THE BABY YEARS

Good Health (Australia) - - Be Inspired -

your friends can have in­ter­ests your part­ner might not share

You might never have thought you’d bond with some­one over sleep­less nights, but “when you be­come a mother, it’s like join­ing a club”, says psy­chol­o­gist Dr Linda Pa­padopou­los.

“We grav­i­tate to­wards peo­ple in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances, so new moth­ers find it eas­ier to com­plain to each other about lack of sleep, whereas sin­gle­tons are likely to open up to each other about dat­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. We feel more com­fort­able speak­ing to peo­ple who are go­ing through the same things as us – we think they’ll un­der­stand, we won’t bore them and

they’ll know what to do.” But this means old friends can drift apart once ba­bies are in­volved. THE SO­LU­TION

Busy mums could em­brace the so­cial side of moth­er­hood, con­nect­ing with other par­ents through ante-natal classes, web­sites and apps. But they shouldn’t have to drop their child­free friends en­tirely. “Part of a last­ing friend­ship is ac­knowl­edg­ing there are go­ing to be times when it’s loose or tight,” says Pa­padopou­los. “Maybe the talks you used to have ev­ery day now hap­pen once ev­ery three weeks. It doesn’t mean they’re less sig­nif­i­cant.” The friend­ship might tighten again in a few years if the child-free friend has their own chil­dren or later when the kids start – or even leave – school. Mean­while, both par­ties should stay in touch, even if the re­la­tion­ship is at a dis­tance. A mum could in­vite an old friend over and al­low the child to watch a DVD while they catch up. They could even of­fer god­mother du­ties.

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