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Single Girl Wants to Know: Does a Baby Change Friendship?

Here's a post from OnSugar blog Rantings of a Single Girl.

My best friend is pregnant. And I couldn't be happier for her. I'm dying to meet my new "niece" or "nephew" and to spoil them rotten. Oh, and I do mean rotten. Then again, that's the joy of being a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or just a friend. You get to spoil the baby and then give them back to their parents!

On a serious note, here is what I am worried about . . . the changing dynamic of our friendship. I'm worried that things won't be the same between us. She's entering a huge new phase of her life. Probably the most important phase of her life . . . and I don't understand it. Because I haven't had a child. I hear so many people talk about how their friendships changed as they remained single and their other friends got married . . . then became parents. And I don't want that to happen to us.

I fully acknowledge things will change though. But I don't want to lose my best friend either. We've maintained a very close and tight friendship despite the fact that we live several hundreds of miles apart. Even though she's married, we've made it through that as well. But I just wonder how her becoming a mother is going to affect things.


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And she and I have talked about this. We're pretty open with each other. She thinks we'll be okay as long as we both realize that things are going to be a little different. She won't be able to jump on a plane and fly down whenever she wants. Our marathon phone conversations will probably turn into a thing of the past. And I'll have to remember that her child comes first (which is completely as is it should be). We've been through some pretty tight situations already and managed not to kill each other. Maybe that means her having a child won't be as big of an issue as I fear?

I know I sound selfish. But like I said, I don't want to lose my best friend. I don't want to see nine years of a wonderful friendship slip into something that's a passing thought. Have any of your been through this? Being single while watching your best friend's life change in ways that you don't understand? Or maybe you're the "with kids" friend and have had to work at maintaining your friendship with your single friends?

I'd just love to hear your thoughts on the subject because uncharted waters scare the heck out of me.

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Join The Conversation
picturemeurs picturemeurs 7 years
Your friendship seems close enough to make through this transition.
palomiis palomiis 7 years
that happen to me.. two times.. and I'm waiting more to come ... to tell you the truth it will change.. for some things it will be bad but for other don't. for example, in my situation, i don't go out as often with my friends to places like bar's, clubs, etc.; but i visit them a lot to their homes and we spent hours talking, and also in chats.. so i will say that our communication grow in spite of the change of our personal lives.. so i will say that don't worry.. sometimes changes are good..
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
Parenthood changes you. Life changes you. The bigger the moment, the more you want to share it. Friendships ebb and flow. The important relationships last.
EmLikesGirls EmLikesGirls 7 years
I understand. It will change, and it will hurt, and you'll mourn for what you had. You'll still have your best friend, of course, but it will always be different. I miss being spontaneous and being able to have a conversation at dinner without a child interrupting every other sentence. I love my goddaughter, but when I come over, I'm coming to see my BFF. And not everyone will like the babysitter idea. So you might not be able to get her out of the house. Just deliberately plan time that the two of you can be together so that you DO have some time as friends.
Caitie64 Caitie64 7 years
I haven't been through this but I think you've been friends for so long that you'll be fine. Like you said, you want to spoil the baby! You have to be friends to do that. I wouldn't worry about it because the more you worry the more you make things different yourself. If it really scares you that much try making one thing that the two of you can do whether it's a weekly email, phone call, video chat (which may be easiest so you can see the baby and her) or a hand written letter of your week so you can stay updated when things get hectic. Congratz to your friend by the way!
Relli80 Relli80 7 years
Now for all those single posters I want to say that I have the opposite problem. As a new mother i have really tried not to constantly talk about my kid, even though i think he is the bees knees but unless someone asks I really don't bring him up. I have made it a point to talk to my single friends about thier lives and whats going on with them, because frankly i dont think my body image issues and annoynace with having to be put in charge of everything at home is fun or good conversation. What i have noticed is many of them call only to talk about themselves. They never ask about me, or my life anymore and if I they immediatly change the converatsion back to them. Its like they ASSUME I will chatter incessantly about diapers and vomit. One of the many secrets they do not tell you about having a family is that it is ALL consuming and being pregnant can be very isolating. If a woman works full time and has a family, her life is really not her own. Your communication tactics might change, email is a mother's best friend because any time of the day its accessible. it may not be the preferred way to communicate but growing together is the key to keeping friendships alive.
GregS GregS 7 years
JT is spot on. The relationship will certainly change. Her focus will move from you to the baby. Their bond will be very strong most likely (hopefully!) and almost unbreakable, and you'll be on the outside looking in.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Of course it does.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Yes, it does change. It is, what it is. :) Personally, one of the aspects I shied away from was the negative body-image my friends (and female in-laws) developed during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. Pregnancy DOES change the female body (and some of the changes are permanent), and they were unhappy about it. Some of the information they shared were so self-negative and graphically TMI that it gave me a very uneasy feeling. Also, I sensed there was a resentful undertone towards me (as my husband and I decided to not have children, and physically, I am very fit, if I do say so myself). Their difficult adjustment to their changing or new bodies drove a wedge between us, not to mention their new role of raising children. Just sharing my experience.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I have a four year old, and I don't think any of my friendships have weakened because of it. Of course your friend can't be wild and spontaneous, but she's still the same person. She just has a time consuming new hobby. I'm sure she'll be able to get a babysitter if you want to go out and get wild, and you already said you're looking forward to being an 'aunt.' Babies and well-behaved kids can still go to stores and restaurants. And to everyone who says they hate talking on the phone with someone who has a kid because of interruptions, that's not an issue of kids getting in the way, that's a discipline issue. Babies crying is one thing, but by the age of 2 or 3, a kid should be able to play quietly while her mother is on the phone. And true, there is no such thing as a bad excuse to visit. Congratulations on your new 'niece!' Enjoy!
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
My best friend and I are still BEST friends, even though we are both 31, she has three kids, and I don't have any yet. Yes, the relationship changed, less time to chat on the phone, less frequent get togethers, but it doesn't mean that our "relationship" changed. When I call her, it's still like we talked yesterday. Things will work out!!
Deidre Deidre 7 years
Trust me, your friend is probably concerned about this as well,and its great that y'all are talking about it in advance. I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum as the OP -- I'm the one who's preggo, and none of my local friends have kids yet. It's definitely hard knowing that my friendships are going to change because of the choices hubs and I made. But good friendships ebb and flow as the years progress. I know that both me and my friends will have to work to make sure we get some time together (and I'll have to work to still follow current events so I don't only talk about my kid!). But any good relationships require a bit of work. You two will get through it, as long as you both realize that you have to go the extra step to be there for each other.
lemuse20 lemuse20 7 years
It will no doubt change in some way or another.
lwimbush lwimbush 7 years
honestly it depends on the person. my friend had a baby two years ago, my first friend to have one, and i still think we're as close as ever. some of the things we used to do together we don't anymore, but we've replaced that with other things. obviously a big part of our conversations are now about her son, but she still always has time for me and my problems, wants to know what's going on in my life, etc. when she first has the baby, expect chaos, but eventually i think you might be surprised.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
I agree with what people are saying, but I would also encourage you to continue to make single friends and don't focus as much on your married friend. Yes, it will be great to see the baby and spoil it, but having been in your shoes, I will tell you that things are going to change in your friendship, and not all for the better on your end, no matter how much you talk about it beforehand. There will be many times when you will call and she either can't talk or interrupts your conversation a hundred times to say something to the kid. This is a pain in the ass, especially long distance. (My sister used to do this all of the time, until I stopped calling, and she got the point.) Her focus will be on the kid, as it should be, and like most new moms, her life and conversation will be mainly about that. There are only so many times you can say, "wow, how cute" or talk about baby stuff when you don't have a kid. Trust me on this one. Before all of you moms jump on me for saying that, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but constant conversations about baby are usually more interesting to other mothers. New moms can be so wrapped up in their kids, they take absolutely no interest in other peoples' lives, especially single people, and they make the assumption that because they are all about their kid, everyone else must be too. They can sometimes make you feel like your problems, i.e. dating issues, etc, are mundane and juvenile, because they have "moved passed" that. They make friends with moms in playgroups because they have more in common with them at this point in their lives, and spend time with them and their kids. You may start hearing about these people as well, so try not to feel hurt or left out. . I am not saying your friend is like this, I am just relaying my own experiences because I don't want you to take it personally if it happens. This is part of how life is, people move in and out of your life all of the time. If she is a great friend, she will always be a part of your life....just be ready for some big changes.
medenginer medenginer 7 years
Having children changes your life in all aspects including friendships. It can also be positive because it will be a new experience for both of you. It not about losing your best friend because if your both willing you'll make the effort to keep the friendship. You will gain a lot of knowledge out of this additional friend and get to have such an impact on a life. I love the aunt role and I'm thankful for the rewards.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I'm sure your friendship will change, but you know that and you're being realistic about it. I've found that my friendships have changed when friends have gotten married and had children. I'm still friends with these people, but it's different and it's hard to explain. I'm sure you two will remain friends, though.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 7 years
in my bookclub, we're all planning to have our first child in 6-7 years. We made a pact to all do it together lol we figured it would be easier this way, because everyone would be going through the same experiences at the same time. I also am hypercontrolling and need to plan every second of my life, and anyone else's who will let me, so this is the result.
syako syako 7 years
You're just like my husband! :) Yep, excuses to visit never hurt.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
I may be exaggerating it, but I'm one of those 'plan for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if it turns out any other way' kind of people. (That's a crappy outlook, I know.) I know things will change. I just don't know how much. But you're right... it'll certainly give me more excuses to visit!
syako syako 7 years
Things will probably change. But I don't know, you might be exaggerating that change a bit. When my sis had her boys, I've found that we've actually had more marathon phone convos after the fact. She's at home with the babies now, so she has more time to chat. While she's nursing, she's got 30-40 minutes of just sitting there, so once again more chatting. And the biggest bonus is that I now have excuses to go visit - what with baptisms, showers, birthday parties! There are a lot of positives, and with you guys being so open, I think things should be fine.
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