If you’ve recently had your first baby, or are expecting a new bundle of joy very soon, then congratulations! Lonely, isn’t it…?
After the first few days and weeks of having streams of visitors to the house, cards through the door and well-wishers phoning to ask how you’re getting along, your partner goes back to work, the calls and visits dry up as the novelty wears off, and you’re left in the house with your baby.
Whilst you will be keen to get to know your baby, learning countless new skills like how to tie a shoelace with one hand or how to eat your dinner in two minutes flat, it can quickly become rather lonely being a new mum.
Perhaps the group of women hardest-hit by this loneliness are women who have worked full-time – career women for whom work was a big part of their lives. Many of their friends, if not all of them, are at work and not available to chat or meet up during the day.
One of the first things you should do, as a new mum, is to get yourself and your baby out of the house and start making links, and friends, in your local community. Get to know what baby and toddler groups there are out there, and what places are child-friendly that you can visit with your baby. Try to get out and do something every day.
Remember that everything will take you at least three times as long as it did before you had a baby. Get used to this new pace – slow everything down, including your expectations of what you can get done in what time – and you will be happier for it. Your baby will be happier for it, too, if they are given the chance to stop and look at interesting things with you rather than being zoomed about the shops in a buggy.
Next week we will look at what sort of things can help you in getting prepared to get out and about, what sort of things you need to think about and what you really need to take with you. But it takes practice to make perfect and the more you venture out, the easier it will become.