Non-parent friends

You might be sharing every twist and maternity pad story with new mum friends. But friends who don’t have children can feel distant. Here’s how to include them…

1. Invite them into your world

They used to know exactly what you were talking about when you mentioned that amazing brunch place, your open-air yoga class and your incredible Greek holiday. But now, your new world of baby sensory and teat sizes is basically another language to your non-mum friends. Don’t assume that means they won’t be interested though.

Why not ask them if they fancy coming along to watch your baby at a group sometime or to see a live performance of Peppa Pig (possibly with a wine first). They might pass, but they might also be keen for the chance to see what your new world is really like. They’d also get to spend some time with your baby (Today’s Parent, 2012; Active Kids, 2018; Scary Mommy, 2018).

2. Don’t be too blinkered

No-one will blame you for being quite self- and family-centred for a little while when your child is tiny (Psychology Today, 2014). Yet at some point, you do have to remember to ask friends questions about their lives too. Your friend will only want to get involved in your life if you still take an interest in theirs (Active kids, 2018).

So remember what your friend has been up to, try and send cards on important days and head out for lunch with them without baby when you can for one-to-one time. It could give you both perspective on the highs and lows of your own lives.  

"Mutual support is the basis of friendship, and good friends should be able to help and support each other when things get tough."

3. Let your child and friend get to know each other

It’s easy, as a new parent, to want to do everything yourself and not trust anyone else to help at all. But the only way your friend will get immersed in your new life is if they get involved. Why not let them change your baby’s nappy, give them their snack or take them out for a walk and a push on the swings in the buggy.

The more people you let into your world too, the more you’ll get some help and a break (Scary Mommy, 2018).

4. Be honest with them

If you used to share horror dating stories, warts and all, but now paint a romanticised idyll of parenting when you’re actually struggling, your friendship will slide. Friendships need truth.

Instead, be honest with your friends about the ups and downs of parenting and your new life. That way you’ll find you stay a lot closer (Psychology Today, 2014; Scary Mommy, 2018).

5. Go on some adventures together

The great thing about kids is that they let you do all kinds of things that you wouldn’t have done before. While you and your friend might have done drinks and dinner once a fortnight pre-baby, now you’ll be forced to do some new baby-centric stuff.

Long walks while the baby sleeps in the pram will get you out to new places. When they’re a toddler, head to the swimming pool or sign up for some other fun activity (Today’s Parent, 2012). Just a hunch, but most people like embracing their inner child and your friend will probably love doing something different with their weekend.

This page was last reviewed in May 2018.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

Scary Mommy. (2018) 5 reasons you don’t have any non-parent friends. Available at:

https://www.scarymommy.com/why-you-dont-have-non-parent-friends/ (Accessed 31st October 2018).

Today’s Parent. (2012) How to stay close to friends without kids. Available at:

https://www.todaysparent.com/family/how-to-stay-close-to-friends-without-kids/ (Accessed 31st October 2018).

Active kids. (2018) 14 things I wish my non-parent friends understood. Available at:

https://www.activekids.com/parenting-and-family/articles/14-things-i-wish-my-non-parent-friends-understood?page=3 (Accessed 31st October 2018).

Psychology Today. (2014) 5 things childfree women want their parent friends to know. Available at:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/complete-without-kids/201408/5-things-childfree-women-want-their-parent-friends-know (Accessed 31st October 2018).

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