There’s no question that life as a new mum (whether it’s your first time around or not) is a period of all-consuming busyness. There are a million and one things to focus on. So whether you’re getting your older kids adjusted to the change, healing your body, or dealing with a fussy eater, it’s completely understandable that socialising and seeing friends can drop to the bottom of your list of priorities.
This is ok—it’s important to focus on your new baby as much as possible and take time to get settled into the new normal of being a new mum. However, it should be noted that loneliness and isolation are two feelings often reported by new mothers, although it might not be an issue that’s talked about much. One survey of new UK mums found 90% felt lonely since having children while 54% felt friendless after giving birth.
These statistics are stark reminders that while motherhood is a beautiful thing, it does have its ups and downs, and these are important to acknowledge and address. Socialising as a new mum can be challenging, but it’s also important. Read on for some tips on how to make it a little bit easier.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for What You Need
New parents often report finding it difficult to reach out and ask for help. But sometimes, this is exactly what you need to do. If you feel like you want your partner, your parent, or a friend to watch your baby for a while so that you can have a coffee with some friends, don’t be afraid to do so.
Similarly, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends to socialise if they haven’t been reaching out to you. Your friends are likely giving you space to settle into your role as a new mum and trying not to overstep any boundaries. If you reach out to them and state your desire to see them, there’s every chance they’ll be happy to oblige.
2. Talk to Other Mums
One issue that many new mums cite is that their friends don’t have children, and they feel like they won’t be able to understand what they’re feeling or going through. This is understandable. But it’s important to remember that if you’re at a different life stage than most of your friends it’s nobody’s fault.
What you can do in this situation is to seek out other mums to speak and connect with. If you don’t know any already, there are classes you can join, and even support groups for new mums you can tap into.
Part of what contributes to the isolation that many new parents experience is that they don’t think anyone can relate to how they are feeling. For this reason, speaking with and sharing your experiences with mums who have gone through similar situations can help you to feel less alone. It’s also worth noting that even if your friends can’t necessarily empathise with your situation, they will probably be more than happy to listen to you and share in your joy, pain and frustrations.
3. Try Attending a Class
Striking up friendships with mums—or anyone for that matter—organically can be tricky. Especially if you’re an introverted type of person. In cases like this, starting a class can be a big help.
There are a number of different classes or courses you may want to try. You can start an exercise class to get back into the swing of things after giving birth. Or do something practical like a baby and toddler first aid course.
Whatever type of class you choose to attend, these are easy ways to get to know new mothers and strike up conversations and friendships and in a natural way that doesn’t feel forced or awkward. If you’re still nervous or unsure, try having your partner or a friend come with you, at least the first few times. This will also give you chance to spend some quality time together.
4. Accept and Embrace Change
You already knew that your life was going to be completely turned upside down in the most wonderful way after you gave birth. But if you’ve never experienced it before, nothing can truly prepare you for what a big change new motherhood really is. You won’t be able to socialise exactly as you used to before you gave birth—and that’s ok.
This is a big change, and the first step toward adapting to it is to accept it. Then, you can figure out ways to make your social life fit into your new existence, not the other way around. You should be aware that you won’t be able to do things spontaneously anymore, and you should let your friends know this too.
Once you’ve communicated clearly to them about your wishes and limitations regarding getting together and socialising, you’ll all be much better equipped to make plans that you’ll all be able to keep. Your friends will most likely happily adapt to your new schedule, you just need to let them know what that is.
5. Get Out of the House
Having to stay at home with your new baby all day every day is another factor that contributes to feelings of loneliness and isolation for new mums. Of course, it’s a treat to be able to spend so much bonding time with your baby. But being stuck inside 24/7 would make anyone go a little stir crazy.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to try to get out of the house as much as possible. Yes, it may be much easier to have friends come to you rather than the other way around, but you should switch things up from time to time. Go for walks in the park, grab coffee at a local cafe, or pop round to their house for a change.
Socialising as a New Mum: Top Tips
As a new mum, your priority is always going to be your baby, but to be the best mother you can be, you’ve got to look after yourself, too. Make a conscious effort to socialise, and employ the above tips to keep feelings of loneliness at bay. If you’d like some quality time with your little one before he or she arrives, you can book in for a scan with us today.