When you are initially on maternity leave, you feel amazing knowing that you don’t have to go to work for at least a year (in Canada!). In the beginning, you have visitors non-stop; friends and family come from afar to see the baby and you begin to wonder if you will ever have time to yourself again. Then at around 3-4 months, the visitors decrease and you realize the reality that it is just you and the baby day in and day out. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little cubby, but after 3 months, I began to feel really lonely. I decided to take action and join various activities where I could meet other new moms. I joined mommy and baby yoga, Mother Goose (through Ontario Early Years Centre), and a local mommy group on Meetup.com.
Mommy and baby yoga was great to get out of the house and do a little stretching and exercise at the same time. I met other new moms and second time moms. Cubby loved Mother Goose, a program where you sit in a circle and sing songs, then you socialize with moms after the program. I ended up meeting my neighbour, who has a baby girl the same age as cubby, and discovered that she lives 3 doors away from me. I also met 2 other moms who live in the same area and we have formed a new moms group. We usually get together on Mondays and have had potlucks for Halloween and Christmas as well as a Secret Santa. These moms have been a great source of support and comedic relief for me.
Through Meetup.com, I have been on play dates, mall walks, and had online chats with other new moms. It has been great to know that there are other people in my shoes. I have gotten some good advice from the moms.
I thought of this topic today after hosting a play date at my house with 3 other moms and their little ones. One of the moms, whose son was the youngest of the bunch, was having a difficult time recently with lack of sleep and her son teething and being colicky. It was a good forum for her to vent to us and express her frustrations. I think she felt better getting advice from us and knowing that she was not alone. I got advice from the other moms about solids and when to introduce water into cubby’s diet.
Joining various activities and networking with other moms has made my maternity leave much more pleasurable and has been good for cubby to socialize with other babies. I highly recommend putting yourself out there and meeting new moms in your area.