Why I haven’t invited you over.

I was talking (and by talking, I mean texting – the modern version of talking) to my brother the other day, and he made the off-handed comment that he didn’t see us Clara very often when we lived in Chicago (where he also lives) because we never invited him over.

And this made me think… I guess I have been pretty awful at inviting people over to our house. This especially applies to our childless friends.

It’s not that we don’t enjoy getting together with our friends, because we do! Tim and I are both extroverts and we love our social time and we hang out with friends often. It makes me sad to think that someone would translate my lack of extending invitations to visit as me being disinterested in seeing them.

Why I (as a new mom) haven't invited you over.

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing my best friends interact with my littlest buddy.

But, if you’re wondering why we haven’t invited you over lately it’s probably because…

  • You haven’t initiated a get-together so I assume you don’t want to get together now that we have a kid. (It sounds harsh, but that’s exactly what I assume, whether it’s right or wrong! I’ve definitely accepted that some friendships have faded with this new life transition.)
  • I’m tired. Like, really tired.
  • … And sometimes I just don’t have the energy to make social plans.
  • … Much less follow-through with the social plans.
  • My house isn’t clean and it may never be clean again, so I’m too embarrassed to have guests.
  • I don’t expect our (childless) friends to want to hang out with a baby/infant/toddler in their free time.
  • It’s really hard to arrange any plans around Clara’s naps and bedtime.
  • … And it was really, really hard to have friends over when it would take me over 20 minutes to get her to sleep in the first few months of her life. (And 20 minutes was on a good day!) I felt guilty for ignoring friends and also for rushing through Clara’s sleep routine so I could get back to catching up with a girlfriend.
  • I haven’t showered in days.
  • I would rather get out of my house during ‘free time’ and am not motivated to invite people over.
  • I don’t want to put pants on.
  • I want to breastfeed without needing to leave the room/use a cover/feel awkward. (This applied in the first year of Clara’s life.)
  • I’m just trying to get through the day and haven’t organized any social plans for the future.

My point is, if you find yourself thinking that your new-parent-friends haven’t asked you to hang out lately, you should initiate the conversation! Honestly, I am really happy when loved ones express an interest in seeing my daughter, and I would welcome anyone who wanted to come over for a visit! I think it’s great when people are considerate and laid-back enough to offer to come to our house so that we don’t need to find a babysitter for Clara and she can still take her naps or go to bed on time. But, that doesn’t mean I necessarily think to initiate the invitation over to our house.

I don’t think new parents (including Tim and I) are trying to isolate themselves, but I do think that it can come across that way because life tends to get overwhelming, especially in the first few months of a child’s life. So if you have a friend who just had a baby (whether it was days, weeks, or months ago), check in on them often and tell them you would love to see their little one soon. Trust me, they’ll appreciate the gesture.

(For more tips on visiting new parents, see this post.)

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