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10 Things About Friendship Only Young Moms Would Understand

10 Things About Friendship Only Young Moms Would Understand

Being a part of a group or just having a few chosen people close to us at all times is how we humans are wired to function. We’re social creatures, and we need to be loved, respected and understood. When we are young it is our oldest and closest friends who become part of our little tribe, and nothing in the world is more important than the bond we share. However, with time we grown, mature and some of our priorities change.

I know of a fiery and fun-loving young woman who suddenly had to deal with the fact that she now had a little tribe of her own when we got married and had our beautiful little daughter. It was a tough time, and she needed a while to adjust, but she learned so much from the experience, and taught me a thing or two about friendship that I never knew. I’d like to share some of these little gems of wisdom that I am sure all the young moms out there will find all too familiar.

1. Overcoming new obstacles helps you see a whole other side of friend you never knew about

Two friends

    Measuring your friendship in years is not a very precise way of doing things, and it’s only when both you and your friends make major lifestyle changes and face new challenges that you come to understand this. Once you stop going out as much with your close friends, the little time you spend together will become precious, and you will focus only on what is truly important. Even though you may not tell them enough how much they mean to you, your friends will still keep surprising you with little things, like offering to babysit so that you and your partner can go out, and a lot of them may actually realize that they are very good with kids, even though they didn’t think they would be.

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    2. Making new friends can be terribly awkward, but kind of fun when you are a mom

    Let’s face it, when your kids are still very small you end up bringing them along with you wherever you go. You become a team, and it’s difficult to find other moms who are interesting and have plenty in common with you. Once you do find suitable candidates, all you do is talk about poop, breastfeeding and all the cute noises your babies make. Once your kids get older, you may find that even though the mom is great, your little one might not be getting along well with the other kid, at which point it’s back to the drawing board.

    3. You will pick up all kinds of new skills while trying to stay in touch with the people you love

    Who would have thought that merely trying to keep in touch with your friends would require MacGyver levels of craftiness and ingenuity? When you are juggling kids, a job, all kinds of obligations and trying to find the time to talk to your friends you tend to become pretty good at a number of things. For one you learn exactly how many minutes there are in a day, and how you can fit in all your chores and plans into the little time you have, in the most effective manner. My wife learned to type incredibly fast, started using several social media platforms, become quite good at Photoshop and mastered the art of scheduling – all within the first couple of years after she gave birth to our daughter.

    4. Sometimes you just need a good friend to be in the same room with you

    Young woman wiht laptop

      There’s nothing worse than sitting around the house and feeling lonely. In those quiet moments when our daughter was sleeping or just playing around, and I was at work, my wife often a bit bored and lonely. Now, we did have at least one or two conversations over the phone during the day, but she would often just call one of her friends on Skype and they would both just quietly do whatever chores they needed to do or even watch a TV show together, with very few words being spoken. Just knowing that her friend was there made all the difference in the world, and that just goes to show you what a strong connection we can develop with another human being.

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      5. Your old friends will know who you are and how you feel even when you make big changes

      You know all those little details that we share with others as we become closer? All those stories from our past, situations that influenced our development, movies and books that inspired and moved us, people that made us hate and cry and those that motivated us and made us happy – while the new friends who we spend a lot of time together might know them, and our bond with them is stronger for having shared them, our old friends were there for it all, and in a number of cases they were the ones who had an effect on who we became as a person. That’s why you get each other even after months or years of being apart, and it’s the reason why you miss them so much.

      6. You’ll find great friends and allies in unexpected places

      Although a new mom won’t be able to see her friends as often as she’d like to after having a child, this big and relatively sudden lifestyle change does open some new doors. Chances are that you will be spending a lot more time with close family and your in-laws, which means that you’ll have to find a way to get along with your partners family. There is often a bit of hostility, particularly between a young mom and her sister-in-law, who can be tough to persuade that you are good enough for her brother, but if you are able to handle the situation effectively you will gain a very good friend. There are many cases where sisters-in-law actually jump to each other’s aid, and if they both have kids they can become incredibly close. This new found friendship helps relieve some of that nostalgia a young mom feels.

      7. You need to be creative and flexible if you want a decent social life

      Young woman cooking

        Now, don’t think that you have to kiss your social life goodbye once you give birth, but you will have to be very creative if you want to spend some fun time with your friends. There are several things that usually work:

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        • Having family members babysit form time to time
        • Having people over at your place for dinner and drinks
        • Arranging play dates with other parents

        A common problem that a young mom faces is the fact that her finances take a big hit. The few hundred bucks that went towards funding fancy dinners and parties each month suddenly have to be diverted towards your child’s college fund or used to buy clothes and school equipment. However, with some creativity and careful planning, you’ll be able to host a dinner on a tight budget or find fun low-cost activities that you can do with your friends.

        8. True friends are ready to put up with a lot of little things because they love you

        Everyone is fully aware of the fact that looking at baby pictures and talking about baby stuff for a couple of hours isn’t anyone’s idea of fun Saturday afternoon, but new mothers simply can’t help themselves. However, you’d be amazed at how willing your good friends are to put up with all the boring baby talk, and even some of those nasty mood swings you experience during pregnancy. You’re single friends will also suddenly tone down their talk of parties, so as not to make you feel bad. You’ll still ask them to tell you all about their crazy single life exploits, but you’ll love them to death for being so considerate and supportive.

        9. It’s not about how often you see someone or how many times you blow them off

        It is quite natural for people to get a little bit mad when others don’t have enough time to hang out with them or when dates get moved time and time again, but it’s refreshing to see that this type of thing doesn’t really affect good friends. The people that are very close to you will understand that you barely have enough time to shower and get some sleep most days, and that all it takes is a weird sounding cough for you to bail out on a girl’s night out, and they are fine with it. When you finally do get a chance to sit down, all is forgotten and you can just carry on from where you left off.

        10. The occasional break from your friends keeps your friendship fresh and exiting

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        Purchase this image at http://www.stocksy.com/209804

          There will be times when you miss the old days so much that you will want nothing more than to shed a few tears, but becoming somewhat of a hermit gives you a whole new perspective on friendship. I remember how my wife used to spend a lot of time with a couple of her close friends just sitting around watching TV shows and drinking coffee, way before we were married.

          They were close, and they appreciated each other’s company, but at times they were glad when I’d show up with a friend of mine, as it gave them something new to talk about and something fun to do. Their conversations are ten times livelier now than they were back in those days, and they often plan out a whole day of fun activities when they meet up. This is because both experience a ton of new stuff while they are apart, and even though they phone and text, the really exiting conversations always take place when they are face to face.

          You can never know all there is to know on a particular topic, and friendship can be more complex than any most things in life. There are a whole lot of details that you never learn until you become a mom, and you still have a bunch of young single friends who aren’t yet ready to make the jump and start a family of their own. It is a somewhat difficult, yet uniquely rewarding experience, and you will definitely be wiser for it.

          Featured photo credit: Ojas’s Second Official Shoot/Harsha K R via flickr.com

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          Ivan Dimitrijevic

          Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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          Last Updated on May 21, 2019

          How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

          How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

          For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

          If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

          Example 1

          You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

          You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

          In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

          Example 2

          You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

          People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

          You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

          Example 3

          You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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          The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

          Example 4

          You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

          Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

          If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

          Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

          • Understand your own communication style
          • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
          • Communicate with precision and care
          • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

          1. Understand Your Communication Style

          To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

          In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

          Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

          2. Learn Others Communication Styles

          Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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          If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

          “How do you prefer to receive information?”

          This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

          To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

          3. Exercise Precision and Care

          A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

          On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

          Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

          I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

          I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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          In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

          The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

          Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

          4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

          Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

          In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

          “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

          Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

          Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

          It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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          It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

          It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

          Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

          Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

          The Bottom Line

          When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

          I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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          Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

          Reference

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