Thursday, 4 September 2014

Topic Thursday: Having a Social Life and Being a Mummy


Having a social life as a parent is a bit of a confusing area. Everyone is so different and has varying views on what's a healthy amount of solo baby time and time galavanting out and about with friends etc.

This will be a bit of a funny post for me because of the fact I'm living in a new area and in the process of trying to make new friends as well as keep up with old friends in other places.

Never the less I have always been a bit of a social bean. I'm not very good in my own company and even have to be forced off work ill because I hate the thought of being alone at home! Don't get me wrong I enjoy the (very) odd evening of alone time but I love filling up my weeks with social activities with friends. Before I had Isla, and we were living in London, it would be quite normal for me to be busy at least 4 evenings out of 7 a week.

Then we moved........


It's all a bit different when you've a. just had a baby and b. just moved to a new area and aren't working. I'm lucky that i've always made good friends through jobs which have then led me to meet other people too. When you're on maternity leave and in a new area you suddenly realise you're going to have to put yourself out there a lot more to meet people. It takes time and I've often been stuck in our new house desperate to go out and meet literally anyone, just for some conversation. Now, though, I've been along to quite a lot of baby groups and have met some really lovely people in the local area which is fab!

In terms of having a social life as a mummy it depends on two areas:

1. How much time you spend out and about in other people's company with baby

and

2. How much time you spend out and about minus baby with friends

I don't think number 1 is the controversial one because half the time when you're meeting up with friends they are super keen to see baby too but number 2 is the one that can often raise a few eyebrows.

I love taking Isla out and about and whilst I've been at home in Scotland for the past 2 weeks she's been on numerous lunch and dinner dates with my friends and I. I am lucky that she's a pretty well behaved baby and I'm able to do this. I'm obviously aware that not all babies would tolerate being taken out and about to restaurants etc with other adults at the drop of a hat! Rob and I also try to go out for dinner, with Isla, once every week or 2. It's lovely to make the most of the time before she's on the move, when taking her out will be a whole new minefield that I probably won't attempt to do half as much.

In relation to number 2, this is where I may differ a bit from other first time mummies. I adore Isla, I love her to the moon and back and she is my world (have to make that clear!!) but I also enjoy having time to just be me. Not the new mummy me, the old me. The one who loves wine (and numerous other alcoholic beverages...without sounding like a total alchy!!!), good food, interesting adult conversation and a bit of time out. 

Since Isla has been born Rob and I have left her with her Grannie once overnight and probably about 5 times just for the evening. On the other occasions when we are at home in Portsmouth, we have often taken it in turns to go on nights out with friends in London etc whilst the other takes care of Islabobisla. So we have probably been out and about quite a bit more than other new parents. I even went and stayed in London for a weekend and went to a festival with some friends whilst Rob was at home with Isla. We facetimed and whatsapped photos all the time and by Sunday I was desperate to get back to her but at the same time I had such great time and enjoyed myself.

I know it also depends on whether your bottle or breastfeeding as obviously bottle fed babies are able to be fed by others and in turn left with other people a little easier.

I have lots of respect for parents who choose (not that it's a choice really, it's just what you want to do and what you're comfortable with) to stay in a lot more with their babies. In this day and age, it's nice to be able to bend the so-called parenting rules to fit your lifestyle and hopefully not get judged on it. 

I do sometimes feel bad though when I'm sitting in baby groups listening to other mums go 'oh no, I couldn't leave *insert child's name* at all. I had to be forced out the house when they were about 7 months old and hated every minute away from them'. I kind of think 'am I a terrible mother for enjoying my social time away from Isla?!'

At the end of the day, if you are happy and your baby is happy, healthy and thriving then I don't see any harm in a few nights out here and there to enjoy yourself. I'm not talking about abandoning your baby to selfishly party the week away here, all I'm talking about is a healthy balance of baby and mummy time.


After all there isn't anything better than a night on the sofa snuggling with your little one!

6 comments :

  1. Totally in your camp here! Toby was left for the first time when he was 3 weeks old and we managed a short date (ice skating) whilst he stayed with Nanny and Grandad. It is hard because I'm breastfeeding and don't manage to express much, but I'm currently trying freezing as much milk as I can express so that Phil and I can have date nights and I'm planning a cocktail night with my nct friends during which the Daddies will be left in charge! I adore and worship Toby, but when you're a Mummy and a wife, it's easy to forget that you are also, somewhere in there, just 'you' xx

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    1. Oooh a cocktail night sounds amazing, what a fab idea! Hope you have a great time. You sound like you're doing a great job with breastfeeding and getting out and about. Well done you! Thanks for commenting :)

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  2. I am with you on this. I am a mother of two and I feel like I am a better mom if I have (1) time for myself to be with friends or just an hour two have coffee and read a book; and (2) have date nights with my husband. In 2012, my husband and I went to London for a 2 week getaway and it is such a lovely place!
    You need not lose yourself when you are a mom. Try not to feel bad (although I know how tough it is) when you hear or read other moms say that they do not feel the need for those. Each one has her own and at the end of the day, I believe that you can only be a better Mom and wife if you are happy deep inside.


    http://momkatsnotes.com

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    1. Completely agree, well said! Thank you so much for commenting :)

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  3. I'm sure it's important to take time away from yourself. It also helps the baby a bit to be left, it can get them used to not being with you for short periods - as horrid as it can feel to leave them xx #weekendbloghop

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    1. This is so true. I believe it's good for their development and social skills. Thanks for commenting! x

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