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HomeFamilyParenting AdviceNew Mom, New Neighborhood, New Life —Good Parenting

New Mom, New Neighborhood, New Life —Good Parenting

Dear Dr. Debbie,

I’m a bit overwhelmed, mostly with fatigue from nighttime feedings with my four-month-old. We moved here a few months before she was born and I was so busy with finishing out work assignments and getting our new home put together that I really didn’t venture out much into the community.

Now that we’re settling into somewhat of a routine – my husband is gone all day at his job, so the babe and I are on our own – I’m feeling the urge to get together with some girlfriends for a nice chat. But they’re all hundreds of miles away. I’ve had a few phone conversations with some “old” friends, but, since no one else has had a baby yet, there’s still something missing.

Can’t Relate

Dear CR,

There’s a new term “matrescence”  to identify the stage of life you find yourself in. On top of moving away from friends and familiar places, and closing out duties in your work role, you have come into a monumental full-time role as the mother of a tiny new person. That’s a lot of change.

But take heart. Your new peer group is anxious to connect with you, too! New motherhood can be very isolating for many reasons. Women’s timespan for first time motherhood stretches from the teens into the early forties, so girlfriends who’ve known each other all their lives are not necessarily sharing this stage at the same time. And as you have experienced, friends up and move. The number of women who stay home after childbirth has dwindled significantly, although stay-at-home dads have increased, resulting in a very small pool of potential like-staged girlfriends who are available during the workweek.

There are a few organized groups in the area for women to find conversation, companionship, and commiseration for this major life transition. Due to the transitory nature of the qualifications to be in these groups, it’s best to check if they’re currently active.

Other suggestions for making some Mom Friends include going to the grocery store closest to your home at the same time each week. Start with a friendly smile. Ask the other mom her baby’s age. When you see each other again, swap names. Then phone numbers to make a “play date” so the babies can nap or nurse side by side while you and the other mom dig into each other’s psyches.

Or pop your wee babe into the stroller and establish a regular route at the same time of day a few times a week, and see who else may be around in your neighborhood or nearby park. A business has incorporated this idea as Stroller Strides, along with other exercise-for-Mom-but-bring-the-baby-along options. If you’re looking to join a religious organization, ask ahead or go in person to see if there are other new parents attending services or other activities. Find your nearest library with a Babies in Bloom activity time and add it to your weekly schedule of outings.

Chesapeake Children’s Museum is another baby-welcoming mom-connecting spot in the Annapolis area. We are about to re-activate the Babies and Toddlers Play Group, Mondays at 9:30 am, starting July 1! Advance registration is appreciated but not required. Weekly topics get the discussion started among the grown-ups while the babies do their thing on the floor or their parents’ laps. You and your little one will fit right in.

Dr. Debbie

Chesapeake Children’s Museum is located at 25 Silopanna Road, Annapolis, MD 21403. Contact: 410-990-1993 or info@theccm.org.

 

Click here for more parenting advice by Debbie Wood.

What do you think? Email your comments or questions to Dr. Debbie at editor[at]chesapeakefamily.com.

 

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