You fluctuate from feeling like you’ve totally got this mum business covered, to worrying that you’re constantly winging it and have turned into a hermit…
1. Book onto a baby group
Admittedly, when your baby’s just a few weeks old going to a baby group is probably more for your benefit than theirs. But by now they’re beginning to get a sense of things around them and developing a new sense of touch, so if there’s a bit of music and some toys or textures for them to touch, you’ll be stimulating their brains. Ideally it’ll be one where they can lie on the floor because with their necks getting stronger, tummy time is advisable at this stage. As for you – if there’s other mums and coffee you’ll at least have someone to compare notes with. By booking on in advance you’re less likely to back out at the last minute too so it gives you an added impetus to make it.
2. Invest in a smart watch
It’s recommended that us adults take 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. If lapping the living room with your baby in a sling in a desperate attempt to get them to sleep isn’t quite cutting it, then you could invest in a smart watch. The watch will count your daily steps providing an incentive to get out of the house for a walk with the baby in buggy or sling. It might help get your fitness back up to strength too.
3. Ditch your internet shop
Online shopping is a godsend in the newborn days, but after a while you might actual prefer schlepping to the shops. It helps force you out of the house and means that you might bump into someone you know (and hopefully like…). Failing that you can at least chew the ears off the checkout staff… or cry, depending on much sleep you’ve had…
4. Organise a Mush mums meet up
Depending on the weather, this could be in your local park or coffee shop. It’s the perfect way to meet local friends in the same position and you never know, you might make a new best mate out of it (or your baby will…).
5. Check out your local park
At just a few months old your baby is still too young to enjoy a ride on the swing or slide, but having a walk around the park – or giving them a roll on a picnic blanket when the weather’s up to it – will give you a decent dose of fresh air, which has been proven to help you digest food more effectively, improve blood pressure and heart rate and strengthen the immune system. Chances are you’ll probably bump into an army of other new mums who are doing just the same too. Solidarity in numbers!
6. Go to the cinema
If your body still isn’t ready for too much exercise, going to a baby-friendly screening at the cinema is a great way to meet like-minded new mums. Most cinemas offer baby screenings of films during the daytime and buggies are usually welcome, the lights are dimmed slightly and the noise isn’t as loud as normal. If you can put up with a cacophony of babies in the background you might even enjoy the film
7. Go back to work
Not properly! Just arrange to pop in and see your work colleagues for a coffee or lunch. It might feel like the most daunting task in the world, the thought of your pre and post baby words colliding. And your body might not feel back to normal yet. But everyone will be far too busy cooing over your new baby to notice if you’re not quite back to your pre-baby best yet.
8. Get gardening
If you haven’t got a garden you can invest in a window box. Not only can gardening be a good workout, it’s great for your mental health too. You don’t have to be Alan Titchmarsh to enjoy it either. Planting a few bulbs or ripping up some weeds can prove extremely therapeutic. And the good thing is that if the sun’s out your baby can loll on a blanket and have some tummy time, or be wrapped up in their buggy napping if it’s cold (it’s where most of our mums used to shove us, after all…).
9. Go out for a drink
The tiredness can virtually cripple you some days, and the last thing you feel like doing is changing out of your jogging bottoms and facing the real world. But as hard as it might sound, arranging to meet an old mate for a drink one evening could be the best tonic (with gin of course!). You don’t have to be out long, but just putting your pre-baby clothes (the stretchy ones obvs!), slapping on some make-up and seeing an old familiar face will probably reduce you to tears, and then help you to feel like your old self again.