Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Keeping baby social and you sane during winter months

For those fortunate enough to live in a state with fairly decent weather all year round, I envy you. For the rest of us that have to live in frigid, not suitable for walks or parks weather during the winter months...this is for you. You are not alone. When I had Adrianna, we had not been living in Massachusetts long. We didn't know very many people that had children and our neighbors on base had older, school aged children so we never connected. I was spoiled with the summer months as 'A' was born in July. We went on walks, we went out for ice cream, we sat outside on the grass and she loved being in the sun. Then the dreaded winter hit. It hit like a ton of bricks that year (or snow actually). We got record breaking snowfalls during that winter. There was a foot of snow on the ground always from December to April. I felt myself feeling alone and lonely. My husband traveled for work often so it was just me and my, then, 4 month old. I had never heard of "mommy and me"classes. I had no one to advise me of such things available to stay at home moms because I knew no one. I googled and found a gym company called "Little Gym." When I saw that you can sign up a child as young as 4 months old I jumped on the opportunity and went to my first introductory class. It was amazing and we have been going regularly ever since!

Being a SAHM, even worse a new mom who is a SAHM and has to live somewhere new because of the military, can be so tough on the social aspect. It takes time to meet people and to make friendships. You aren't exactly in the 'play date' stage because your LO doesn't play yet. It is a very lonely world. I guess what I want to say is that you are not alone in your feelings. I can remember slipping into an almost depression for a while. None of my friends back home had children and my parents were so elated with being grandparents that I felt neglected. Even my husband, i felt, was more smitten by our precious little baby that he was by me. You get so much attention when you are pregnant and everyone is so excited. Once the baby is here everyone is so focused on the needs of the baby that they forget about your needs. I had to learn that I had to take care of me if I wanted to be a good caretaker of my baby girl. I learned to ask for help. I learned to take time for myself. I learned that a short separation from the baby was healthy....even a half an hour at the grocery store. Not that 'A' was a tough baby, she was as easy a baby as they come. But when you find yourself being home most times and not really having adult conversation you long some time to get back to "you." To feel normal again. Going to a mommy and me class like "Little Gym" gave me the socialization I longed for. It was also beneficial for my preemie daughter who I feared would start falling behind on milestones because she was never around babies. She excelled  I met some women who were dealing with the same feelings I was dealing with. It was nice to know I was not alone. That although I loved my daughter to pieces, literally more than my heart could stand, I did not need to feel guilty because I longed to have "me" time as well. Mommy and me classes isn't "me" time, but it was something to look forward to. It was our escape out of the house. It was our social time and it was fun! As 'A' got older I started to make a routine out of LG and going out to lunch just her and I. The older she got, the more neighbors I met who had children around the same age. Seems they too found themselves cooped up in the house during the winter and that spring it was like everyone bloomed and started to venture out. I met good friends. 'A' had play dates finally and I got the hang of the whole being a SAHM thing. It is an adjustment. Just know, there ARE activities. Some are even free if you look in your surrounding town. Don't get stuck at home during the winter and catch the "winter blues" like I did and like many of my fellow new mommies did. What are some activities you will be doing with your LO's? I'd love to hear some of your ideas.


  1. Thanks for pointing out that you needed to take care of yourself so that you could be a good caretaker. I think that can be so easy to forget.

  2. We all forget that when our little ones are babies. We are their main source of everything and they depend on us so much we can feel drained and unhappy. A quick hour of "you time" is good to refresh and get back into the game ready and feeling great. It always boosted my self esteem which in turn made me a more positive mommy. Now that my LO is almost 3, me time is necessary and I don't feel as guilty. She is in such a definite routine that me time comes during nap time, leaving her with her daddy or even doing a parents night out event and dropping her off for a couple of hours so daddy and I can enjoy a movie or something together like old times (doesn't happen often, we stay home and watch movies these days since this preggo mommy is always tired)