As I started putting together ideas for this blog piece, I thought to myself – what does it mean to be a social mum?
Is it Friday drinks with the girls, midday coffees with your mamas group, a solo glass of wine on the phone with your bestie, or is it liking and commenting on social media posts at 2am whilst feeding?
Sometimes as mamas, particularly new mamas, the social side of life can feel a little vacant. At best you might hustle out of the house (babe, bags, nappies & toys in tow), at worst it can be pretty isolating.
I’ve since discovered that there are so many levels and avenues to “being social” depending on your circumstances.
Being social, and not limited to baby friendly outings, is so important for women’s health. This is particularly important in the early stages of mamahood. Those first few months can be challenging, especially if you’ve just had baby number one with no idea what to expect (who does right?!) But the feelings of isolation can be really daunting, especially if you don’t have the confidence to leave the house.
First and foremost, face to face interaction is really important. If you can’t get out of the house in those early stages then get friends and family to visit you ~ explain that the house will be a mess, the baby might cry, you haven’t whipped up any cookies or gotten out of your PJs in a while and you only have instant coffee. A good friend will pick you up some donuts and a strong coffee on the way, and hold the baby while you have a shower.
At some stage though, you’ll need to leave the house. Put on a brave face and just step outside. Yes the baby might cry, yes it might all go to hell, but it probably won’t and you will survive. No, not just survive, you’ll get that little bit stronger and next time it won’t be so hard.
The research tells us
Studies show that social interaction improves our mental and emotional wellbeing, stress levels, mood and improve sleep. Essentially, being social with the right people can help make you a happier person, in and out.
Now as much as sometimes we feel like we’re attached at the hip (or boob) with our kids, it’s also important to have some babe free time. That means calling in favours, flying your parents out from interstate, taking that friend up on their offer.
How to stay social
Head out of the house and interact with someone your own age. Be it dinner, coffee or a quick drink, don’t think, just do it. Don’t let the idea of ruining the routine stress you out or stop you from going. Your wellbeing is just as important as the routine.
For those times when you just can’t get out of the house I’ve discovered an entire world of instamums! They’re awesome!
They’re just regular mamas like you and me, doing it tough, hustling through, having a laugh at life (sometimes) And they get it.
I can’t count the number of stories I’ve read that have left me laughing and screaming at the screen “me too!”
There’s a whole world of supportive mums out there waiting for you to tap in. On that same note though, take Insta with a grain of salt. Don’t get caught up thinking that pictures tell the whole story and that your house or nursery should look like that…mine doesn’t. Read the stories and interact. I’m truly amazed by the number of awesome, down to earth mamas I’ve come in contact with.
So whether it’s face-to-face interaction like a coffee with a friend, or dinner with your partner, or communication in the online world, healthy bouts of social interaction is part of the mamahood journey.