When a baby arrives, a mom’s needs take a back seat. And in the way back seat? That thing you called your social life. Finding the time and energy to get out to see friends may seem like more work than its worth. However, having a social life after a baby arrival will be beneficial for you and your baby. The key to a social life after your baby arrives is communication.
Communicating your needs as a mom is the single most important thing you can do. Moms often keep their feelings inside, allowing them to inevitably build up until the spill over. A new mom is often putting her baby’s needs first every moment of every day, and it can feel very isolating. The visitors who sweetly come in the beginning days of the baby’s arrival eventually dry up leaving you with no social interaction except talking sweetly to a baby, singing lullabies, and praying your partner gets home soon! Having a social life will help you mentally tackle the difficulties of new parenthood by allowing yourself some fun downtime. Communication will help you get out of your yoga pants and in some enjoyable relaxing moments!
Communicate with your partner. Whether you stay at home or work, your social life is still important. Communicate with your partner that you need “baby free” time. This may sound harsh, and you may even feel like you don’t need it, but trust me, you do. When a new mom gets baby free time, they are refreshed and able to tackle the tough job of motherhood. However, this takes planning. If you are an exclusively nursing mom, this takes even more planning. Communicate with your partner that you would like scheduled baby free time, whether with a care giver or with your partner watching the baby, to do something fun. Meet a friend for coffee, get a quick manicure, or grab a quick happy hour drink! By scheduling a set time, the next communication will be easier.
Communicate with your friends. This is probably the most important form of communication to having a social life after the baby arrives. Your partner gets it: they are in the thick of it with you! They know that schedules are unpredictable, that you’re exhausted, and the stress of forgetting to put on nursing pads! If your friends do not have kids, the communication gap is even larger. I have a close group of friends who have been very supportive of me as I walked through my pregnancy and first year as a mom. However, they didn’t understand a lot of the logistics that it takes to get me out of the house! In those early days, it is even more difficult to meet up. So, communicate with your friends. Tell them that you have a scheduled time when you are free. Ask that they meet you close by to your house, because who knows what will happen with the baby! Finally, kindly request that they give you the opportunity to say no to social events. In the age of Facebook and Instagram, we always know what is going on with other people’s lives. In the early days, it was difficult to see my friends’ fun pictures while I was at home covered in spit up feeling forgotten. I hadn’t been invited, but if I had, I would have felt thought of. To avoid feeling this way, communicate with your closest friends that they can give you the opportunity to decline an invite. The non-invite may be unknowingly hurtful.
There is hope! When you get your sea legs after the baby arrives, going out transitions from being stressful, to being enjoyable and fulfilling. By communicating with your partner and your friends, your journey back to being social will be off to a great start!
I’m okay with not having any kind of social life because I’m constantly nursing my LO, he needs his mommy and at home is where I’m safe with him. Am I being paranoid or do other moms feel like this? I know if I go out I’m not going to have any fun since I’ll be worrying about my lo the whole time and just come home early anyways…
I’m a stay at home mom to a 4 year old and newborn. Lately I’ve just been feeling so lonely I love staying home and taking care of the kids, going back to work isn’t an option but I have no social life…
I left California and moved back to Missouri to be close to my hubby’s family. Our son is the first grandchild on his side so wanted to be closer to his parents but now that he is 2 and getting back to a normal social life I really realize how alone I feel here. Most of my friends are back in California and the mom groups I join only want to do kid-friendly activities. Help!