Nobody likes rejection.

Being dumped by a partner is bad enough, but by your friends?

Devastating and humiliating in equal measure.

Unlike ending a romantic ­relationship, there isn’t clear etiquette or any real guidelines for ditching a mate, which makes it all very awkward and difficult to do.

That’s why it happens so rarely, and why no one really talks about it.

But now someone has spoken up.

Lily Allen has admitted that she was abandoned by some of her friends when she got pregnant and stopped partying, and that it really upset her.

I bet if you did a poll of the reasons women stop hanging out with each other, one of them having a kid would be the top answer every time.

And so, as one of the last of my mates to procreate, I helpfully offer up the golden rules every new mum should follow if she wants her ­child-free friends not to delete her number.

Know when I’m being polite

Look, you’re my friend, I’m possibly even quite fond of you, so of course I’m interested in your kid and want to hear about it.

You’ve probably listened to me talk about my kittens at length on more than one occasion so it’s payback if nothing else.

But know your audience: honestly, I only really need the headlines.

So when I ask if your baby sleeps, I’m only after a yes or no, not “Well, we usually put him down at 7.30 and then he’ll be OK for two hours, although last Wednesday he did three, and then…”

Also, never use the term “dream feed” or I will be sick on you – and someone else has probably just done that, so why risk it?

Remember there IS life without kids – you used to have one

I get that having a baby changes everything, and you feel different, fulfilled and like you suddenly know the meaning of life.

But let me find out about it on my own, OK?

I would have watched Breaking Bad much sooner if it wasn’t for people going on and on, telling me how amazing it was and how I really must watch it immediately etc (It is amazing though and you really must watch it immediately).

Enough lecturing.

And the law should be changed so that anyone who ever says, patronisingly “You’ll ­understand… when you have kids” is imprisoned for at least life.

Talk about your baby in ultra specific detail, and absolutely nothing else

… to your other new mum friends.

Apparently it’s almost impossible not to make local ones during your ­pregnancy, and that is exactly what they’re for.

They’re literally more interested in that stuff than you are, so chat away – they’re doing our friendship a
great service.

You can get all the boring minutiae out of your system with them, and then chat about other things when you’re with me.

Which will be just as good for you, in a different way – swear down.

Have realistic expectations

I understand that you don’t get out much these days, and I know how much you’re looking forward to our evening out.

But if you put too much pressure on it being The Best Night Ever – to make up for all the ones you’ve missed – then the one thing we can guarantee is it won’t be.

Plus, sometimes the relaxed, chatty, laid-back nights are more fun than the wild crazy ones, so don’t be miffed if we’re not still snorting vodka through our eyeballs at 5am.

Rein it in, girl – after all, aren’t you someone’s mother?

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