One of the biggest changes your life will go through when you become a parent is navigating friendships when it’s not just your schedule you are handling. An inevitable truth is that some friends will leave you, especially if you are a young parent and your friends are still in a partying stage.
This does not mean that you have to forgo cocktail hour or only chose friends who are also parents. But it does mean that you have to reevaluate where your friendships are headed and who you surround yourself with in this new stage of your life. One of the biggest hurdles is how to bond with your friends without drinking being involved. Pregnancy and nursing can make this a stressful issue, but all it takes is a little creativity and commitment.
Here are five ideas for a girl date that do not involve cocktails and tapas.
1.) Baking Date
Choose a ridiculously hard recipe and set aside an afternoon to cook together. My best friend and I decided to tackle the adorable cupcakes from the Hello, Cupcake cookbooks. Our kitchen was a disaster afterwards but we were so proud of ourselves! Not only does it save you from needing a baby sitter, but there is something about being the worst cooks in the world and making something tasty together that bonds you for life.
2.) Take a cool exercise class
Skip Zumba and beginners Pilates, strengthen your friendship as you strengthen your muscles. Go through the newspaper and find the most adventurous class there is. Aerial yoga, hot yoga, strip aerobics, the choices are endless. The best part is that you can go to the classes together and it gives you a set date every week to look forward to. The planning can be the hardest part but here all the hard work is done for you.
3.) Involve them in a baby outing
Don’t assume they want you all to yourself or pretend like you are the same person you were before. The next time you are having a baby outing, invite them along. Go shopping with decaf lattes, check out the pumpkin patch, make baby footprint plaques together. Show them how easy it is to combine your new life with theirs and let them know how important they will be to your child.
4.) Do Something Artsy
Try out a new hobby together and explore your crafty side. Paint for the first time, try a sculpture class, have a holio powder party. Make art together and trade it so that you are displaying something special in each other’s homes. My best friend and I did this when I was pregnant with my second child and seeing her painting hang in our dining room always reminds me of how special she is to me!
5.) Shop for post baby clothes
Getting your first pair of post baby jeans can be a harrowing experience. Recruit your best bud and make the event a special one with the best support there is. Remember to be easy on yourself and let them know how stressful something like this can be. Having another person to experiment with when trying out new cuts of jeans and T shirts keeps focused on the aspects of shopping you loved before dressing for a bump.
What efforts did you make to keep in touch with pre baby friends? I want your feedback and stories!