Nobody told me that when I become a new Mum that it would be quite a lonely gig. I got a shock that the expectation of spending the Sydney winter snuggling on the couch with my new little human did not make me feel as "blessed" as everyone depicted the picture to be. Reality is once the steady flow of visitors diminished and my husband returned to work I suddenly found myself feeling alone...very alone ( which is crazy huh considering I had a new little baby consuming 24 hours of my day).
The fact is that I was never alone and neither are you. The great thing about Sydney is there is such a long list of activities to fend off isolation it’s just a matter of owing it to yourself to make your mental health your priority early on. Below are a few activities that personally helped pull me through some of the harder days.
Go to your Mothers Group Meet-ups - Try to get to a local meet up at least once a week no matter how socially awkward and exhausted you are or how much your baby hates the car seat, pram or how loud your baby is screaming. All of the other mothers get it...Guaranteed! I made the mistake of not attending mothers group when I had family and friends visiting...guess who was back to feeling like I was the only one going through this parenting journey when the visitors left Sydney.
Join your Sydney Mama Tribe group on face book- These groups are split into 7 sub groups to make meet ups and local connections with other Mums in your area. Simply type Mama Tribe Sydney into the face book search engine and the 7 different subgroups will pop up. Join the group based on your location e.g. Northern beaches Sydney.
Baby and Toddler Rhyme Time at the Library- This is a free activity designed for Children less than 3 years old and held at libraries around Sydney. As well as music being a feel good activity to bond with your little one it's also another chance to be surrounded by other Mums in your area. Check your local libraries' website for session times.
Playgroups- Playgroups are such a good place to sit back and feel like you are not alone because you aren't... You are surrounded by parents and children with the same intention as yourself... to get out of the house and be around other humans! The great thing is we are spoilt for choice as there are so many playgroups throughout Sydney. I started taking my daughter at 4 months old and although she couldn't exactly play she loved to just watch the other children. Search on your local council website for your nearest playgroup or alternatively ask your mothers group.
Get out of the house at least once a day- Pop the baby in the carrier or pram and invest in a 10 minute walk or better yet incorporate your walk into also grabbing a coffee. It’s amazing that such a simple activity can make such a positive difference to your day. The housework can wait. You can download the ‘Hey You’ app that enables you to order your coffee in advance and have it waiting for you when you arrive. You can also check out Little Munch. This website lists child friendly cafes in Sydney and beyond – tried and tested by a mother of 2.
"Self Love Sunday" - It doesn’t need to be a Sunday, you can call it what you like. This might be nothing but a farfetched dream in the very early days when your baby is feeding ALL the time. I found around the 4 month mark was a good time to start leaving my daughter with my husband to go out and do something that made me remember my pre kid identity. You can check out www.timeout.com/sydney for the "What's on" in your area. Definitely do not take any mother’s guilt out with you on this one.. self care is important to your health!