You know that from the moment your partner told you that you are about to have a baby your life changed upside down and one of the most affected sides of that story is your social life. In some periods in our life, it is natural that many friends are gone. They move to work or study. Or you move to a new place for the same reason. Then it’s time to do something active to make new friends. But how do you do it in adulthood, and especially now that you have a baby?
On one hand you have become a father which is arguably the most beautiful thing that could happen to you, and on the other hand, the leisure time spent with your buddies could never be the same and you will have to become an artist to balance these two phenomenons in your life. Let’s take a look at what is the reality of social life after becoming a father.
Tightly Organized Schedule
That time spent with your palls at the exciting Valencia bachelor party is now long gone. Your partner and you will not be so easy to decide at the last minute that you want to go to the movies or dinner, as you use to do before. The issue is that, if by some miracle you find some time available for you, you will probably want to spend it sleeping or resting.
As a result, some of your friends may feel abandoned. Especially the single ones. Having a baby usually means having less time to party and be involved in the lives of your buddies. They will probably stop inviting you thinking that you are too busy or that you have no more interest in spending free time with them. Or maybe, it’s you who stop calling them because you will feel that you have less in common lately.
That being said, It is possible that you and your partner start to feel more comfortable spending time with other couples who also have children. This is a common response to a new family situation. But of course, do not forget your old friends since they will be a great escape when you need it the most. Friends with older children could take you out of your box by telling you each and every one of the things that you are doing wrong. Hopefully, they will become a source of information and not unsolicited advice.
The sad reality is that, as your baby grows, so does the impact on your friendly relationships. And the circle expands. In the beginning, your baby will play with the children that you literally put in front of him. In fact, your first newly formed friendships will probably be the parents of those children. The friendships that arise from such occasions can last for a lifetime and from each one of them there are valuable lessons to be learned and you will find out soon enough that not all friendships are over once you and your partner have become parents.
Your relationships with new and old friends could be subtly affected by the lives of other young parents from your surroundings. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make your friendships survive all the changes your new life brings as parents.
Baby First and All Your Desires Come Second
No matter how interesting your new life as a parent may seem, there is a limit on how much your friends really want to hear about it. Do not pressure such topics when you finally have some time to discuss things that happened to you recently since this can make your friends become even more distant to you.
Although it is more common and traditional for the mother to take care of the baby, it is much more rewarding to participate as much as you can. Eventually, there will be friends who will tell you that you are “taking the role of the woman” and this shouldn’t bother you too much. Explain that you really enjoy attending to your child and how they may even ask for your advice in the future. It’s crucial to learn to accept the changes.
Even though it’s hard, you may lose some friends, and they might lose contact with you. But, on the other hand, you will gain many more friends on the path of fatherhood. Just remember not to give up so easily since this new page of your life (or should we say novel) will bring joy and a new bright side to your life that you didn’t even know until now. Maintaining your friendships after the birth of a baby requires great adjustments, but it’s worth the extra investment of time and energy if friendship can be saved.
Also, do not perceive other young parents as the competition. If your friend’s baby crawls or talks before yours, you may feel some envy. Remember that every baby is a world on its own and give it a time to develop in its own unique way without having a need to compare it to other children. The reality in which you are a father who occasionally has some fun on the side with his old buddies is more than real. All you have to do is to adjust your time and needs so that no one is left ignored.
Will it be an easy challenge? Certainly not, but it will be worth and remember that there is no greater pleasure for a man than to see his baby grow into a healthy adult. Enjoying quality social life after the birth of your baby is more than possible and little things can make your life more enjoyable on that path then enjoying free time with your buddies like you use to do before.