New Moms: Don’t Be Surprised When Your Friends Start Dropping Like Flies

Welcome to Momhood, where you’ll find a verklempt me. I miss my girlfriends, the fab Non-Moms with perfect nails, flowing coiffes, fresh ‘fits, and makeup expertly applied after hours of YouTube tutorials. 

 Now, I am a superwoman, racing around my apartment for hours while chasing after my charging toddler.

I’m also a super effing lonely first-time mom. 

My single friends started to disappear with the first midnight feeding. It wasn’t for lack of trying—at first, there were lots of invitations, but they were coming to kvell over my baby, not to clink a glass of Whispering Angel. Happy hours, fancy dinners, concerts, barbecues, and girls trips were going on hiatus for a few seasons.

Quarantine is not so hard. I spent much of 2019 housebound with the baby while breastfeeding and pumping round-the-clock—that was hard. Now, I’m spending much of the socially distanced present far from the very friends I had hoped to finally hang with by my side.

Still, without sisters, it isn’t easy.

Less Time, Less Friends

According to a Child Magazine survey, 69 percent of women felt satisfied with their friendships before having kids; only 54 percent felt that way afterward. 

The culprit? Less time to spare. The same study found that before becoming moms, women spent 14 hours per week with friends, compared to only five hours after.  

Joanie Cox-Henry, a former celebrity reporter, says things got real when she welcomed her son, Jack, now 5.

“My friendships before I became a mom were totally different: I met up for happy hour, went to concerts with friends, took couples vacations, and endlessly shopped for shoes, clothes, and makeup,” says Cox-Henry, now a mom of two who blogs about her mom life for Motherloading

“I could accept phone calls at any hour of the day and really be there for my crew. I worked as a fashion and beauty writer and would be at Miami nightclubs and red carpet events constantly. 

 “After I became a mom, I slowed down a lot. I was still popping bottles at 3am, but now they were baby bottles, and I became so excruciatingly tired. I used to think I was tired before, but after becoming a parent, you unlock a fatigue achievement level you never fathomed was possible.”

Tania Hammond, a stay-at-home mom of two, says she lost about “four or five friends” after welcoming her daughter in 2017, adding,“It’s so tough to work around my schedule.” 

When non-moms invited her out, she answered, but with an interrogation. “‘Where are we going? What time? How long are we going to be there?’ And the reason why I’m asking all of those questions is because I’m on a schedule.” 

Soon, the invites diminished. “I feel like they got frustrated and gave up, like, ‘Ugh. This is too difficult.’ When I was single, and I had mom friends, I feel like I was more understanding,” says Hammond. “I still hung out with them, and I flexed my schedule to match theirs. But, I feel like that was not reciprocated when I became a mom.”

When The Tables Turn

Chantie Khan-Enwright says she lost four friends when she became a mom at 25. That’s when the invites to party and hang into the wee hours were plenty. Now that her kid is 13, many of her thirtysomething friends are finally pushing strollers—and seeing what it’s like having virtually zero time to chill. 

“Now they see the importance of getting a break and having adult time,” says Khan-Enwright, a work-from-home travel agent. “They” being the ride-or-die friends who toughed it out through Khan-Enwright’s busy mom years. 

“My circle is really small, and the moms have kids at different ages.” They stick together, taking family trips, and carving out moms-only time within the getaways. Thinking back, Khan-Enwright says she doesn’t miss the pals who didn’t bother to stick around. “They were only there for a season,” she says, “cause now their reason is over.”

Finding A New Crew

After a bit of an adjustment period, now I’ve decided to leave the ones who left me in the rearview. No grudges. No side-eye. It’s okay, I tell myself, they’ll learn one day—or not.

I’ve miraculously managed to make new mom friends during the lockdown. One day, while taking my little one for a walk, I met a mom who looked so much like me, it was almost like looking in a mirror. She’s West Indian-American, too. Our little boys are also both curly-headed—literal bookends. We’ve managed socially distant playdates (with lots of Clorox wipes to clean the swings at the park), and we chat about our old lives and long for the day when we can spill wine on each other in a crowded bar. 

Another day, yet another mom came pushing her son down the block in his toy car—she’s a Korean fashion designer mourning her employer, Ann Taylor’s, filing for bankruptcy. We connected over our shared love of European travel and brioche. Lots of brioche. 

We three find solace in knowing we’re all equally tired, worried, happy, and thankful. The beginnings of a new sisterhood. 

We’ll all be okay.

 Images: Sai De Silva / Unsplash

What To Do When You Hate Your Friend’s Significant Other

It feels like there is never a correct answer for what you should do when you don’t like your friend’s significant other. You don’t want to meddle in matters that don’t really concern you or ruin the way they view someone they actually like a lot, but you also feel responsible for looking out for them if you genuinely feel like they’re getting involved with a piece of sh*t. So how are you supposed to know which approach to take? Luckily for you, Jared and Jordana broke down their tips for how to go about this sort of tricky situation in the latest episode of the U Up? Podcast. Here are some tips for what to do, and what not to do, when you’re not a fan of the person your friend is dating.

1. Consider Whether You Don’t Like Them In General Or As A Partner 

How serious is the level of dislike? Is it just that you don’t vibe with the way they consistently tell knock-knock jokes, or does your friend really value a good sense of humor and self-awareness and you’re not sure if this is the person for them? There’s a difference. If you genuinely think your friend’s judgement has been clouded on who they’ve decided to associate with and feel like the person isn’t a match for your friend’s personality and preferences, then it might be worth bringing something up. But if the person just rubs you the wrong way personally and isn’t a total asshole, it’d probably be selfish of you to say anything.

2. Tell Them From The Start Or Don’t Tell Them At All

It’s way easier to voice your unfavorable opinions when the relationship is still very new and they haven’t caught very strong feelings yet. Jordana thinks it’s better to just say it “when there are no stakes, and if your friend doesn’t care, it’s fine.” This way, you get it off your chest quickly and you don’t have to worry about your friend asking why you didn’t tell them sooner. If they still date the person after you speak your mind, then you just accept it and move on.

3. Only Present Facts, Not Vague Opinions

If you do decide to take the plunge and tell your friend, it’s more effective (and makes you look like less of an asshole) if you have specific incidents to back up your claim. Instead of just expressing general dislike that could come across as unwarranted, Jordana thinks it’s better to say “This thing happened. I felt a little weird about it.” For instance, instead of just claiming the person seems unnecessarily aggressive, describe how you didn’t like the time they lost their sh*t when your friend packed SPF 50 instead of SPF 30 on the day you all went to the beach. Basically, bring the receipts.

4. Only Give Advice When It’s Asked For

Jared thinks it’s best to hold off on giving unwarranted opinions about your friend’s serious significant other at all, and wait until your friend comes to you asking specifically for your thoughts. In an instance where he knew his friends weren’t too fond of his girlfriend at the time, he asked them, “What do you think?” They then asked him, “Well what do you think?” which let him know there was something wrong but also allowed him to talk about how he was feeling and explore his own thoughts. Being sensitive to and aware of your friend’s own mindset is what someone who truly cares would do.

5. Go With The Flow Of Changing Social Circles

If your friend is not someone you’re so close with that not seeing them as frequently would be a huge loss, then it might make sense to drift apart if you really can’t stand the person they’re dating. Jared said, “Your social circle changes when you become a couple. You’re gonna lose some friends, you’re gonna gain some friends. That’s gonna happen.” That’s definitely not to say you should just ditch your best friend since kindergarten because her boyfriend has a cheese mustache, but if this is a peripheral friend, maybe their sh*tty S.O. isn’t the hill to die on. Change can be difficult to face, but it’s okay to give way to the changing tides of interpersonal relationships.

To hear more from Jared and Jordana, listen to the U Up? episode below.

Images: Aranxa Esteve / Unsplash; Tenor (5)

How Do I Make Friends As An Adult? Ask A Pro

Head Pro would love to be your friend, and would never ask you to go to New Jersey. Email him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter and Insta @betchesheadpro.

Dear Head Pro,

I moved away from my hometown almost four years ago to a new city. I haven’t been able to make any friends here. At first, I thought the best place to meet girlfriends was at the bar, and that never really led to anything. I have (half—assed) tried to make friends in college and at work but nothing really lasts. I think its a combination of shyness and a feeling like I haven’t found anyone that I really connect with. Any advice on where to go to make girlfriends and also how to make the friendships blossom?

God, making friends as a post-grad adult is the worst fucking thing. It’s at LEAST as hard as dating, because it’s basically the same thing only without the motivation of having someone maybe touch your no-no zones. You’re not gonna wanna hear this, but unfortunately you’re going to have to put in work to find some decent friends, and even then they’ll only be a poor facsimile of the handful of actual, close friends you’ve made in life. People think that it’s the big memories and OMG moments that make a friendship, and that’s true to an extent. But I don’t think anyone realizes that its as much (or more) about the thousands of hours you spent with them doing absolutely nothing. That’s when you’re really intimate with someone—when you can sit, silently watching TV and the sound of their voice doesn’t immediately make you want to kill them.

The standard advice here is to join some kind of dipshit adult rec sports league (softball, kickball, fucking bocce ball, etc.), and that’s because it works—coalescing around one single, uncomplicated thing exposes you to all sorts of people, some of whom you might get along with. You don’t have to be athletic to do any of these things, because very few people are actually there for the LOVE OF THE GAME (note: I am one of these people. I’ll slide into you spikes up, don’t even test me). Most people are just there to get drunk and enjoy the weather, and just like you they probably want to branch out at least a little bit.

Other than that, you’re going to have to get extremely online with it. That sounds nerdy as fuck, but then again you’re already writing into an anonymous internet person to ask about something 5-year-olds do with ease. is lame, yes, but they seem like they do a phenomenal job of organizing events and activities that appeal to every interest under the sun. You’re shy and that’s not helpful, but the thing you have going for you is that literally everyone else is in the same boat—they’re all there explicitly to meet someone, and if they were gregarious social butterflies, they wouldn’t need a website to help them, would they? In the same vein, you can sign up for classes and activities via Groupon, LivingSocial, et al. if you want a more casual vibe. 

As for making a friendship blossom, I assumed women did that by having a steamy, pseudo-sexual (no penetration) encounter after a night of too much wine and complaining about boys. My understanding of female friendships is not the sharpest.

Dear Head Pro,

I met this guy on Hinge and we get along really well—we text a lot throughout the day and in person we crack each other up. And he’s extremely hot. And has told me that he really likes me (the feeling is/was mutual).

Here’s my problem: he lives in Jersey (why do I do this to myself?) and so far I’ve only seen him once a week for the past like, month or so. Honestly, I’m at a point where I either want things to ramp up or I’m over it. I’m just tired of all the texting back-and-forth and putting mental energy into playing that game when I don’t see him all that much, and when I do our conversations are a little surface level, even if the rapport is good, and I have no idea what he wants out of this. So my questions are:

1. WTF do I do? I recognize that it’s pretty fucking insane to be like “what are we/where do you see this going” after a little over a month of hanging out because I don’t live in an episode of The Bachelor. And I don’t really want to take that route unless that’s objectively the move.

2. Should I just nope out now? I’m suspecting/worried he’s kinda giving me the fade… his texts are getting further apart although he does respond to each one. Then again it was just the holidays and we’re all back at work and shit so there’s a chance I’m being insane. I’m a pretty passive(-aggressive) person and will usually err on the side of inaction to prove a point whenever I start to question things… should I just assume he’s over it too and ghost accordingly?

I feel like there are two types of women in the world: ones who are completely batshit but think they’re normal, and those who second-guess themselves into thinking they’re batshit. You’re the latter, which is I guess better than the former (though I imagine trying to pick a restaurant with you is its own fresh hell). But I feel this. Most of the time people write in with apocalyptic dating disasters, but this is more realistic—how do you handle a thing that’s for the most part pretty good, but like not as good as you’d like it to be? Most people are naturally risk-averse, and prefer to have that sure thing in-hand before letting go of even a shitty thing, to say nothing of a decent thing. If I’m on a road trip, I’m not gonna pass-up a McDonald’s because I think there MIGHT be a Chick-Fil-A further down the road. You’d probably be like “that’s ok with me I guess, I don’t mind either way, whatever we do is fine,” and I’d kick you out of the car at highway speeds.

Anyway, these are not two separate options; they’re a natural progression. If things are stagnating and you’re considering breaking things off, what do you have to lose by asking where it’s going? We’re in that shitty post-holiday slump where everyone’s catching up on work, so there’s always a chance he could be otherwise engaged. I know SOP here (and everywhere, really) is to let the man take the lead on furthering the relationship, but I don’t see how that benefits you in this instance. It’s not a crazy thing to ask about after a month! People have been proposed to in far less time, and I should know because that’s how I close out every 3rd date I go on (this does not work well for me).

The worst he says is some version of “I dunno, I’m not really looking for anything serious.” In that case, you say “I respect that, but I kind of am so I think it’s best we bring whatever this is to an end.” That’s it! And in the (less likely, tbh) event that he reaffirms how much he likes you and enjoys your company, you would then express your concerns and see if you can’t come up with a solution (matching with girls in NY when you live in Jersey should earn you a spot on the sex offender registry). I know it sounds crazy, but putting, like, actual work and effort into a relationship is a thing I promise you people have done and continue to do to great effect.

Head Pro would love to be your friend, and would never ask you to go to New Jersey. Email him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter and Insta @betchesheadpro.