So your friend is having a baby! Perhaps she’s the first one in your group to get pregnant, or maybe she’s your closest BFF. Once the initial excitement wears off you find yourself wondering, how will things change?
It can all be a bit scary when you have no idea what to expect. My 1st Years is here to help! Check out our guide to surprising things you learn when your friend has a baby. If you read up now, you can rest assured you’re well-prepared when the time comes.
She’s still the same person
If you believe pop culture, our friends transform into different people when they have kids. All they care about are feeding routines and sleep schedules. Your childless life is now boring and irrelevant to them. Absolutely not true!
Your friend still cares about what’s going on with you. She has the same hobbies and interests as before. She’s just temporarily overwhelmed with this new, amazing, exhausting thing. That’s all she can talk about because it’s all she has time for… for now. Once she’s used to her new life, she’ll be jumping at the chance to connect with you in all the same old ways.
You might see new sides of her
The stress of new responsibility can bring out new sides of a person. Your once confident friend might start second-guessing every decision. Plus she has a lot of hormonal changes to contend with. Even the most stoic new mum can find herself sobbing over a cute ad on telly.
You might be a bit alarmed, but most likely these are temporary changes. Think of it this way – if she were having a mental health crisis, you’d expect her to behave differently. Having a baby is a bit like a mental health crisis! It takes time to regain your balance.
Newborns can adapt but not every parent can
A newborn baby has very basic needs: food, sleep, hugs and nappy changes. Yes, these things take up a lot of time. But that doesn’t mean they can only be done at home, alone with Mummy and/or Daddy in a pristine nursery. Babies can be breastfed in public. They can nap in a car seat.
In other words, it’s not always the baby who holds a parent back. So some parents get out and about fairly quickly. They’ll be okay with visits and meet-ups. Other parents, however, might disappear from your life for a while. They might need a strict routine in a stable environment. That’s perfectly okay, too – everyone copes in different ways.
Your pregnant friend has no clue
No amount of books and classes can prepare you for the reality of parenthood. So take everything your pregnant friend tells you with a grain of salt. She might confidently claim she’s not bothered whether her baby eats organic. She might say she doesn’t believe in co-sleeping.
She has no idea. Ultimately, each parental decision involves gut instinct, which only rears its head when that tiny, crying person is right in front of you. Be supportive of her choices but don’t feel blindsided if they suddenly change.
You’ll find out how you really feel about kids
A friend’s new baby can tell you a lot about yourself, and you might just be surprised. Maybe you’ve dreamed of being a mum, but the reality of it makes you think twice. Perhaps you were convinced you’d never have kids, but you find your heart is starting to melt.
It may not be a complete reversal, either. You might just want to make a few adjustments to your life plan. You might speed up your timeline and have kids sooner. It might dawn on you that your dream backpacking trip is really now or never.
Perhaps that’s the most surprising thing you learn when your friend has just had a baby. It could be that the one who changes the most is you!
Discover gorgeous personalised presents for your new parent friends at My 1st Years.