There’s a certain stigma out there for new and expecting moms, that once you are pregnant or have a newborn, suddenly your social life ceases to exist. For some moms this might even be true, to a certain extent. After all, pregnancy and newborns definitely take a lot of energy out of you, to the point that going out and being “social” with friends or family might just be too exhausting of a task.
However, socialization matters, and spending time with your friends and family is an important part of your mental and emotional health—both pre-baby and post-baby. Having children doesn’t mean you or your partner have to give up your social lives. This can be tough when socializing involves alcohol, strenuous activities or even long hours out and about on your feet. How can you focus on getting out of the house with some of these challenges? Luckily, there are fun ways to get out and socialize while pregnant or with a newborn; you just have to be a little bit more creative with it. We have a few ideas to get you started.
First, if your loved ones consistently drink alcohol around you while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with them about trying other activities that don’t involve alcohol. They might not even be aware of how their drinking affects you or makes you feel left out. Consider having dinner at a friend’s house rather than going out and being tempted to drink; spend the day at the park enjoying the weather; or, go for a movie night in or out without alcohol. Other, more unique, ideas for alcohol-free activities include:
- Have a board game tournament.
- Host an alcohol-free grill-out.
- Explore the town together.
- Have a karaoke night.
- Start a book club together.
- Binge watch a Netflix show.
- Take a community art or cooking class.
Have a direct, personal conversation with your friends and come up with some ideas together for things you can do without alcohol. There might still be times that they want to drink while you’re together, but having a conversation will make them more aware and make those times less frequent. If you know others will be drinking in a social situation—e.g. at a movie night in together—then consider bringing your own non-alcoholic beverages with you, such as non-alcoholic wine. This allows you to participate in the environment and still have fun, without feeling left out of the social scene.
Socializing can also be difficult when friends or family members want to do more strenuous activities that you might not be able to do while pregnant, such as intense exercising, hiking or a long amount of time spent outdoors. Offer up some less-intense alternatives, such as light exercises, walking and shortening your time outside. Do fun, less-challenging exercise activities together, like yoga or pilates, so you can get your work out on, while not having to worry about feeling uncomfortable or exhausted.
Of course, sometimes socializing is difficult just from the sheer amount of time spent on your feet or trying to haul a newborn around. Simple things that you used to love could now be extremely challenging, like going to the mall and shopping. Talk with your loved ones and try to find activities you can do together that focus less on walking, and more on time spent sitting and chatting. For instance, go to the mall and shop for a short time, but then enjoy lunch there together. This can be especially helpful for moms with new babies, because you can enjoy socializing with friends, without having to push or haul an entire stroller around for the day.
When it comes to motherhood, socializing as a new or expecting mom can be exceptionally difficult. Your body is exhausted, going out is challenging and fitting in with some activities can be awkward. However, socialization still matters, and it’s still possible for mothers of all seasons! Talk with your friends and family personally about coming up with ideas to do together that don’t involve alcohol, are less strenuous and involve more conversation. Then you’ll feel comfortable, confident and capable to get out and socialize while pregnant.