I’m trying to get out of the house every day, or at least every other day. That probably doesn’t sound that hard to most people. But right now I work from home. And with an almost-5-month-old (!) to care for, it’s not easy for me to leave. Not without great effort.
Laugh at me if you will, but it’s still an ordeal to get out of the house. Even a walk around the neighborhood requires at least the baby stroller, my wallet, keys, cell phone, a binkie, and a burp cloth. And shades. And water. See how the list keeps growing?
But I am making the effort some days. Other days, for instance when he wakes up at 3 in the morning, I’m just too tired to do more than nap when he naps (and when I don’t have to work – I have a set schedule I must adhere to).
People tell you it’s important to get out of the house. And they’re right. It’s good for me to do more than sit all day long. And it’s good for the baby to see new things and get some fresh air. I think he gets bored when he’s in the bedroom/office all day long. Oh, I play with him, walk him around the apartment. But our place is tiny. There’s lots to look at, but he still needs some variety — even as he needs routine.
Earlier this week I walked down to Starbucks, about a 1/2 mile or so. Don’t give me a hard time – it’s either that or the donut shop. The donut shop is within our block and their coffee is not to my taste. So Starbucks it is! I ran into a couple of moms who were there to have some time without their kids, but were happy to chat and ask me about the baby. It was nice. I didn’t have to chat – just being out and among other people is enough for me. But I don’t mind answering questions about the baby. (What’s his name, how old is he, is this your first one, etc.)
If you’re a new mom, you really need to get out of the house. Don’t isolate yourself. Walk around the neighborhood, to the park, the library, the bookstore, the mall. Do something. Just get out. It will improve your outlook immensely.
And if you can’t leave the house, get online and connect with some other moms. You’re not alone. You can commiserate, complain, or just know that you’re not alone. If you’re not already reading Moxie, and you’re a mom of a small one, I think you should check it out. She has some great posts, especially the ones where other moms chip in about their experiences, and the ones about avoiding PPD.
I’ve been fortunate to feel just fine after the baby, but I know many moms who went through some rough times. So if you’re out there, and you’re desperate for sleep or adult conversation, get some help any which way you can. Insist on it.
I’m not sure how my post turned into that, but I’m leaving it. Someone, somewhere, may just need to hear this, and find some ways to connect, or to get some more info. I hope she does, whoever she is.