Let me begin this article by saying – I have the greatest friends in the world. My intention is to address a common problem that new mothers face – vanishers. Vanishers are friends that have suddenly disappeared with either the announcement of a pregnancy or the birth of a child.
To us, this absence is abrupt and painful. We’re often left with questions such as, “Why doesn’t Emily visit or call anymore?” Our friend, Emily, isn’t a bad person. This individual may not understand how to integrate themselves into your new mommy life.
People often step away out of love and maturity. You have someone special to focus your attention on now. Most of your friends will be there once you settle in.
Nevertheless, let’s explore reasons why Vanishers withdraw: '
Becoming a mother means that your schedule is crammed! Between changing diapers, making bottles, baby proofing, and attempting to maintain your individuality… time is a limited resource.
Your priorities are different
Hanging out with friends may mean sacrificing time with your little one or ignoring something on your long to-do list. Cleaning the kitchen, grocery shopping, or organizing the baby’s closet may become a priority.
New mothers are often sleep deprived, so skipping an outing may mean additional rest. Not to mention, most mothers continue to work after having their child. '
Here’s a snapshot of my schedule:
5:00am – Workout
6:00am – Shower / Breakfast
7:00am – Commute to work
8:00am – Work
5:00pm – Commute home
6:00pm – Baby Time (Play, Dinner, Baths)
8:30pm – Bedtime for babies
9:30pm – Attempt to conquer the world
10:00pm – Fall asleep from complete exhaustion
During the week, it feels impossible to plan a social gathering.
Your friends haven’t figured out how to integrate themselves – Help them out!
It may be a bad idea to bring over wine immediately after a baby is born. Also, you may have asked people to stay away the first several weeks to avoid unnecessary germs in the house. Now, you have to tell them when to come back. Take ownership of calling them and letting them know they are welcome to visit. Or, that you are open to hanging out.
Limit baby talk
I can’t stop talking about my babies. Even in business meetings, I will figure out how to integrate them into my conversations. I can’t help it! However, I am aware that not everyone wants to chat about my bundles of joy. They have their reasons… move on to something that mutually benefits to all parties.
I am notorious for not wanting to leave the house. If I have any free time, I’m with the babies. We’ve been taught to maintain work-life balance, but mommy-life balance is important too. A few of these suggestions allow you to spend time with both your baby and friends.
Invite your friends over for a paint and wine session. Buy canvases, paint, brushes, and a tarp from your local art store. Depending on the age of your baby, you may be able to purchase non-toxic finger paint for them to join the party.
Purchase one of the many streaming providers and select a movie or series. Buy snacks and pull out toys to occupy your little one. Be sure to have bottles and baby food prepped in advance to avoid too many disruptions.
Take a Walk
Pull out your stroller and pack your baby bag. This is a great way to get exercise and catch some fresh air. Your little one will enjoy the new sights and your friend will enjoy the conversation along the way.
Create a Book Club
Develop a list of books for you and your friends. Too busy to meet in-person or prioritizing something for the baby? Create a video or phone conference line for days you’re unable to meet in-person. This will allow you to see (or hear) your friends at least once per month and talk about something interesting.
Don’t be too hard on your friends
Perhaps your friend is also going through a life changing situation too. Call them and find out. Communication during this time period is essential and will alleviate some of your worries regarding your vanishing friends.
Take responsibility for your relationships. Avoid putting all the pressure on your friends. Be the first to reach out! And, if your friend vanishes… refocus your attention on the individuals that want to be there. That’s an important life lesson for you and your baby.
About the writer
Marketing Leader with expertise in Business Development, Career Advising, Higher Education, and Personal Branding. Proud Mother of 3.