Congratulations! You’ve had your new baby, and are headed home to recover and start your new life as a mother. So now that you are officially a member of the Mommy Club, what can you expect? What do you really need as a mommy anyways? Even if you did read all of those books and attended all of the offered classes that you could find, your life will never be the same. So let’s talk openly about how to take those first toddling steps of motherhood towards your new best friends – your very own Mommy Village.
We’ll begin with some easy questions. Who do you want to be in your Mommy Village? Do you still live near where you grew up, and have peers or friends who are also new moms? Or are you new to the area, and looking to make connections and establish roots? Looking at who you want to connect to is important, as these moms will be your go-to for helpful advice, necessary venting sessions and those all important coffee runs. Start with thinking about your three closest friends, and what makes them your BFFs. Looking for those similarities in others will help you to feel most comfortable when you are just starting out.
Now what would you like to do with these new found friends? Maybe you are a fitness enthusiast, and cannot wait to bring little one along for the ride. Perhaps you’re a literary fiend, and enjoy chatting about the latest bestseller’s list. Whatever your passions are, go ahead and be vocal about what interests you. Just because you may be sleep deprived and covered in spit up doesn’t mean that you are invisible. It simply means that your interests need to find their way to the surface, so if you used to love to put your nose to a good book, maybe a monthly book club is just for you. Fitness may allow you to find your way to Baby Boot Camp classes to sweat and regain your shape with other fitness minded moms. Internet searches, MeetUp pages, alumni networks, local new mother support groups and word-of-mouth are great ways to find local resources that will be of interest to you.
Lastly, how often do you think that you can commit to any group -weekly? Monthly? Whatever your time commitment may entail, be sure that flexibility is the key. As a mom, whether this is your first baby, second or third, adjusting to the routine will take some time. Allow yourself the selfishness of forgiveness, and acknowledge that you cannot be all things to all people. There will be times when your family or work commitments will not allow you to regualry tap into that Mommy Village, and that’s ok. As long as the meetings will give you the option to attend when you can and pass when you need to, then you’ll find that balance.
Building a Mommy Village will take some time. Just as it will take time for you to adjust to that new, adorable bundle who needs your everything. Take care of yourself in the Mommy Village when you can, and only then will you be able to enjoy your new role as Mommy.
Guest Post by Kristen Herlihy, LICSW
Kristen is a mom to two very active little ones. Following the birth of her son in 2011, Kristen wanted to regain her fitness and connect with other moms, so she found Baby Boot Camp stroller fitness classes and has not looked back. This mom & baby fitness solution has been the key for Kristen to both connect with other moms and regain fitness. Kristen is AFAA certified as a Personal Fitness Trainer, as well as in Group Exercise, Barre Above by Leslee Bender, a Dr. Sears Certified Health Coach and has extensive ongoing training in Perinatal Fitness.