Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tips on How New Mothers Can Banish Loneliness

One of the biggest problems you face as a new mother is the feeling of being isolated. Perhaps you are accustomed to interacting with others at work or perhaps you have a group of friends you're accustomed to seeing often. Then when you delivered your baby, you were surrounded by friends, family and other visitors.

Now, suddenly, it's just you and your baby. Your visitors have trailed off, your colleagues are busy with their jobs, your friends aren't used to modifying their plans to accommodate a baby, and you are left wondering if you will ever interact with another adult again. The transition from being socially engaged to being alone with your baby can feel overwhelming to a new mother. Sometimes the feelings of isolation can be compounded by other postpartum emotions. You want to be careful to make sure that you don't give in to your loneliness.

Finding a social support group, especially one made up of new moms, will allow you to share experiences and milestones. Additionally, you can seek feedback and affirmation on frustrations or concerns that you have. Even if you just laugh together about your new motherhood experiences, you will build your confidence and relieve stress.

If you don't have success in finding new friends right away, don't despair. Many new mothers are just like you: overwhelmed, busy, and unsure about where to look for support. Be tenacious in your efforts and they will pay off.
You can change feelings of isolation to elation, and loneliness to laugher.

Survival Tip 1
Join a play group. You are not alone in your feelings of solitude. Many new mothers experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. Don't worry; your baby doesn't have to be old enough to "play" in order for you to join a group. If you can't find one in your area, start one yourself.

Survival Tip 2
Start a new hobby. Explore something you've always wanted to try-pottery, painting, joining a walking group or a book club. Not only will you feel better because you're engaging with other adults in your day, but you will also feel more positive about yourself because you are creating something meaningful to you.

Survival Tip 3
Call your friends. Just because it seems as if they are moving on with their lives without you, doesn't mean they won't jump at the chance to have lunch with you or take a walk with you and your new baby. Sometimes taking a little bit of initiative is all it takes to rekindle a relationship.

Survival Tip 4
Volunteer in the nursery at a coop, a "mother's morning out," or in your church. You can keep your baby with you and at the same time socialize with other mothers who are volunteering or picking their children up. Very soon you'll meet women who are mothers, and just like you, they are looking for companionship. If you can't find a group like this, start your own babysitting exchange. You'll be able to have a few hours to yourself at the same time you're meeting new mothers, just like you.

Survival Tip 5
Go to the park. You will not only enjoy the fresh air and the exercise, but you will also meet other mothers who feel just like you do. Be bold and strike up a conversation with another mother. Smile and make eye contact with everyone you meet.

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