… because clearly I am an expert at this point! But I thought I’d share my experience thus far, as a naturally introverted person spending most of my days with someone with whom I can’t really interact at this point.
He can’t have a conversation with me, but he can smile at me!
Before having a baby, I used to hear how isolating it can be to stay home with your children. And now that I’m experiencing it myself, I know it can be true. I’ve had many days where the only other adult I talk to is the guy behind the counter at the post office — or even just Steve. And for me personally, that’s fine once in a while. (Probably more often than it should be.) But one thing I don’t want to do now that I’m a stay-at-home mom is find myself at the end of a week in which my sole company has been my son and my husband. It’s really easy to allow that to happen — for one thing, getting out of the house is much more complicated now than it ever has been! — so I want to make sure it doesn’t.
The thing is, though, that takes effort! And for someone who’s naturally reserved and perfectly happy pursuing solitary hobbies, it can feel like a lot of effort. I’m not one for small talk, and a lot of social interaction can leave me feeling drained, something I try to avoid these days.
Will doesn’t, though.
But it is so important to maintain — and even build — my network of friends. So I’m making sure to stay connected to people even when it doesn’t come naturally to me, even when I’m tired and overwhelmed.
One way I stay connected with people is through the magic of technology. Thanks to my iPad — which I use to track Will’s eating and sleeping, meaning it follows us around the house all day — I can continue emailing my friends and keeping up with facebook and blogs. While it can’t replace face time with other people, it goes a long way toward helping me feel much less isolated when I know what’s going on in my friends’ lives.
Another thing that I want to do later on is join some regular weekly activities. My church hosts a women’s Bible study on Wednesday mornings (complete with child care!) that I’m planning on joining this fall, as well as a mommy-and-me music class. (I am really hoping Will inherits the Josephson music gene, so I am getting him started early.) I want as many opportunities as possible to not only get some adult conversation every day, but also to meet other moms and get to know them. Being a mom is tough and the more camaraderie I can find, the better — I don’t know how I would have survived these past eight weeks without the wisdom of my more experienced mom friends.
But those don’t start until August — so until then it’s up to me to make sure I get out of the house. Even if our day’s not going well. Even if Will cries. Even if I have spit-up on my shirt.
Do any veteran moms out there (particularly stay-at-home moms) have any advice for me? What helped you to not feel isolated during your baby’s early months?