Playdates, parents need them too!
As a new mom, my social life changed dramatically! I was no longer free to stay late a work earning brownie points or to grab a drink with a coworker after a rough shift. With our baby – because we have a healthy caution for leaving our precious child with strangers – my husband and I decided that one of us will be home with her at all times.
The benefits of not using childcare are numerous:
- You get to catch every first
- smile, roll, word and step
- no milestones missed
- It’s easier to breastfeed
- Most working mothers try pumping so that breastmilk is always available for baby
- This is especially true if you want to exclusively breastfeeding (no formula or bottle feeding)
- More bonding and attachment
- It’s awesome how easily comforted babies can be
- Less crying because they feel safe and cared for
- You and your baby will learn to communicate with each other with and without words
- Less colds, infections
- A lot of illnesses that you child will catch will be from other sick, germ-y or recently vaccinated people that are shedding
- And lets not forget that caring for your own child is free
The consequences of not using a babysitter, nanny or daycare center:
- Your free time is limited
- I only have free time when my baby naps or when another caregiver can tag in to give me a break. This might be true for you too.
- You will need an extra hour to prepare to go out
- You’ll need diapers, wipes, baskets, extra clothes, toys, milk, bottles, and snacks
- And each time you go out you’ll need to restock the baby bag
- You will be at home more than ever before
- This might be the hardest to adjust to, especially if you are the outdoors type, a social butterfly, use to being on the go or not satisfied with your own company
- You will start to crave adult conversation
- Especially if you are careful with what you say, listen to and watch while your child is present, you will eventual want to curse, watch a rated R movie, or simply be inappropriate for the sake of it.
While staying home was the right choice for my family, it left me craving adult conversation. I’d have the whole day to plan our weekends in my head. They’d be full of all the things, big and small, that I wasn’t able to do during the week with a baby in tow.
My husband would come home from working at an office and I’d have 101 silly stories and cute moments to share with him about my day with our baby. I would also be desperate for stories about the outside world. How’s the weather? How are your coworkers? What projects are you working on? We’d update each other on family and friends.
Now that our daughter is older and the weather is warmer, I am interested in playdates. Family, friends, coworkers, anyone I know with a child near my daughter’s age is on my radar. With little hesitation, I call people and ask them if they want to play.
While my child is still young, not walking or talking, we still enjoy long walks, people watching, mild activities at the playground like the toddler swings. I am convinced that she is enriched by her days at the playground even if she’s too small to play fully or keep up with bigger children.
I, on the other hand, am regaining my sanity as I talk with other parents. Sometimes, we talk about the children, their latest acquired skill and their current challenges. Mostly, we talk about ourselves and how we’re handling parenthood. There a level of honest that is easy to come to when talking to another parent because they’ve been there or will be there soon enough. The companionship of other parents with little ones is priceless.
What does this have to do with writing? Since I can’t write durning the day, I might as well keep my baby and myself happy by going on new adventures regularly. So, to all the people I have been on playdates with or will go on playdates with in the future, thank you for your company.
What do you think? Comment below!
Welcome to A Book & A Baby.
This is a glimpse of my life as a new mom and writer.
[You might like these other A Book & A Baby blog posts: wild nights, silly voices, how ignorant fantastical things a spiritual experience getting cozy home alone breastfeeding playdates]