Being a mum can be a very lonely business. Your once active social/work life becomes reduced to days and nights of just you and your bundle of joy. This can leave you feeling very isolated and frustrated. You and your friends no longer share this principle common interest that has taken over your life and neither do they really want to constantly hear about what your baby did when he/she woke up! Albeit very exciting to you, not so much to them. Places you went to are now no longer baby friendly, and you have to venture into this new world of making new friends with other mothers you meet at drs appointments, baby and toddler groups, or even the baby aisle of supermarkets. Well, here are some things that I’ve found that really helped me on this part of my journey….
1. Let it out, let it out, let it out! and to whoever will listen to you. Don’t bottle up your frustrations. A problem shared is usually half solved and you may have the tendency to take this frustration out on your baby. Whatever you do find someone you trust and tell them how you really feel.
2. Find something that you can do that is relaxing and doesn’t cost you any money. You are more likely to stick at it that way. Take walks with your baby (a definite calmer for a hyperactive baby) and if you can sort babysitting out, take one on your own. It’s not only a cheap way to keep trim and healthy but an enjoyable way of filling up your day and taking some time out to re-group. A bubble bath in the evening, a curl up on the sofa with something hot to drink watching your favorite TV show, or a lie down reading a good book. Any of these done for an hour are bound to reduce your stress levels.
3. Join a class/baby group where you can meet other mums and if the last thing you want to do is discuss the word ‘baby’, join a class where you can learn a new hobby or skill e.g. Salsa dancing or French lessons. It’s bound to keep you stimulated if only for an hour a week and you will have something to look forward to the next week. You might even make some good friends in the process.
4. Look at this stage as some ‘ME’ time that you are privileged to have, which others only get when taking 25 days annual leave in a year. Find yourself, engage in some spiritual cleansing and awakening. Don’t let time precious time pass when you can really work on yourself and set the foundation to becoming a good mother.
5. Get to know your child. This might sound obvious but do you know you can spend hours with someone without really knowing them. Think of some of your colleagues at work! Look at this time in your child’s life when you have exclusive and unlimited access to him or her and make the most of it. I assure you some years down the line, he/she will soon be all grown up and you might just crave this time and look back with regrets.
6. Last but not least, don’t neglect your other half and also don’t just use them as a pseudo-baby sitter! You’ll be surprised at how much joy and sanity they can bring back into your life if you let them and if you let yourself go. Find someone to care for your baby for a few hours and go out for a meal, or go see a movie. They probably miss the old you, just as much as you miss her. Engage in some adult, stimulating and intellectual talk like the good old days and some funny banter too. Well, that all depends on the type of relationship you had!