Farewell friend, hi new parent
I’M a yet to be formally confirmed godmother to my friend’s baby. This huge, still to be bestowed honour comes with much responsibility. I know very little about babies, and even less about how to effectively help someone who now has a mini me in their life. It’s been a steep learning curve about how much life changes when your mate has a baby.
Your new baby-owning friend cannot just pop out any more, those days are long gone. A quick coffee at your local cafe, doesn’t exist. The new baby haver, will need somewhere between two days and four hours minimum notice to be able to attend. Other prerequisites for a quick coffee include, but aren’t limited to, easy parking, somewhere near the table to put the pram, a hand to carry their bag, the babies bag, which is always huge, and the series of plastic things that the baby may wish to sit in, on or play with. They could leave the plastic bumbo at home, but if it keeps the baby calm, well bring it as it’s just easier.
Parents can come over for dinner, but they’re now more used to eating around 5.30pm and there’s a risk if the conversation dies down and the lights are low in the living room, they might fall asleep on your couch. Dinner also now happens almost exclusively at their house, it’s just easier.
Your phone will blow up each day with pictures, especially when their child is going through a leap, such as teething or trying solids. Have a few replies ready to go, “cute” will only cut it for so long. I like to love heart the photo, then say how the baby looks like them, I know it sounds like effort, but it’s just easier.
There’s a few jobs that are better than others when it comes to offering help with the baby. My personal favourite is bath time. It’s straightforward. Dunk in water, dry, dress and hand it back. A job that sounds easy at first blush but is actually a punish is giving the baby a bottle. Unless you set your arm up right with a pillow at the correct angle, you’ll be holding a very heavy baby for up to half an hour while it slowly drinks its bottle. I think what new parents actually want is you to do is bring over a tray of chicken fajitas and do their washing instead of giving bottles, it sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s just easier.
The baby is now your mate’s total focus, naturally. Your former chatty mate can now only really concentrate on a story of yours as long as the baby is asleep. In all other situations they’ll only be taking in snippets of your tale in between all the wiping and jiggling that babies need. Keep the stories short, about someone they know, and light hearted, it’s just easier.
Another small joy as a friend of someone who’s now a parent, is watching them slowly go back on all the things they said they’d never do before the baby arrived. Staunch self-soothers become cosleepers and organic homemade baby food devotees, can be spotted squeezing pureed food out of a plastic pack. No judgment either way of course, but I do enjoy how, “it’s just easier this way” is now their creed. I guess, it’s just easier.