Let’s face it, in the first year of having a child, most of your social encounters will revolve around and have to do with your child. In the early days and months, doctor’s visits will be your primary reason to leave the house.
Once you get in the swing of things and are brave enough to venture out of the house, you may try attending a “mom and me” group or a story time at your local library. It is at these types of groups, that you will meet other women living lives that mirror your own. More often than not, they become your connection to the outside world and a comforting reminder that the daily challenges you face are not confined to your life alone.
Once I was brave enough to venture out with my son to groups and activities it became clear that creating a calendar for him would be beneficial. If you keep an electronic calendar like I do, set-up a calendar in Google for your child and include his/her activities. If you are accustomed to looking at and reviewing an electronic calendar for yourself, this will be a natural place to add your child’s activities too.
Don’t Forget … Make Time for Mom too!
While having programs for your child is fun and enriching as well as offers adult interaction for the Stay-at-Home mom, it is important to remember that time out without your child is important too. I remember some of the earliest interactions I had with other moms. I wanted to be friendly and possibly create relationships but the dance of introducing myself and exchanging contact information felt a lot like dating (which I haven’t done in over 13 years).
It was awkward to say the least. Let me tell, it is worth the moment of potential awkwardness to have the contact information of another mom who you think you would like to hang out with and have your children play together. It is as a result of some of these awkward initial encounters that I met other amazing moms and we all became members of the local mothers club.
The club coordinates mom’s night out on a regular basis. The opportunity to be out with other women without your child is liberating! To be honest, I think my son was nine months old when I went out for the evening for the first time. Good self-care includes time without your child. Allow time in your schedule to take part in a mom’s night out on a regular basis. Add “mom time” activities to your calendar system as you would any other appointment. Hold the event to the same importance as you would a doctor’s appointment.
Getting out alone on a regular basis is a work-in-progress and a habit that I am still working on to develop. Having a strong and growing network of other moms only encourages more social opportunities.
What about You?
As a parent, a stay-at-home mom, do you make time for yourself on a regular basis? How do you ensure social opportunities for yourself? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!