During pregnancy, the books will tell you to meet friends who are exactly as far along into pregnancy as you are. While the advice is sage, baby books often fail to mention that if, as a new mom, the only people you talk to are other new moms, you'll go nuts.
It’s incredibly valuable and comforting to have friends who are in the same boat as you. (Like when your two-month-old is waking up every three hours and nobody on Earth seems to understand how tired you are.) But you and your other brand-new, first-time mom friends will all be exhausted, overwhelmed, and practically incapable of holding onto a thought for more than two minutes. Which means that, if you’re expecting, there are a few other types of friends that can really help you survived the first year of motherhood.
1. The Researcher
She can tell you the weight of every stroller on the market off the top of her head and knows exactly when to start stretching feedings — plus, she’s happy to share her plethora of categorized Google Docs with you. Got lost in an internet black hole? Call super-informed mama. She’ll stop you from taking advice from the random parenting forum commenter who starts every post with “my sister-in-law’s British midwife says…blah blah blah.”
2. The mom who’s 10 years ahead of you
With all the access to rapidly changing technology and information, it can be comforting to know that some things about motherhood really don’t change. That’s why you need a friend who went through having little ones a decade ago. A mom to a pre-teen has the knowledge and perspective of a seasoned parent, but, unlike your own mom, won’t regale you with stories of how back in the day nobody used car seats and every baby was put to sleep on their tummy.
3. The Non-Scheduler
Some parents stick to strict routines and schedules, while others play it more fast and loose. In the early days, when your baby’s routine is constantly changing, it’s nice to have someone with flexibility to make plans with. And since new babies love to have diaper explosions, clothing changes, and another feeding right as you're about to walk out the door — meaning your plans will start 45 minutes later than scheduled — some days a non-scheduler might be your only option!
4. The friend without kids
As consuming as parenting can be, it’s really not fun to focus on your child 24/7. If the only friends you have are friends with kids, it’s going to get pretty suffocating pretty fast. Don’t run from your childfree friends the second your little one is born. Not only are they they ones who still know what’s going on “out there,” they also still have the ability to engage in an entire conversation without bringing it back around to poop.
5. The mom friend at work
Feeling like you’re the only person in your office with a kid can really suck — especially if you also happen to be a woman. Having another friend at work who gets what it’s like when you have to drop everything and deal with an infant or toddler can make you feel less alone. Plus, she can cover for you when you have to run to stock up on Desitin and baby wipes during your lunch break.
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