’s easy to feel hurt. As Ally C. shared: “I am really the first mom in my group of friends and now they all go out dancing and partying and don’t even call to see if I would like to go. I would probably say ‘no thanks’ but it would be nice if the offer was there.” Cheryl D. agreed: “It feels like an insult when they don’t want to include me in things we used to do just because I have a child.”
Yet other moms revealed that the problem is two-sided. Michelle J. explained, it’s not just the new parents that feel neglected: “Years ago when my best friend had her first daughter I felt like she didn't have time or space for me in her life. I felt like a third wheel.” And Samantha R. encouraged the new mom to take the initiative to make plans: “Most of my friends don’t even bother calling me anymore because they know what I’m going to say...‘I’m at home with the kids,’ ‘not tonight, maybe another time,’ or ‘I’ll call you back, I have vomit to clean up.’ You have to call them when YOU’RE free for the night.”
The Silver Lining
Thankfully, not all friendships are strained by motherhood. As Lani M. shared: “Most of my friends actually became closer to me. Ya sure, we don’t get to go out or see each other as much as we would like to, but…a lot of my girlfriends find things to do that would include my children.” Andrea Q. agreed: “You will find that some people just can't handle it….But if they are your true friends they will stand beside you through anything that happens.” Plus, as Jessica E. noted, you’ll also have added incentive to build up a stronger support system with new friends: “I've been forced to meet new people, and now have many wonderful girlfriends who are also mothers."