My little one was born in September which means that I didn’t venture out of the house for almost 6 months for fear of him getting the flu or RSV. I literally thought I was going to lose my mind those first 6 months, but then spring came. Oh joyous spring. Flowers blooming, birds chirping, and sunny days. I had big plans for me and Baby J.
We were going to go to the park, story time at the library, run errands, take regular walks, and all sorts of wonderful supermom things. Then reality set in: he was only 6 months old and his wake time was still short. Not to mention that he was not a great sleeper so I tried to make sure naps were on time and in his crib. This just added to my frustration because I desperately needed adult interaction. So I started to put a plan into action of manageable outings that maximized fun and minimized stress. Here are some tips to help you do the same.
Find a Mommy group – Check online for mommy groups in your area. Places like meetup.com or the bulletin board at your local community center are good spots to start. Find a group that has babies about the same age as yours and holds events that interest you and work for your schedule.
Join the library – You might be surprised to find that many local libraries hold a story time for infants as well as older kids. If your closest library has one that interferes with nap time then look at the other libraries in your area. It is likely that you will find one that works for your schedule and isn’t too far away. This is also a great way to meet other moms!
Make a standing date – Whether it’s weekly or monthly, it doesn’t matter. The idea is to just have something regular that you can count on and look forward to. I currently have 2 standing dates, both at lunch time because that is what works for Baby J’s schedule.
Meet Dad for lunch – If your significant other doesn’t work too far away, try to meet for lunch occasionally. You will enjoy getting out and Dad will likely enjoy the rare opportunity to see his little one in the middle of the day.
Pack and plan ahead – Make sure you pack your diaper bag ahead of time. There is nothing more stressful than running around at the last minute and then realizing you forgot something when you get to your destination. You will also want to work out your plans ahead of time. This way you have time to plan your day around getting out of the house at a certain time.
Be flexible – Every once in a while we are late to our standing lunch date because Baby J decides to take an extra long nap. No sweat! That is why we have cell phones. I simply call and let them know that Baby J is still asleep and that I will call when we leave. I then make sure the car is loaded and ready to go. As soon as Baby J gets up, I quickly change his diaper, grab a clean pacifier and we are off!
Staying at home with a little one is as wonderful and rewarding as it can be exhausting and isolating. Take things one day at a time and try to make a plan for the next day. Pretty soon you will find yourself with a full social calendar and will feel like an expert at preparing for outings with your little one.
Stephanie grew up, and currently lives, in Upstate New York. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business and a Minor in Computer Science. After college she married her high school sweetheart and settled into life in her hometown. A number of years later, Baby J came along and completed their happy family. After working for over 7 years in Tax and Information Technology, Stephanie is enjoying spending time with her infant after being recently downsized.
While Baby J takes up a lot of time, Stephanie enjoys cooking and gardening whenever she gets a spare moment. She also loves to travel and looks forward to all the adventures ahead with her family.
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