During my pregnancy and early years of motherhood, I felt
like I was losing friendships. There’s a common belief that you
find out who your true friends are during this time. But I have
a different view on this now, which has saved many of my
Think about it this way; before you had children you had a
different lifestyle, right? Okay, so you attracted certain
friendships, and this is because of who you were and what
your priorities were at the time. After having children, you
know your life changes in so many ways, and this includes
your priorities. You aren’t always there for friends, which can
cause people to drift apart. Some of your friends who haven’t
got children don’t have to prioritise mummy life into their
own. So, when you can’t do a lunch or night out because of
childcare, they will reach out to someone who can. Their lives
don’t have to stop for you.
Connecting with new mummy friends can support your
wellbeing during this time. Meeting people at different stages
in your life brings them in as a friend for a certain reason. I
met a lot of friends when I was on maternity through the
school playground and activities like baby massage classes.
My friendships with those before I had my third baby were
still there; they had just taken a backseat to the baby activities
and those who were on a similar life timetable to me. But I
decided that I had to adjust my new life to my old friends too
and not expect them to always change their routines for me. I
was also prioritising myself when I made time to see my nonmum
friends. I knew by letting them down that I would be
letting myself down. So, I still made the effort to catch up even
if it was just a cup of tea at my house. I found that they would
regularly pitch in and help me get back on top of my life.
“That’s what friends are for” came true for me.
I have a short activity that I think helps explain the shift in
friendship dynamics and how you can adjust to this.
Think of yourself as a tree. Write everything about you on the
trees bark; your name, when you were born, what colour eyes
you have, your personality traits, basically everything that
makes up you as a person.
Now move onto the roots. They represent your journey. You
can write down what you think has kept you ‘rooted’ in your
life before and after you had your child or children. This can
be key friendships, family and big decisions you have made in
Let’s look at branches. You need to add a new one for each
momentous change in your life, another baby, a new job or a
big life event like a marriage, anything that has shaped who
you are today.
The leaves then represent your friends and family, everyone
who surrounds you.
As time goes on, some leaves may fall off the tree, and that’s
okay. Life changes can be good, and not everyone who started
your journey will continue on it. People have their own
journeys and sometimes no matter how upsetting it may be,
you have to focus on the positives and the other branches and
leaves. A tree doesn't die if it loses a branch. It dies if the roots
aren’t firmly in the ground and being nourished by the water
and food it needs to survive. My water and food now includes
the self-love I have for myself, my mindfulness activities and
the love from my family and friends.
But what can we do about the people who don't support us,
the people who we have tried to reach out to, only to
experience a negative reaction? I’ve got one bit of advice that
will change your mindset towards these people. STOP! Yes, I
said it, stop! Stop wasting your energy, time and breath on
trying to create an acceptance with people like this. You’re
never going to change them or your own life while your
energy is focused on making them want to help you or
making them see things differently.
The motto to my motherhood is, ' My children and I are happy
and healthy, and that's all that matters.’
If you chose to move forward without certain people, always
make sure that you've done it for the right reasons. Be honest
with yourself and with the people you've chosen to remove
from your life. I choose the people who are in my life now. I
live a happier, healthier life without the fear or reminder of
negativity leaking into mine or my children's lives. This is a
choice you have to make and a change that is needed.
Instagram - @Clarebowers_