30 March 2015

Self-inflicted House Arrest

Here are two of Miranda's favorite play date 
friends, Kan and Harshani.
I'm going to be honest here. Having a newborn for the first time feels a little like self-inflicted house arrest for a couple months. There are no rules saying that you can't get out of the house, but all the crazy changes in life and hormones take a toll on you, and sometimes getting out of the house just seems like more trouble than it's worth.

Needless to say, I had a really hard time getting out of the house when Miranda was first born. For me, I was terrified of breastfeeding in public, and since the baby's gotta eat, many times I would just choose to stay home. However, when I started grad school, I had to get over my fears pretty quickly since Lorin and I took Miranda to school every day, and we would shuffle her back and forth between classes. Oh man. Those were stressful times. Piece of advice: never attend grad school at the same time as your spouse and take your child to school with you every day. Not a good idea. I'm getting stressed out right now just thinking about those times.

I think it was a mix between having a newborn, moving to a completely new place, and going to grad school that made me feel like a couldn't get out. If there was one thing I wish I would have done differently from the beginning, it would be to find other moms right away and make a conscious effort to have play dates.  

Play dates. I didn't even know what those words meant before I had a child, but I am a play date queen now. I NEED play dates like I need water. Yeah, play dates are tons of fun for the kids to get together and get their energy out, but moms need this time just as much. Being able to meet up with a friend or acquaintance and just have another adult to talk to can make such a positive impact on a parent's life, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent and don't have as much adult interaction during the day. I've been able to make some incredible friends through making the effort to get out and go on play dates.

I think it took me about a year after having Miranda before I started warming up to going to play dates on a regular basis. Please, please, please don't be like me and wait so long to connecting with the community of parents around you. Just say, "NO" to self-inflicted house arrest!
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