Q: After giving up a well-paid career to raise our baby, I'm struggling. Most friends don't have babies yet and no one around me is at home during the day. What do other mothers do? Our baby is six month old and I want to enjoy the rest of my maternity leave rather than feel bored and unfulfilled.
The change from full-time paid work to a stay-at-home mum taking care of a baby is quite a difference. The difference is so much harder if you don’t have friends going through the same experience and suddenly all your friends are at work during the day and only available on weekends. Often what you crave is adult company and other conversation – like talking about non baby related topics. You start to feel socially isolated.
Firstly, I’d start to find a mother’s group that you feel comfortable with, there are all kinds of mothers groups, from groups who meet at the local park, to those who meet at each others houses, some go to different parks every week. Try a few different ones until you find one you feel you fit into. Next I’d add some exercise into your day, lots of mums start the day by walking along the strand, river or many other fabulous walks that we have, join in, there is even organized groups of mums with prams that meet and walk/exercise together this is a great way to meet other mums. There is yoga and gyms that cater for mums and provide sitters for your baby.
When the weather is warmer the swimming spots, like waterparks, riverway etc are really popular. If you are feeling lost, l often suggest to mums I see in my office to write up a routine and put it on the fridge, just like a routine you had at work. Make sure it has inside and outside time, rest time, exercise, playtime with your baby, mothers groups, visiting friends. There is also lots of little groups that you can join with your baby, my recommendation is Gymbaroo. You can find music groups, massage, swimming many more. Pop into the Early Years shop on Fulham Rd they have information on all that is available in townsville. Also head along to the nearest local library, find some books and join in on the free story time they have.
Being a mum and being at home is a different lifestyle to rushing around doing a million things at work. The fulfilment comes once you fill in your days with a routine, make some new friends who are going through the same life stage you now are. If you are still struggling lots of mums I see find it extremely helpful to talk to a psychologist to work out what is missing in your life and how to make it more fulfilling. Start by planning your week, as I suggested and joining in some local groups, social contact is probably really whats missing in your days. You will find, most mums here are really friendly and starting a conversation is easy as you have your baby in common to start.