On the friend front, new motherhood seems like freshman orientation all over again. On the one hand, there are so many new people to meet. It's exciting. On the other hand, you've got a baby (or two) in tow and that makes it really hard to connect when your attention is divided between say, having an adult conversation and changing a diaper or heading off a tantrum. Not to mention that sleep deprivation doesn't do much to show off your sparkling personality!
Well, join the club, says relationship expert Dr. Jenn Berman, the author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids and the mom of twin girls.
"We're changing and we're shell-shocked, especially in the beginning," the Los Angeles-based licensed family therapist explains. "And it takes a while for moms to find their sea legs with motherhood and to reconnect with who they are... So the person the person you meet in Mommy and Me is probably sleep-deprived and a shell of her former self." In other words, the person you think may be your new best friend when you first meet in Baby Yoga class, may not be your type at all six months later.
"It is exactly like dating," Berman says of meeting new mom friends. "And, much like dating, you may meet some moms who you think are great and then you go out and you find out they are duds."
It is all part of the process. But the first step, she says, is making sure that you schedule time to socialize away from the babies. And that goes for your time with longtime friends, as well.
Once you have that one on one coffee date or drink in your calendar, Berman adds, let your guard down a bit.
"We women tend to sniff each other out. And, sometimes, it takes taking risk, sharing something about yourself to make a deeper connection to open up a meaningful friendship," she advises.
And, of course, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. So you move on. But most of all, now that you're a mom, remember that your time is more precious than ever. "You don't have time to be around people you don't enjoy," Berman says.