Post-Baby Friendships: Keeping Close with Kid-Less Friends

Friends without Kids

I like to think of myself as the kind of person who treasures her friendships. Maybe it was the mothering instinct in me all along, but, even before I had a baby, I fretted about not spending enough time with my friends, fearing they wouldn’t know how much I appreciate them. So, it’s no surprise the closer I came to giving birth, the more I wondered how I would continue nurturing these relationships in addition to taking on my new mama role. More than anything, I worried about maintaining my relationships with my friends who do not have kids. Would we still have anything in common? After all, just because I’m thinking, “Did my baby poop yet today?” doesn’t mean my friend needs to.

That said, for many years I was the “friend without children” and the honorary “auntie” to my friends’ kids. Among my childhood friends, I was one of the last to have children, and always felt a bit like an outsider as a result. While I wanted to relate to their experiences as new parents, I ultimately went home to my child-free life, uninterrupted sleep, and complete freedom to go for a leisurely brunch whenever I wanted (and wanted often!).

And when I saw my friends with kids, it often involved wedding-level planning, conversations interrupted by spit-up and screaming, and a self-imposed sense of guilt for the morning I spent watching Hulu in my pajamas and reading trashy magazines while they managed a toddler’s meltdown, cleaned little bottoms, and finished the third load of laundry. At the same time, I loved spending that time together . . . and so did they. Although our mornings were worlds apart, we still connected at the basic level of loving one another and caring about what went on in the other’s life.

So with this in mind, here are few thoughts on bridging the gap between those worlds:

Acknowledge the Elephant (or Newborn) in the Room

I hardly need to say it, but becoming a mother involves a huge transition in priorities, and for many, it means saying au revoir to activities we once regularly enjoyed. (Remember those leisurely brunches I mentioned?) Sadly, many of those activities tend to be where and when we connected with our friends. Gone are my days on the weekday happy hour circuit, in exchange for bath toys, board books, and an early bedtime. It helped me to acknowledge this openly with my child-free friends. And not only that, but it also helped to express that I was sad I wouldn’t be seeing them at Brewed or McKinley’s this week, but that I appreciate the invitation and will do my best to make it to events when possible. After all, our friends care about us and simply asking for their understanding and support as we transition into motherhood can go a long way towards preserving that connection.

Find New Ways to Connect

Modern moms are so lucky! We have a bevy of ways to connect that weren’t available during our mothers’ era. Taking advantage of them can keep the friendship spark alive during the dark days (sleep regression, I shake my fist at you!). While we may not be able to get the same amount of face-to-face time we had pre-baby, a quick text, email, or note on social media can help remind our pals that we’re thinking of them, missing them, or simply found a funny link we must share. I found that texting while breastfeeding was my new best friend. The little guy was quiet and happy, and I could focus on catching up with my gals one brief message at a time. Beware, thumb injuries have been known to occur . . . but are well worth it.

Keep the Detailed Baby Talk to a Minimum

Rarely have I known a childless friend to be interested in talking about baby sleep schedules. Like, ever. But, fellow mamas can discuss such topics endlessly, which is great! When I’m chatting with my friends without kids, I try to focus on discussing topics we are BOTH interested in. Not only does this prevent my friend’s eyes from glazing over, but I’ve noticed it has also kept me from becoming a one-trick pony. I love my little guy to pieces, but I also want to be a balanced person with a wide range of interests. My friends without kids are invaluable here.

C’mon Over!

Leaving the house can be a challenge. Period. But honorary “aunties” and “uncles” are often excited to see our little loves too – which is just about the sweetest thing. I’ve often had to turn down social invitations because they’re either at a bad time (evenings) or in non-baby friendly locales (bars, concerts, movie theaters). But I’ve never had a friend turn down an invitation to lunch at my house. And oh please, we are ordering take out . . . delivery!

Call in the Relief Troops

Thank goodness for the fathers, grandparents, neighbors, and mom friends in our lives who can provide much needed caregiving relief when we just need a night out with the girlsDon’t be afraid to ask — happy mommy, happy family!

At some point, each of us was on “the other side” of motherhood, likely hoping to maintain our friendships with our new mom pals. I’ve found that remembering what it was like to be in the other pair of shoes is perhaps the best guide to post-baby friendship bliss.

Graduate school brought Laura from her beloved home state of Colorado to Texas (hard to beat the Rocky Mountains!), and meeting her beloved husband Jonathan convinced her to settle here. Now the two are overjoyed and exhausted parents to sweet Christopher (2015) and a little girl on the way (2017). In addition to her role as a mama, she also works full time as a clinical psychologist working with military veterans who continue to amaze her with their strength and humor. When she’s not busy juggling career and parenthood, you can find her cycling, enjoying local culture (and food!), baking, “hiking,” and embracing her love of travel.


  1. I’m 25 and The struggle is real!
    I had my first baby 8 months ago and haven’t seen my old group of friends once since his birth. Weekend invites to hang out and movie nights are no longer something I can do at the drop of a hat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a home body and I adore being at home with my husband and baby but I understand the importance of friendship and having support from other moms.

    • Destiny, the struggle IS real!! It’s such a challenging transition, not to mention a major shift in our identities. My little guy is now 10 months and I find that it’s even more challenging to have lunches with friends without kids now that he’s more mobile. But I keep trying 🙂 Hang in there, mama!


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