Are you drowning in talks about fire trucks and cheerios? Have you forgotten what a normal adult conversation feels like? You are not alone. Just the other day, we had a young single mother walk through our door and was struggling with that exact same problem. She said, “I need to talk to some adults. I don’t ever talk to anyone over 3 years old. I am going to go crazy.” As much as we love our children, it can be very easy to feel isolated from the rest of the world if we only hang out with our kids. Toddlers are a wonderful blend of energy, tantrums, and whimsy that can be exhausting in constant company. So how can you fix this feeling of feeling trapped? We have talked to some new moms who have found some solutions to getting back into the ‘real world’ and finding their old energy again.
One young mom with a 1-year-old and 2-year-old reached out needing some comfort. “I LOVE my boys. That being said, sometimes I feel TOTALLY lost at what I should or shouldn’t be doing, and what I’m doing right. When I do go out for play dates, it feels like I never get to have full conversations.” She goes on to say she just wants someone who can understand this “crazy job of being a mom.” Finding just one other person who is in the same boat as you are can be a huge relief and let you get frustrations off your chest. Do you relate to this?
How are you connecting with other parents?
One new mom talks about how getting out on walks with her littles has been a big help. “I joined a group of other pregnant women that was put on through my doctor and ended up being one of only two first time moms in the whole group. The other mom and I were totally opposite personalities but as we got to talking we found we had a lot in common. Now we take our babies out on walks and can talk about everything from relationship problems, lack of sleep and not fitting into anything except leggings anymore!” Try asking your doctor about resources that can connect you to other moms who have kids around the same age.
Legacy Hospital has a Baby and Me Group available for moms of all ages, nationality and is open to the public. “Finding support from other new parents is valuable with a new baby. You can laugh, cry and learn tips on everything from diaper changing to soothing a fussy baby. There are many topics discussed as you watch your baby develop: baby care, growth, resources, feeding challenges, parenting, returning to work, mother wellness, relationship issues, postpartum adjustments, safety, and sleep. Happy or sad, good day or bad, bring your baby, questions and input.” The first visit is free and then there is a one-time annual registration fee which applies to any Baby and Me Group at all participating locations. The fee ends up amounting to about $2 per class and financial assistance is available to families who would like to attend but are unable to pay.
You can also find like-minded people at MeetUp.com! This awesome resource has local groups to help you meet people in your area and is totally free! You can sign up with Facebook, Google or an email address and find groups spanning everything from art and pottery to outdoor activities. An ENORMOUS part of feeling like yourself again is getting out of the house and back into activities that you loved before baby.
Taking care of yourself
If you can, have a friend or family member take care of the baby so you can connect to people who also love what you love! Do you have a Facebook? Post a quick question to all your Facebook friends and ask who wants to get out on a hike, or start a yoga group in your local park. Anything that can get you out of the house and into your pre-baby self is something worth investing time into.
Here are some additional resources available in the Greater Portland area, including Vancouver and Hillsboro:
Meetup – Search: Moms of Camas and Washougal
Meetup – Search: Hillsboro Mom-Toddler Playdates Group
If you ever feel like you’re going crazy and just need someone to talk to, we are always here. Our local office in Downtown Vancouver is located at 214 E 17th St, Vancouver, WA 98663. Our Main Office number is (360) 694-8156 or you can call anytime After Hours at (800) 550-4900. We want to be a positive support to you in any way we can and want you to know you are not alone.