It’s completely indisputable that having a baby changes pretty much everything about your life. You get much less sleep, you spend half your life in a perpetual state of worry, and it takes you about an hour just to get ready to go out as you come to the conclusion that you’ll never be able to ‘travel light’ again. But one of the hardest things to come to terms with after having a baby is the way that it changes your social life. When your baby’s young and you’re still nursing, you can’t go out to meet your friends for a couple drinks, you can’t go out for dinner with your partner – if you’re a stay at home mom or on maternity leave it seems as though you’re very tied down to your home. Here are a few tips on things you can do to make sure you stay in touch with the world even when you have a newborn baby…
Having a baby will change your relationship considerably. Going from it just being the pair of you to having three people in your little family is a huge adjustment to make, and sleep deprivation and the extra pressure of having a baby can have a negative impact on you as a couple. It’s important to make sure that you still spend plenty of time together – you might not be able to eat dinner together because of your baby but taking advantage of the times when he or she is asleep is important, even if it’s just eating a bowl of ice cream together and asking each other questions about your day.
The fact that you have a baby doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t introduce a little culture into your life. It probably isn’t a good idea to take your newborn to art galleries or the theater but while you’re spending a lot of time at home it’s worth investing in some extra TV channels or a new app – for instance, download ShowBox. It’s free! – so you can get into a few new TV shows. Go for light comedies and anything that isn’t too plot heavy – exhaustedly holding a sleeping newborn who won’t let you put them down probably isn’t the best time to start trying to watch The Wire.
Let’s face it, now probably isn’t the time to start reading the works of Dostoevsky – your attention span might not be amazing and you’ll probably get interrupted by night feeds so often that all the characters start blending into one and you end up reading the same pages over and over. But now would be a good time to revisit some of your old favourites – if you’re holding your baby with one arm you can absolutely hold an e-reader so you can reread Harry Potter with the other hand.
Finally, be brave and venture outside – research baby friendly cafes in your local area where you can relax, along with any sessions at your local library you can take your baby to. Remember that you shouldn’t be embarrassed if your baby starts crying – a lot of other people around you are parents and they’ll understand.