Since having Isabella, I honestly think I have a busier social life than I did before. It may not be the drunken, wild kind of social life it once was but it’s fun none the less. The majority of baby groups are super cringey and make you feel like a complete twat but they love them. The first baby group I went to, I felt like a deer in headlights. I hadn’t really done any mum meet ups at that point and I felt so conspicuous as I’m the least mumsy person ever. Everyone was fully going for it with nursery rhymes I’d never even heard before. Turns out there’s a second verse to Jack and Jill… who knew?!
5 months down the line, I am fully experienced at looking like a tit in front of a load of babies. We have now done massage, sensory, water babies and are signed up for messy play soon (my dad very kindly paid for water babies as I couldn’t afford it myself!). We’ve also done a few different post-natal/ baby and toddler groups which have all been good ways of talking to other mums.
It can be hard to meet people you’ve actually got things in common with other than a baby which I haven’t found at many groups yet. I’ve found it can sometimes be a bit cliquey and when you’re by yourself, it’s hard to mingle. When my mum suggested getting back in touch with old friends who have had babies, I was unsure in case they thought it strange. However, that has been one of the best ways I’ve built up my social life and made close friends instead of just ‘mum friends’ (if that makes any sense). People use groups and apps to meet other mums so it makes perfect sense to get back in touch with people you haven’t seen in years.
Whilst I love going to groups as Isabella enjoys looking at the other babies, I’m not that super confident person that finds it easy to talk in front of a big group. When it comes to socialising, I’d much rather meet up 1 on 1 or in a small group. I find it easier to talk that way and have more in depth discussions, where as other people enjoy ’round in a circle’ type set ups. Everyone is different.
To anyone pregnant at the moment, I would definitely recommend going to the antenatal groups. I was really nervous beforehand, knowing I would stick out like a sore thumb being the only person with their mum but it was really beneficial. I’ve met a lovely group from going along to them and we do regular meet ups with the babies. They’re probably all different but they seem to encourage you to exchange numbers and put you into groups so you’re forced to talk to each other. Otherwise I find you turn up to groups, may exchange a few polite words then nothing more comes of it.
I think it’s so important to have mum friends as people who haven’t had babies don’t understand no matter how hard they try. Mum friends even know the right stuff to say to you like ‘wow you’re looking really slim!’ Or ‘I’d never have been able to tell you only had 3 hours sleep!’. It’s not true of course, but I don’t care. Sometimes you just need to hear these things.
I think with a new baby, it’s finding the right balance between being busy but not too busy, as you want time to relax as well and spend quality time just you and them. I love spending time with Isabella just the two of us. We do a lot of floor time and massage just chatting and singing (usually ending up with me being savagely attacked). We’ve also got a zoo membership which I think we’ll use a lot and try to go swimming twice a week. All we need to find now is a nice rich man and I would happily be a stay-at-home mum forever (joking not joking).