Motherhood is not always the magical adventure that everyone makes it out to be. There are more challenging moments than most parents care to admit. Many people find themselves going out less, as well. Staying home long-term, or just for the first few weeks, can be an isolating experience. There are some excellent tactics, however, to keep from feeling completely alone.
Bring People to You
You may need to reconsider your social options. It can be a huge ordeal to pack up and head out of the house with a baby. If you simply do not feel up to the task at first, bring the social activity to your home. Invite a few friends over for lunch. Make it easy on yourself by asking each person to bring a dish, or have everyone bring sack lunches for a backyard picnic. Nobody cares if you are still in your pajamas at noon. Tell your other mom friends to come in their pajamas and serve coffee. Chances are, they don't want to get dressed either.
It can be a good idea to rethink what you would normally see as a social situation. It can be very satisfying to visit with your family, as well. Enjoy the company of grandparents and cousins. Family members are usually very interested in holding the baby, leaving your hands free for a little while. Head outside to the front yard. There are sure to be other parents out watching their kids play. Set up a chair, have a snack, and get to know the other parents in your neighborhood. People are more willing than you may think to come visit.
Find a Baby-Friendly Outing
There are sure to be some mommy and baby groups in your area. Early on, these groups may be geared mostly towards talking. Later on, there may be activities for your toddlers. The goal is to find a group of moms you can bond and grow with, as your babies go through the same stages. There are plenty of stress-free places to go with a baby. Try to avoid places where feeding and diapering may be seen as an inconvenience. You want to find an activity that is relaxing. The park is a great place to get some fresh air and talk with fellow parents. The noise of a crying baby will not be a problem in a large outdoor area.
Add a Little Normalcy
If you need to run an errand, make a short trip. You will be surprised how much you enjoy a little conversation with the checker at the grocery store or the pharmacist at your corner drug store. These are conversations you used to have on a regular basis before the baby. You probably didn't notice these much before. Add some normal errands into your routine on a regular basis. This will help to keep you from being completely overwhelmed by your new role.
Continuing to do little things that you used to do every day can keep you grounded. Walk outside to get the mail and take the trash. You will at least be able to say a quick hello to the neighbors and feel the sunshine on your skin. If you used to go for a daily run, replace it with a walk until you are ready to resume your normal exercise routine. Get out the stroller and take baby with you.
Try Something New
There are probably many activities you have never experienced in your own city. Perhaps you used to work all day, or just kept procrastinating. Enjoy the freedom to try out some new experiences. Places like the museum are much less crowded on a weekday. The baby will obviously have a feeding and nap schedule, but you will soon find ways to work around this. Use your newfound freedom to visit local exhibits, festivals, and other fun outings around town.
You may think that school and a baby might not mesh well, but doing something for yourself can be very rewarding. Take a class online on a subject you have always wanted to learn about. You will appreciate the online conversations with other students. This will give you a little time to think about something other than diapers. If you have enough help, take an on-campus one or two nights a week. Local recreation centers may also offer classes in things like dance and karate. You may find an entirely new hobby.
Your social life will definitely change after you bring your baby home. It is important to take care of yourself. Your child with thrive with a healthy mom. Find a way to get out and be a part of the community, even if it is a small outing. Invite friends and family over when you don't feel like going out. Enjoy your time with the baby while meeting with others in specialized groups or local establishments. Parenting does not have to be the end of your social experiences.
Please comment below on what you do to break the isolation barrier! We'd love to hear from you!
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