How to Keep Your Best Friend When She's Expecting
Relationships are a much needed part of society. They keeps us sociable but more importantly, a positive one can give you a break from the realities of life. Some are better than others and some you don't want to lose at any cost. Julia has spoken about protecting relationships, but I want to share I protected my relationship with my best friend when she was expecting her first born.
In early 2014, Jewels told me she was pregnant. Her and hubby had been trying off and on for a little while so I was very happy for them. It was a blessing. A blessing that would change life as we all knew it!
A child is a huge responsibility. One that requires a lot of attention and time and effort. One that I knew would take my bestie away from me forever if I didn’t do anything about it! I couldn’t let that happen. Something had to be done!
Dramatization aside, I knew that our relationship would change in dynamics. It was unavoidable. She would have new priorities and problems she’d have to handle while I stayed a few steps behind her. Happily, though.
I couldn’t relate to what she was about to go through because it was unchartered territory for me but I didn’t want to lose my sister. So, I researched.
Yes, I decided to look up ways on how to keep a pregnant friend when you're not pregnant yourself. Here are a few key points that I've found and learned to help keep a friendship strong when your bestie is expecting but you aren't.
9 Ways To Keep Your Expecting Best Friend
1. It’s not the end of your friendship.
It’s not the end if you don’t want it to be, that is. Just like anything in life, if you want it to work you have to put in the work. Making a friendship last different life moments takes initiative and effort. All you have to do is decide if your pregnant friend is worth it.
2. Adjust your normalcy.
Your pregnant bestie will be dealing with new things, from body changes to new activities. What used to work may not work anymore and that’s perfectly okay. Simply adjust to a new norm and grow your friendship even more. If she’s too tired, don’t invite her to a night out on the town. Go to her place, chill, eat pizza and let her fall asleep.
Jewels’ and I’s relationship was one with a lot of space. We could go months without talking or seeing each other and pick up at anytime like nothing happened. With her pregnant brain and then being engulfed in mommy-hood, I knew that our spaced out relationship could do more harm than good. She was going to be busy and as amazing as I am, I wasn’t going to be her first thought when she had a moment to herself. If I let the space continue, it would be easy for her to (unintentionally) forget about me and our friendship could easily dwindle out. I had to step up and keep in contact with her, even if it was minimal. This took a little getting used to but I’d say that we talk more frequently now than we used to. It also helped that she joined the 21st century and got a Facebook page.
3. Check in on her.
Go on. Ask your pregnant friend how she’s doing. She might talk to her baby daddy but there’s nothing like venting the sourness of pregnancy to your best friend. The colorful adjectives and feelings behind these ever-pregnant words are also pure entertainment for you. You’re her best friend; let her use you as such.
4. Don’t leave her out.
Just because she’s pregnant doesn’t mean she’s stopped caring about the pettiness in your life. In fact, she might find it refreshing and a good escape from “All Things Baby.” She’s your best friend; use her as such.
5. Offer to help.
No matter if she’s pregnant or the kid has arrived, let her know you’re there to support. As a first time mom, she’ll probably try to be Super-Mom and think she can do it all on her own. The good thing is that she doesn’t have to with a friend like you!
Jewels is currently working on finishing college at my alma-mater. Taking classes is a task in itself so taking classes with a baby? I don’t even want to imagine. It can understandably be easy to fall behind on papers when your child is working through a cold or just not willing to let you focus. When I can, I offer my presence to distract baby Jayla and entertain her while momma gets some needed reading done. I don’t mind because it's bonding time with my God-daughter and I’d like to support my bestie in accomplishing a large goal of hers.
6. Be considerate.
Things are going to be a mess in your friend’s life. The degree varies but she isn’t going to have it together all the time anymore. …but then again, did she ever? When thinking of surprising her with something, like a visit, don’t. She may be having an off day or the house may not be clean enough for visitors. Call in advance and make plans so she has time to adjust her life and her schedule
7. Involve the child.
Once that kid comes out, that’s it. It’s your friend and the baby for a while. Instead of fighting what you definitely can’t, embrace it. Invite and expect the kid to tag along. Maybe even try a kid friendly outing, like getting frozen yogurt. The kid will be occupied with their cup of goodies and you and your bestie can chat it up. Never tell your friend not to bring her child. That’s just mean. If it’s an adult only thing, let her know in the details, but don’t make her feel as if her child isn’t welcome. Big No-No.
8. Give her space.
Adding a baby to a family takes a while to adjust to. Yes, the family has had 9 months to mentally adjust and get the nest together but when the baby arrives, it gets real. Let your friend have some space and time to get comfortable in her new mommy roll. Feel free to keep checking in but she’ll let you know when she thinks she’s got it all under control.
Before Jewels was pregnant, my sister-in-law had her baby a few years before. With that pregnancy, I raced to the hospital from work in excitement to join the rest of my family in her delivery room. It wasn’t cramped but there was a good number of people. She and the baby went home and were bombarded by visitors for weeks. After going through the turmoil, yes turmoil, of just having a baby, the last thing you want to do is entertain guests. I lived and I learned and took this knowledge with me in Jewels’ pregnancy. Before she delivered, I let her know that I wouldn’t be coming to the hospital to see the baby. When she and the baby got adjusted at home, she could let me know and I would come visit her. It was less stressful on her that way and the power was in her hands.
9. Go out.
Just because she’s pregnant or a mom, that doesn’t mean she wants to be around her kid ALL the time. Well she actually does (in the beginning) but she needs girl time also. Make a plan with her to get away for a couple of days, a night or even a few hours. It can be something relaxing, something simple and something you both can enjoy. Just give mommy a break!
In high school, Jewels and I were on a hip-hop dance team for a short stint in time. (it ended because of school politics). This was about 9 years ago. 9 years ago we used to regularly dance and learn choreography for shows and games. 9 years ago. There’s a choreographer I follow on Instagram, @Jenziofficial, who resides in Arizona. He decided to offer a class in Burbank and I just had to go. I immediately tagged her in a post and said we had to go. I gave her time to find a sitter for baby Jayla and we went. It was so much fun! Even though there were man-down situations for both of us following the class, it was a good and fun experience to share with her and just her.
Everything listed here is super simple. There are no special tricks or extra nonsense that you have to put yourself through in order to keep your friendship alive. All you have to do is decide that your friendship is what you want, and then keep it. Don’t be afraid that you’re going to lose her.
Have you experienced trying to keep a pregnant friend? Let us know how that went for you in the comments below.