As a young parent, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to maintain your friendships. With all of the extra responsibilities that come with parenthood, it’s easy to let relationships drift and fall away. However, having strong and healthy relationships is important for both your and your child’s emotional well-being – so it is vital to make the effort to stay in touch with your friends. If you're not sure how to do that, that's understandable. In this post, we'll walk you through some ways to keep, restore, or create friendships on your new parenthood journey.
Set realistic expectations.
First, make sure you're honest and upfront with your friends about your situation. Let them know that since you are a new parent, it will probably be more difficult for you to commit to activities or plans than it previously was. Most of your friends will probably understand and may be willing to work around those obstacles. The important thing is that you set realistic expectations for them so that they are aware of your social limitations.
Try to find a reliable sitter.
Having a reliable babysitter is one of the best ways to make sure you can still spend some quality time with your friends. Make sure you find someone who is trustworthy and responsible, and who will be comfortable taking care of your child while you step out for some much-needed "you" time. Perhaps a parent or sibling could take on the babysitter role. If your partner is involved in the child's life, consider arranging one night each week where one of you takes care of your child while the other has the evening to spend with friends. While not always easy to arrange, having an option for childcare can go a long way in giving a boost to your social life.
Keep in touch however you can.
Remember that your friends can be a source of strength and support for you. As a young parent, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to put into relationships – but having strong friendships is an essential part of self-care. Finding ways to stay connected with your friends may take some creative problem-solving, but the efforts are well worth it in the end.
Social media can be an invaluable tool in maintaining connections with your friends. It allows you to stay up-to-date on each other’s lives without having to commit to large blocks of time or arrange a babysitter. Texting and calling can also help maintain and even strengthen the bonds of friendship.
While technology is great, nothing beats the real thing! If you find yourself with some extra time and energy, try to take advantage of the opportunity and arrange a meet-up with a friend or two. Even if it’s just for an hour in the park or a quick chat at a coffee shop, meeting face-to-face can give you and your friends an opportunity to reconnect in a substantial way.
Consider expanding your friend group.
Nurturing existing relationships is essential, but it's also important to invest time in forming new friendships with those who are going through a similar journey as you. Remember that you're not alone in this situation. There are plenty of others out there that are facing similar challenges and could use a new friend too! If nothing else, making friends with other young parents can provide your little one with new friends as well! If you'd like help connecting with others that could relate to you, contact us. We'd be happy to assist!
Don't give up!
There are plenty of unique social challenges to overcome in this new stage of life, but don't give up hope! By using the information in this post, you will find that having strong relationships is achievable even as a young parent. If you need help connecting with others or would like assistance managing your social life as a new parent, our team is here to help. At iChoose, we can provide you with resources and referrals to make the transition to parenthood easier. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in your journey as a young parent!