There’s nothing to throw our lives off-axis like a newborn baby. All the joy and wonder aside, adjusting to life with a new son or daughter can leave us feeling alone, overwhelmed, and downright lonely. You feel like you have zero freedom, you’re up all night, and downtime – what’s that? Nip this new mom isolation in the bud with these tips for staying connected and comforted long after delivery day.
Get social at your birthing class
Sure, you’re there to learn about the stages of labor, but attending a birthing class can also be a great opportunity to make friends. Not only do you have the shared experience of pregnancy to bond over, but you’ll most likely have similar due dates as well. When your little one arrives, you’ll have another new mom to share in your joy – and commiserate with through the tough times. Talking through your troubles with someone who understands what you’re going through can be just the comfort you need in those first lonely weeks.
Once your son or daughter arrives, friends and family will be banging down your door to squeeze in some baby time. Intrusive? Maybe. Incredibly kind? Definitely. Take your loved ones up on their generous offers to help whenever you feel up to it. There’s no better way to feel isolated and stuck than by clutching a screaming baby while facing a litany of chores. Instead of feeling like you have to do it all, let your friends and family ease your load. For starters, accept all offers to babysit. While your little one’s in good hands, take a shower, nap, or just recharge – whatever it takes to make you feel like you again.
Whatever the weather may be, make it a point to pack up your baby and get out of the house – every day, no exception. Maybe it’s a stroll in the neighborhood or a more purposeful trip to the post office, but no matter the destination, forcing yourself out into the world can do wonders for your mood. Say hi, smile, or compliment a passerby’s adorable dog. All of these seemingly small gestures add up and can help you feel like you’re not alone in this world.
Find likeminded moms online. The Internet is full of message boards and virtual meeting places fostering all types of discussions. Flipping through conversations with new moms – or collecting advice from those who’ve been there – can be a comforting practice during those 2 a.m. feedings. Anything that helps you feel connected goes a long way during those first weeks of parenting.
Now, it’s your turn: Do you have a plan for fending off loneliness and isolation once baby arrives? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.