5 Ways to Get the Most From Your Baby

LOL 19

babyWhen I was 31, my husband and I picked up and moved across the country from Los Angeles to New York. The change was much-needed, but it was a strange time to move. We had an entire life in California. Jobs, a perfectly comfortable place to live, and mainly, friends.

We had a whole group of friends. It was our "crew." We always had plans on weekends, places to go for holidays, and generally, stuff to do. After living in New York for a year and half, of course, we've made friends. But we haven't made friends. No longer do we have set plans for Saturday nights, or another apartment that we spend boatloads of time at. We have people we go out for brunch or dinner with, and people we occasionally have a couple glasses of wine with.

But that's all about to change. 'Cause we've got a baby on the way. And everybody knows that babies come with all sorts of perks -- including being great bait for making friends.

See, when we moved to New York, we were too old to do a lot of the things our newfound friends did. At least on a regular basis. We were over 30, and to be honest, both had pasts with enough debauchery to fill two lifetimes. We were over the late night bar scene. But we weren't at the point where we could be yucking it up with parents at the park on a warm summer evening. Because we didn't have any kids. But, in a few short months, that's all about to change. At least, that's what we're hoping for. And, hey, did you know that babies aren't only the perfect bait for making friends, they're great for these four other things, also?

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They're the perfect excuse. Dreading having dinner with so-and-so? Really don't feel like going to your in-laws'? Use the baby as an excuse. To be honest, I feel like I'm getting away with a hell of a lot more -- unintentionally -- just by being pregnant. The possibilities with a child are endless.

They get you more sympathy. Everybod-- okay, most people feel for moms. Especially working moms. If you say you're tired, it's probably for good reason and will be met with a genuine, "Aw, really?" And you know what? It's nice to have complaints taken seriously once in a while.

They get you out of chores. At least I'm hoping they do. Every time I go to my dad's for dinner or a barbecue or whatever, I swear, I wind up doing the majority of the cleaning. And it's annoying, because it's not even my house. Once I have my baby, I'll just scoop her up and be like, "Ooh, sorry, my hands are kind of full right now."

They let you cut lines. Save for the people in New York City, what person in their right mind would allow a woman with a baby or small child to wait in line to use the restroom like the rest of the world? You'd have to be crazy. So, to the front of the line it is, ladies. 

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Of course, there are other, non-selfish reasons having a baby will be great. But, I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited about my new potential friends. I'm hoping we'll all go on, like, a really fun trip or something next summer.

Did you make new friends after having a baby?


Image via andrewmalone/Flickr



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nonmember avatar thelma

Number one is definitely true, you just can't use that excuse too many times with the same people or they catch on lol. Number 2 is also true, people DO believe you when you say yoou're tired, but it doesn't mean they will actually do anything about it all the time. other people who also have kids will feel for you more than people without kids because people without kids don't always understand. 3 works about 50 percent of the time, but sometimes you still have to do all the chores PLUS the extra chores the baby adds to the mix. The one about cutting in lines is unfortunately entirely false. I live in a small town and even here most people are too selfish to wait 1 extra minute in line to let a child go first. every once in a while maybe, if you happen to stand in line with someone super extra nice. But yes, I have made some wondeful friends after having my child. Fun trips are harder with children, but well worth it. I have more fun with my parent friends than I had with my late night club friends lol.

Some things get easier and some things get harder, but having kids is worth every struggle and tough day. Kids are awesome and they add wonderful meaning and fun to your life. They make you look at the world with fresh eyes, it's fun to teach someone all about life :)

Sierr... SierraLynn

Not really, no. When my daughter was a baby there were no playgroups around. We lived in Alaska. We have moved twice in 2 years, and a third this summer (so make that 3 in 3 years). It's been hard to get established someplace and to make friends. I also don't use my daughter as an excuse. I never cut in line because I had a baby. I never used the baby to get out of house cleaning and errands. I never used her for sympathy. I am a mom. I expect to be tired constantly. Although I have gotten out of things I didn't want to like going somewhere with people I didn't particularly like. That's about it.

nonmember avatar hs

Boy are you in for a rude awakening!

1. Most ppl can see thru the "excuse" tactic. It's the quickest way to get even more ppl to NOT want to hang out with you.

2.There are millions of other working adults with families, single mothers, etcs who have their own deprivations to worry abt and manage than to sympathize with your's.

3. The chores you get out of at family functions will be made up for triple in your own home!

4. Please tell me where ppl let you cut lines for having a kid in tow!! I'll move there tomorrow. I would move there today but this Walmart line is taking forever lol! (I'm not really at Walmart, just an example)

And you're going to discover that most other moms suck @ raising their kids (compared to you) which is gonna limit ur friend pool cuz who can possibly hang out with "that mom" who...breastfeeds/formula feeds, leashes a kid/ignores her kid, CIO/co-sleeps, gives spankings/tries to be kid's bff, you see where I'm going with this.

Good luck to you though :)

To answer your question, my (remaining) friends are all mothers now so I'm blessed to be able to carry my existing friendships into motherhood :)

PAmom... PAmommy32

Yep.  My husband and I moved just before I got pregnant to a new city where we didn't have any friends or family.  The pregnancy was a little lonely but after the baby was born there were so many things to do.  Moms clubs, playgroups, parks, Gymboree, even Mommy and Me yoga.  You know you always have something in common with everyone in the group so starting a conversation is no problem.

I do have to use my son as an excuse a lot but its because he really is the reason I can't go.  I feel like I have gotten pretty flaky since he was born but I have to put his needs first.  Sometimes it's not just convenience but a real relief that you get that little extra help or sympathy from a stranger.

Elise48 Elise48

Nope, I've actually lost all of my child-free friends and am very much struggling to make new ones because of my son. My parenting style definitely doesn't mesh with most of the moms around here and apparently that's a requirement for being friends. 

I have used him as an excuse to get out of things, though :) 

femal... femaleMIKE

I hope that i will be able to reconnect with some old friends.

hutch... hutchfam2007

uuuuuhhh.... i Think you might just mean the opposite...

I certainly have not made new friends because of my daughter... I have an easier time starting conversations with other mothers because of her, but that is about as far as it goes. When you have a kid, you're busy.They have kids and they are busy. Not exactly ideal for finding times for hanging out...   I wouldnt say I have *lost* friends, but I certainly speak with/ hang out with my friends less now... I know this sounds harsh or whatever, but friends just arent as important to make time for when you are a mom. I still make time to chat and catch up, and we hang out once every couple months, but that is about the extent of it.

You will be surprised how true it is that you wont want to hang out with certain moms becasue of the way they mother or the way their children act. My best friend of 15 years and I dont hang out much anymore because her children are so crazy hyper active and get away with a lot of things my daughter doesnt without reprimand... which honestly makes for a very stressful playdate for us--me!

Rumsita Rumsita

I have definitely made new friends because of my daughter.  I met a great group of women through an online local website (that is now gone, unfortunately), simply because our kids were born around the same time.  We were all first-time mamas, and now 2 years later we still have playdates, mom's nights out/in, some of the ladies participate in a book club.  Many of us are gestating or recently had baby #2, and having lots of friends who are in the same boat, and who are all willing & able to offer support to each other, is really really great.  To be honest, there are several women in the group who I never would have initiated a friendship with if we had met under other circumstances, but I'm glad we are friends because it exposes me to people outside my normal bubble.  But making mommy friends won't magically happen - you do have to seek these other mamas out & make an effort.


Rumsita Rumsita

Oh, and there is such a wide range of parenting choices in the group.  We are not all breastfeeders or formula feeders, or cloth diaperers, co-sleepers or SAHM's.  We are all actually really good about supporting each other when we ask for/need support, and good at kind of ignoring the parenting choices others make that we disagree with.  If someone has a question about sleep training, a couple of the moms pipe up about what worked or didn't work for them, and those who don't believe in it don't join that particular discussion.

I've heard some folks have luck with meetup.com, though that isn't the site I was originally on so I can't speak from experience.

Melan... Melanie420

its not really excuses, believe me you will be tired and only want to sleep than hang out with friends

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