1. I’m tired.
2. The baby needs to nap.
There’s a very short window of time in the beginning when babies can sleep anytime and anywhere. There’s no such thing as a schedule yet. Your sanity and social life are more important than that bit of sleep.
3. What if the baby freaks out and cries the whole time?
He might. You’ll be in a room full of moms who have been there and who will offer you nothing but love and support. And there *may* even be a facilitator who loves to hold and soothe crying babies.
4. What if I cry?
5. It’s too cold.
People have babies in Siberia. There are places in the world where people put babies in their pram outside in the cold outside for a nap because it is believed that cold air is good for them. If you stay inside because of cold, you’re going to have long lonely winters for a couple of years. Bundle up and GET OUTSIDE.
6. It’s too hot.
Babies are born at the equator. Your baby previously lived 24/7 in an environment that was 98 degrees. You don’t want to hang out in 100 degree+ weather, but GET OUTSIDE and get where you need to go.
7. It’s raining.
Use an umbrella and wear the baby in a carrier. Or wear a raincoat and push the baby in a stroller with a rain cover. Babies can get wet. You’re MUCH more likely to feel isolated and depressed if you stay home alone with a baby on a rainy day. GET OUTSIDE.
8. I won’t know anyone.
No one knows anyone their first time. Fast forward five years to your little one’s first day of kindergarten. Will you let her stay home because she doesn’t know anyone? Nope. You’ll tell her that she’s got to be brave. You’ll tell her that it’s ok to be nervous and that you KNOW she will make friends and become a part of the community.
9. I’m not a “support group” kind of person.
You need community. Your baby needs community. The new mom group is the foundation from which you’ll build your tribe. Out of the 10 mom in the room, you may meet one that you’ll grab coffee with next week. Then you’ll have each other over and you’ll get to know each other’s spouses. These will become the people you’ll have over for dinner or you’ll go camping with when you’ve got toddlers. They’ll be the emergency contact on your kid’s school forms.
You *may* be super outgoing and have no trouble making friends wherever you go. I know some moms who have built amazing mom communities at the park or in coffee shops. If that’s you: kudos. If you are a little shy or hesitant to make new friends when you’re feeling so vulnerable–GET TO A NEW MOM GROUP.
10. a million more WHAT IF’s…
What if I’m the only one who is breastfeeding? What if I’m the only one who is bottle feeding? What if I’m doing something wrong? What if I don’t know how to get the stroller folded? What if I can’t get the baby to latch? What if I haven’t showered? What if I am doing great and I feel like I’m supposed to be a mess? What if I don’t like anyone? What if no one likes me? What if…
Shhh…breathe…don’t listen to the what-ifs. What is the worst thing that can happen? At WORST, you’ve gotten out of the house and tried something. It is far more likely, though, that you will have planted a seed that will grow into your future community.
If you’re in or near the Astoria, NY community, please join meetup.com/momallyparenting for access to the full calendar of support groups and parent hosted events.