How to Support Friends with Kids (wow, things are different now!)

Three tips to help you support your friends when they start to have families of their own

As you’re lurching toward your late 20s and early 30s, you may feel like all your friends are getting married and starting a family. If you’re not in that phase of life for one reason or another or you’re child-free by choice, it can take your friendship through quite a transition. But your friendship doesn’t have to wilt upon the introduction of tiny humans.

If your besties are welcoming kids, here’s how you can support them even if you don’t have any of your own.

Start a Meal Train page

This is one of the kindest ways you can support friends who have recently welcomed a new wee one. Odds are, they won’t be joining you at a restaurant for dinner or out at your favorite bar for a while. In fact, they could probably use some help getting dinner on the table for the foreseeable future.

When you organize a Meal Train page, you help meet their food needs for the next month (or more!). Reach out to all their friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors in the area. Everyone can pitch in to help the new parents. It’s a perfect gift and gives the family time to focus their energy on more immediate needs.

Stay flexible with plans

Do you remember the days when you could call up your friends for last-minute plans? Those days are probably gone. Their entire world has been turned upside down and understanding this as their friend is essential.

As you adjust to their new normal, stay flexible and understanding. Don’t try a last-minute approach just to see if they’re free. Recognize that you’ll probably be visiting on their turf (when they’re ready) because they have all the gadgets and gizmos available for the baby.

You can make this easy and fun for them by offering to pop by with food after the baby is in bed for a chill movie night. And if they shoot you a text saying that bedtime has taken a turn for the worse and they need to cancel, don’t be offended. It’s unlikely either of you would have a good time in a house with a screaming baby anyway.

Show up ready to listen and help

It’s a whole new ballgame seeing your BFF in parent mode. The best thing you can do as a friend is to show up ready to listen and help. What are the best ways to help?

  • Grab dinner on your way over
  • Organize a Meal Train page
  • Offer to fold laundry
  • Bring coffee
  • Play with the baby’s older sibling
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Hold the baby while your friend takes a shower
  • Refrain from offering advice

After a baby is born, most people who visit want to hold the baby, but that’s not what new parents need help with most. Often, it’s the cooking and housework that becomes the most overwhelming. If you show up ready to help with those items, you’ll get plenty of baby time.

And if your friend insists they don’t want any help with housework, just be a good listener…everyone can use one of those!

Final Thoughts

When friends start families of their own it can change the dynamic of a friendship, but it doesn't have to end it. Finding new ways to support your friends with kids strengthens your relationship with them and will make you feel good, too!