Motherhood has the potential to change so many aspects of your life. The demands of being a new parent, the lack of sleep and entirely new priorities can make your old life feel like a distant memory. The dynamic with your partner changes as you both adjust to being responsible for a new, little life. You may start to look at your own parents in a new light, with more respect in all that they went through to take care of you. And you’ll certainly learn the limits of your patience and the astounding capacity to love.

With all of this change, the lack of free time and overall freedom, the time, energy and effort you once put into your friendships will change. But contrary to popular opinion, they don’t always have to suffer.

Here are 5 ways motherhood can positively affect your friendships. 

The Love is Unconditional

You’ll be amazed at all of the people who reach out once they learn you’re pregnant. There’s something about a new baby that makes everyone all gushy. Even though my best friend was living across the country when my son was born, she sent so many of the baby items he needed for his first year of life. She constantly asked how she could support me in this new role. And on many days, she provided the much-needed adult-conversation I needed from another woman.

More Compassion

When you have a baby, it really dawns on you that we were all once this innocent and precious. And it was the world that may have tainted and changed you along the way. Instead of being less patient and snappy with your friend as they navigate life, you can be more patient and loving — because you’ve had great practice with your child.

No Time for Foolishness

While you’re more patient and loving, new moms will also find that with the limited time they do have these days, they don’t want to spend it on things that don’t add any value to their lives. That can be going places they don’t really want to go, doing work they no longer care about and spending time with people who they no longer have anything in common with. This newfound intolerance may mean that person’s role in your life may diminish. Either way, getting rid of the people with whom you no longer align is a positive change.

Intentional About Time Together

With less time to hang out, you will want to make sure you make the best of the time you have. Instead of agreeing to go to a party you’d rather not attend or agreeing to watch a movie you don’t care about, you’ll be more intentional in not only carving time out to see one another but making sure that the time you spend together is quality.

They Help Remind You of Who You Are

Motherhood can be all consuming with its constant demands, emotionally, physically and psychologically. If you’re not careful, you’ll look up one day and not recognize yourself. Good friends will not only recognize that you’re slipping away, they’ll be there to remind you of the woman you were, the one you are now and the one you could be in the future if you take the time to pour into yourself while you mother your little one.