When it comes to being a new parent, for some it can often feel like “where did my social life go?”
Instead of up till 2 am partying with your friends, your reason for being up at 2 am is for an early morning feed or soothing the baby.
Or are you running around doing your other schedule to the point you wonder what life lies beyond the front door?
Well, despite what you may believe, there are ways to stay socially involved with the world, even once you’ve discovered the joys of parenthood. Let me help you discover them.
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A stroll with fellow parents:
While you may not think about it in the initial stages, an important way to build your social circle as a parent can be through keeping yourself physically active.
You also have the potential to build and develop a new friendship group that matches up with this chapter of your life.
You can find that by taking a walk around the neighbourhood, and meeting up with fellow parents (you can buy strollers online to make meeting outdoors easier), that you find your own little support group that may be able to offer some advice and help you to not feel so alone.
It can also personally help you with your self-care and by getting regular fresh air and exercise, you can help your mental health.
Find some time to rediscover your pre-baby interests:
While it can be difficult to think about yourself, especially in a time where the majority of your day revolves around caring for a small human, it can be equally important to finding some time to focus purely on who you are as a person.
If you have help at hand, whether it’s your partner, parents or older children, utilise this and take some time to envelope yourself in an activity that you enjoy or displays your talents.
As Stephanie Helie recalls: “I was invited to join a book club by one of my friends that was all Moms. It was a great way to connect with other Moms, but also gave me some time to remember something I loved doing — reading — before having kids.”
Call Your Friend to Let Off Steam:
While there can be no denying that the dynamic of your friend circle can change a bit after having kids, long-standing friends are often there for you through thick and thin.
Particularly with what many are going through at present, with social distancing and time apart from friends, physically calling your friend can almost feel as if they are in the same house as you.
You may indeed have different priorities to some of your friends, but those who genuinely care won’t mind hearing how your day went – even if your baby or toddler threw multiple tantrums.
Let your friends know you still want them, even as a Mum:
If you are the “Mum” in your friend group, let them know that you still want them in your life and try not to make assumptions on how they may act to this change. Sometimes they may not know how to come across about the transition.
They may question whether you have the time or if you’d be interested. Try not to take this as if your friends don’t find you a good person to be around. It’s about communication with them and letting them know that you still want what they offer as part of the friendship.
So when it comes to being socially active in parenthood, remember that you can build new connections with fellow parents and nurture old relationships, and of course, remind yourself that the identity you have now doesn’t diminish who you were pre-baby.
Best of luck to all you new parents.