- Go for a walk — this is one of the easiest things to do with your child as it’s free, and you can go whenever and wherever you like. Whether it’s to the park or the supermarket, you’ll feel so much better for getting some wind in your hair/adult conversation with the cashier! And if you’re lucky, junior might even sleep.
- Search “find a playground near me” to find your local play park. Even if your little one is too young to play on the equipment, parks are a beacon for new families in the same boat as you. Take a picnic, people watch, and eye up any potential new mom (or dad) friends. You might even feel brave enough to say hello!
- Find a moms’ group for you. There are so many different parent and child groups out there — from Facebook parenting groups online to real-life stroller meet-ups and fussy child support groups, no doubt full of other lonely moms—the trick is to find your tribe. And once you’ve found it, rather than sitting on the sidelines, why not be the first to introduce yourself to other parents? The prospect of having a two-way, adult conversation after so much child talk can feel daunting, but you’ve all got at least one thing in common, and maybe much more. You won’t know until you ask.
- Suggest a play date or coffee. Think you’ve met a parent that you connect with — perhaps looking equally tired and disheveled? Then make the move and ask them for a coffee or play date. It might be just what you and your fellow lonely mom friend needs. Just imagine, you’ll be able to hang out at each other’s houses, chat about the highs and low of parenting, without worrying that you haven’t got dressed or done the dishes today. They might even have some other ideas of things to do with your little ones.
- Catch a movie — most movie theaters put on child-friendly cinema screenings in the afternoon — much more appealing than your previously-favored 8pm shows. You can keep up with the latest release, take a nap, or have a little cry — along with junior — in the dark, and no one will bat an eyelid.
- Try child yoga—after being cooped up at home for what feels like an eternity, the opportunity to stretch alongside other moms, whose bodies may also not be quite the same after giving birth, is bliss. There’ll be no judgment, probably no skimpy Lycra, and certainly no headstands in child yoga. You don’t need to feel guilty for having some “you time” either, as junior will be stimulated and soothed in the same session.
- Go to the gym — if you’re more of a cardio queen, and miss your old workout regime, why not see if your local gym has a creche? Breaking into a sweat can do wonders for your physical and mental health, even if it’s only for half an hour. And your little one will be entertained with children’s activities while you’re away.
- Ask about library story time. Bored with reading the same children’s books over and over? Find out what children’s activities your local library offers — from story time to singalong sessions, your little one will be able to take part in some gentle interaction with other children while you enjoy some quiet time, and maybe even the chance to do some reading for yourself.
- Visit an art gallery — remember in your former life when you knew things about art, and stuff?... Yes, it might feel like your brain has turned to mush, but maybe all it needs is a little creativity and culture to reignite your imagination and sense of self. Go when your little one is small — pop them in sling and stare at art to your heart’s content. And when they’re bigger, find family-friendly galleries with interactive areas and children’s activities for your little one to play and learn.
- Spend time with family. It’s more than likely that family members — particularly grandparents — will be overjoyed if you turn up and ask them to hold your child while you eat something/go to the toilet/close your eyes just for a second. When they ask how you are though, don’t be afraid to say if you’re having a hard time or feeling a bit blue. Parenthood is full of ups and downs, and it can really help to talk about it with loved ones who’ll give you a hug and tell you you’re doing great. Because you are. Read our checklist on signs of baby blues if you’re worried about how you’re feeling.
Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to make the best of those first 1,000 days of parenthood… TOGETHER.
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