When you have a new baby, it’s natural to want to spend every second admiring their tiny perfection. However, doing so isn’t the healthiest choice — for you or them. Never leaving their side when young can set you up for bigger problems later. Furthermore, you need a balanced life. Otherwise, you could grow weary of nonstop parenting duties, leading to higher stress and poor decision-making. The message to new moms is clear: don’t be afraid to get out of the house. Here are some ideas to give you, Mom, a healthy breath of fresh air.
1. Keep Date Night Sacred
Adding a new family member is one of the most stressful life experiences you and your partner will experience. It strains your relationship, adding new duties and responsibilities and costing you sleep with late-night diaper changes. It’s not uncommon for you to start taking your partner for granted or, worse, for tempers to flare.
It’s well worth it to reconnect without your baby. Hire a sitter for the night and hit one of your town’s most romantic eateries for a lingering meal — it’s much better than dining on your child’s leftover mush. Plan a late night, perhaps letting your in-laws sleep over with your infant, so you don’t have to worry about a curfew.
Ideally, you and your spouse should enjoy an evening alone together once every other week. Remember, you don’t have to connect in the evening. Suppose your most reliable sitter can only drive during daylight hours. Why not spend Saturday or Sunday afternoon celebrating your love over a game of miniature golf or a picnic in the park?
2. Reconnect With Friends
Your friendships often suffer the most during two times: When you first enter a new relationship and when you have a baby. Understandably, different responsibilities take up more of your time. However, your BFFs are vital parts of your support system that won’t be there forever if you neglect them.
Fortunately, you have dozens of ways to reconnect with your besties without neglecting your child. For example, many gyms offer in-house babysitting as part of their membership fee structure. Why not take an hour to attend a Zumba class with your BFF while your child remains under professional supervision? You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re only a room or two away if your little one needs you.
Although it involves bringing the kiddos, playdates offer as much to parents as they do to children. It’s your chance to sneak in a playground workout or relax and laugh with others who understand the struggle of raising little ones. You can vent and ease stress levels, all while helping your child develop valuable social skills.
3. Join a Club
Have you checked out what your local parks, library, or recreation department offers recently? What about using apps like Nextdoor and Meetup? Chances are, you can find a club that interests you nearby, from coffee klatches to skywatching enthusiasts. These gatherings are perfect for getting new moms out of the house.
You can also find associations that benefit you and your family. For example, many community gardens allow you to rent a plot for a low annual fee. You’ll get moving in the sunshine, but that’s not all — you’ll also have a bumper crop of fresh, organic produce for your table. With grocery prices the way they are, it pays to team up with your neighbors on a nurturing project that helps you feed your loved ones for less.
4. Learn a New Skill
New moms often complain that their language devolves into preschool TV theme songs. It’s okay to talk with the toddler crew, but sometimes, you need a bit more intellectual stimulation. Can you escape for an hour or two to work on your mind?
Being a lifelong learner has multiple advantages. It looks better on your resume and may help you ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, you don’t have to take out student loans or even study something associated with your degree. You have plenty of options for in-person and virtual free or low-cost learning, such as the following:
- Your local library: Many facilities offer free in-person computer training.
- Top universities: Some universities, like Stanford and Harvard, offer free courses, although you don’t earn credit hours.
- Online sites: Sites like Udemy let you learn anything from coding to animal reiki, often for less than $20 a class. Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny as online parenting classes as well!
- Community message boards: Online message boards (remember Nextdoor and Meetup?) and those hanging outside your local grocery often offer various lessons, from a cooking class to to improving your golf swing.
5. Explore the Outdoors
Getting outside more has oodles of benefits for you and your baby. Hiking is an activity you can do solo or with your little one in tow. If you can’t find a sitter, slather on plenty of sunscreen and take them with you. Carrying them in a front-pack will activate your upper body while you blast your quads and hamstrings on the trail.
Being in nature may help boost human immunity. Scientists discovered that the phytoncides plants emit increase the number and activity of natural killer cells in people when inhaled. These specialized cells are vital for fighting infections.
New moms should get out of the house a few times weekly to participate in non-child-centered activities. Doing so for short periods eases separation anxiety and reminds you that you are also a unique human being, and your needs should be met, too. Hiring a postpartum doula can allow you to get out of the house feeling at ease with a professional taking care of your child. Reach out to Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny for daytime or overnight newborn care support.
About The Author
Cora Gold is a mother and writer who aims to connect with other moms through her experiences with navigating motherhood. Cora is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine and writes for sites including For Every Mom, MommyBites and Playground Professionals. When she’s not writing about style and beauty for her magazine, Revivalist, she loves to share her experience with family life. Follow Cora on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.