When I embarked on maternity leave I had three goals: 1) to keep my baby alive, 2) shower once a day and 3) make new mom friends. While too often showering fell by the wayside, I did achieve the whole “baby survival” thing. And thanks to some great groups and programs in San Diego, I managed to check off the friend goal too (I showered before meeting them, I promise).
I’m now seven months into motherhood and the moms I’ve met have kept me afloat. There’s nothing more wonderfully terrifying than being responsible for a new life — and there’s nothing more reassuring than knowing you’re not alone. Our texting chains go on for days, mostly filled with funny anecdotes of unmet milestones and bodily fluids we didn’t think existed. But we also share teething tips, first food experiences and more baby pictures than even my mother can handle. Here are some ways I found friends amid the chaos.
People told me breastfeeding was hard, but boy, was I underprepared. There are breastfeeding support groups all over San Diego — where lactation specialists share tips, positions and most importantly, reassurance. Sharp offers breastfeeding support groups at many hospital locations, in addition to groups geared toward general new-parent concerns.
Story time events
Many local libraries offer great community events for moms. Big kids love story time, but babies can benefit as well. They learn from their older counterparts, and books do wonders for communication skills. Meanwhile, moms gravitate to story time for the chance to throw on their walking shoes, grab a stroller and interact with other adults.
From labor prep to baby sign language, there are classes out there for every age and stage. Check with local baby stores in your neighborhood — some offer seminars on sleep, child CPR and more. At Sharp, baby classes are aplenty — offering you first-hand access to labor and childcare experts and educators across the county.
Even after my doctor’s clearance, exercise post-baby wasn’t top of mind. But there’s no better way to tackle the baby weight, and meet other moms, than joining a baby-themed exercise class. Browse online for groups and boot camps with a stroller focus, or try a yoga class with baby in tow. Sharp offers a range of exercise classes, from before baby to after.
You wouldn’t think of a movie theater as a happening meeting spot, but movies for moms is the exception. A few theaters in San Diego offer kid- and baby-friendly showings, where they lower the sound and up the lights. Between bouts of screaming and actual (gasp!) silence, moms can cluster together and chat. Or sometimes, if you’re as exhausted as I was, sleep.