When you’re a stay at home parent with a child (or children), you start to get lonely even though you’re not physically alone at all.
I’m going to be totally honest and tell you that I’ve fallen into depression a couple of times because I was living in a cocoon.
Home Alone And Miserable
I was helping out part-time with the family business, just shadowing and learning the ropes, when I got pregnant with our first child.
The “morning” sickness hit me real hard, I was throwing up all day and worried I wasn’t keeping anything inside for months.
I ended up trying to work from home on and off but it was too stressful because I was nervous and didn’t know what I was doing and that just made me nauseous to the point where I had to quit because I was wasting their time.
For the entire rest of my pregnancy I was home alone on the couch watching Netflix and trying not to feel sick. I was bored to death but didn’t want to leave the house, I just wanted to sit still and feel decent.
That was the first time I think I fell into a mini depression.
Being a Stay-At-Home Parent In a Cocoon
After reading from all the parenting books and blogs that you shouldn’t take your baby out I kept staying in even after our son was born.
I didn’t have any married friends, I didn’t have any parent friends. The only time I would go out was to buy groceries while my parents or in-laws would watch my baby sleep or a few dinner outings with our family.
It wasn’t until my son was ten months old and I was entering my second trimester with my daughter that my husband had a heart to heart with me and made me realize I was stuck in a cocoon, and so was my child.
I should be taking my son out in the world! He should be learning and socializing with other babies!
I had been so stuck on not getting my newborn too exposed or sick and as the months went by I didn’t know what to do with a baby outside the house so we just stayed in.
Soon after, I was nauseous again from my second pregnancy while having to care for my seven month old baby (yes, they’re close in age). And that nausea lasted for a full four months, so I never wanted to leave and I was miserable.
I was in total denial until my husband pointed it out, but for sure depressed and tired of it.
Beginning The Search
I began an online search for activities for my son’s age because playgrounds weren’t exactly an option yet.
I found the MeetUp website/app which led me to a local group of moms that would get together in parks and the kiddy play area at the mall. THIS changed my life and I had no idea that it was just the beginning.
It was there in that group that I met some of the moms and babies I hang out with on a regular basis and communicate with daily.
"Mom Dating" - Meeting People for the First Time
The first time I went to meet them I was so nervous, I didn’t know if I should just observe from the sidelines or talk about our lives.
And as usual, I couldn’t shut myself up even when I tried.
I didn’t even offer to exchange phone numbers because I didn’t know if I should or if it was too invasive to ask.
I was even concerned they wouldn’t want me to come back because my son was a few months older than the majority, which in baby land makes such a difference!
The babies that day were practicing ‘tummy time’ and learning how to sit up on their own and mine was trying to crawl away and wanting to pull the one baby’s one little hair or the other baby’s full head of hair (baby hair growth is insane).
But I ended up meeting with the group again several times, started to build friendships and become facebook friends with a lot of the other moms- this was a huge deal to me.
I met my husband in college so I didn’t get to experience the insane dating world, but making mom friends is almost like entering the dating pool.
You don’t want to come off to strong but you don’t want to seem creepy either. “Should I friend this person? We barely spoke, I don’t even know if she’ll remember me.”
Sounds like dating right?
After a few months, some of us started meeting at the same place and time every week and the bonds got stronger.
There were a few more “newbies” so I felt like a regular.
Once we realized the moms that were coming regularly had grown to have a strong relationship apart from the much larger MeetUp group, where some of us originally met, we decided to create our own group on Facebook.
Two years later, with a Facebook page for planning and organizing events, from play dates to brunches, playgrounds and splash pads, even some ‘mom night outs,’ multiple times a week, sharing silly stories and giving or asking for advice.
By now there are over twenty of us, with varying ages and stages of life, feeling like a little family of our own.
We support each other and help each other out and that’s how women and parents should be with each other.
If you are lucky enough to have a friend who is also a parent-count your blessings.
If you’re as lucky as me to have a group where you can spontaneously meet up with in a couple hours to get your kids to burn some energy, you’re one lucky mom!
How it's Affected Me
Meeting these moms and being in this group has definitely changed me.
I am much more comfortable and confident on a daily basis and I definitely have my patience levels on check (which are tested alllll the time with kids of any age!).
It makes a huge difference when I don’t go out with my kids at least once a week, I start to become irritated and impatient, and the kids get bored and start acting out.
It is a total win-win!
How it's affected My Kids
My kids have learned to be social, confident, and very verbal.
They made friends at a very young age just from being surrounded by children their age since babies.
Some kids struggle making their first friends once they start school because they’ve only been around adults or strangers.
But when our children are around the same people their age multiple times, they start to develop bonds.
So, now its a win-win-win!
Where should you Start
If you’re expecting, or if you’re like me who didn’t know how to get out there with a baby, don’t be afraid!
Look to Facebook Groups for support and local gatherings (there’s tons).
Check the MeetUP app.
Look up your local libraries for free story time or open play.
Look into your local bookstore (Barnes & Noble has children’s story time on Saturdays).
Look into places near you that have free or paid mommy and me or other baby classes (gymnastics, music, or basic learning).
Or just go to some local playgrounds and start talking to other moms or dads who have kids the same age as yours.
It’s not easy but you have to try, for yourself and for your child!
Good luck mammas, and if you already have those amazing friends, congratulations!
How Did you make Mom Friends?
What Baby & Toddler Activities outside the house do/did you love to take your kids to?
My name is Paula and I’m a mom of two scrumptious cuties. Thanks Mommy Blog became a project for me to help guide other new moms and current moms through any of my own personal experiences and struggles. My hobbies include singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, designing and trying to stay creative.