It’s no secret that being a new mom changes routines, priorities, and sometimes relationships. As a friend of a new mom, it’s easy to assume your friendship will fall by the wayside- especially if you are a friend who hasn’t made the leap to motherhood yet.

Even though she may be unrecognizable underneath her messy mom bun and multi-colored baby wrap, your new-mom friend is still the same girl. Just give her a second to get her crazy life together.

In the mean time, I’ve listed 8 things I needed my non-mom friends to know right after I had a baby.

1.  Don’t feel sorry for me. My looks may be reminiscent of Charlize Theron in Monster, but I swear I’m going to be fine. Turns out mothering babies is a tough business. I don’t sleep much, and it’s been a while since I’ve mustered up the courage to try on jeans, but I don’t want your pity.

I get to rock a sweet little baby to sleep every night, and I can see myself in her grin. It doesn’t get much better than that. I’ll be back in my skinny jeans soon enough.

2.  I apologize for my social media, kind of. I’ve become one of them. My baby yawns, I snap a pic. She grins, and suddenly she’s my #womancrushwednesday. I #TBT to when she was three weeks old, and it’s two weeks later.

I’m the mom I used to make fun of on Instagram, and I know you are thinking “not you too!!?” But I love taking pics of my sweet little munchkin. I’m sorry if I’m annoying #sorrynotsorry.

3.  Yes, weird things are going on with my body. And the same things will happen to you.

We used to sit around with our glasses of wine, talking about what happens to a woman’s body after birthing a child. We told second hand accounts of horror stories experienced by friends of friends: “Well Jessica told me her sister is basically a laundry chute now and Amy still hasn’t regained feeling in parts of her vagina.”

Child-birth was the great unknown.

But now that I’ve crossed over I can tell you that it isn’t pretty. And yea, it will hurt (body + pride). I have a new scar and a brand new set of milk boobs that could win me a medal at the state fair.

But when you tell me I look great, it means the world. Thank you. Even if I know you’re lying.

4.   Don’t take it personally, I’m just learning to juggle. I totally forgot to RSVP to your sister’s wedding. And I may have missed your birthday by a day (or five), but I still love you! None of these things mean that I no longer value our friendship.

I know what you are thinking: another friend bites the dust. That’s not happening- I swear! I promise I will get myself together before long. But in the mean time, please don’t take this personally.

It’s not you, its me.

5.  Take your time. Don’t let my sappy Instagram posts and annoying “what did I even do before kids” comments convince you it’s time. Take my word for it: Having a baby is no cakewalk.

If you think it’s time to start a family and the first thing that comes to mind is cute nursery bedding, please go back and read list entries #1 through #4.

Having a baby is rewarding, but it’s hard. Don’t let your FOMO creep in when your friends start having kids because it looks fun on Instagram. Trust me- you are only seeing the highlight reel.

And maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe listening to your new mom friends talk about their experiences with babies makes you want to run. Either way, you do you. And when it feels like the right time, may the odds be ever in your favor.

6.  You aren’t really tired. You may think you are tired, but one day you will realize you aren’t. I am exhausted, and not in an ‘I’m still hungover from girls night’ kind of way.

I’ve been sleeping two hours at a time for three weeks, and I just threw my bra in the trash instead of the laundry.

I’m tired.

7.  I’m still me. Just because someone calls me mommy doesn’t mean I’m someone new. My life has changed a crazy lot, but I’m still here. I still care about what is going on in your life, even if it sometimes seems like I’m too busy to care. I am still the girl you can vent to over a bottle of wine even if has to be over FaceTime. I want to do all these things- still.

You help me feel like me, which leads me to the final thing I want you to know…

8.  I need you. Really.  Sometimes as a mom, it’s just important to be in another adult’s company. Even if it means sitting next to you watching RHONY reruns while we glance at our respective iPhones and don’t say a word.

You have been and will remain apart of my life, and better yet, my child’s life. I need you more now than ever. Don’t let my new role as mom make you think anything else.

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