We all have that one friend. You know — the one who has been through everything with you. She is the one who has seen you at your worst and loved you anyway. She’s gotten you through bad breakups, held your hair back for you after you indulged in five too many cocktails and laughed about all of it with you the next day. She has also encouraged you to be your best. She has congratulated you on your first “real” job after you both waited tables through college, and she was on the other end of the phone smiling from ear to ear when you told her you were pretty sure you had met “the one.” She’s your go-to girl.
Lifelong friends know more about you than you even want to admit. They are the friends you have fought with, laughed with, and cried with. They have been there for all the big moments in your life, and while life is constantly changing, there is probably no bigger change than having your first child. If you have a friend who tells you that having a child will not change things, you might want to look for a new friend. Having a child changes all the things. ALL. THE. THINGS.
I know this because I was the person who thought that having a baby was not in any way, shape, or form going to change my friendships. Let me tell you something — having a baby changes your friendships. Some friendships grow stronger and others become weaker. Some become so weak that you wind up losing them forever, while others become so strong you know they will last a lifetime.
My visions of bringing home my first baby were just that: visions! I had no idea how difficult those first few weeks were actually going to be. There was the sleep deprivation, the sore, cracked nipples, the inability to pee without wanting to cry, the sleep deprivation, and did I mention the sleep deprivation? I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that if someone ever crosses my family, I would wish sleep deprivation and sore, cracked nipples on them for all of eternity. Let that be your warning. When I came home, I was beyond overwhelmed. I had been one of those pregnant women who went on and on about my birth plan and the fact that I would only breastfeed. Here is another warning for you. Try not to scream these things out loud too much, because I can promise you the universe is listening and laughing. You know that saying about the best-laid plans? Yeah. That.