I know how hard it is to get out of the house. Even after 13-plus years of being a parent and honing the morning routine, I experience many days when getting myself and everyone else out the door is a stressful, last-minute rush.
With a newborn, getting out of the house can be even more difficult. I remember the days when every step toward the door seemed to be blocked by another obstacle: a diaper change, a hungry baby, or just plain inertia (I can’t get up off the couch).
I remember too, how great it felt to arrive at my destination, especially when the destination was a group of moms in situations similar to mine. My oldest son was only three weeks old the first time I ventured out to a new moms’ group. I probably arrived late and I know I spent most of the time nursing. But I had my first encounter with a wonderful group of women who remain my friends to this day.
When I visit new parents postpartum and find them alone in their homes, I worry. You shouldn’t attempt parenthood on your own. Even if you’re capable of meeting your basic needs for food and sleep, becoming a parent–especially for the first time–cries out for community.
The Bay Area is blessed with many ways to build this community. Numerous city-based mother’s clubs, parent centers like Blossom Birth and Harmony Birth, hospital-based support groups, and gatherings like Peninsula Birth Companions’ Drop-In Breastfeeding Support group can give you a destination and a nudge out the door.
Yes, blogs can connect you with anyone anywhere anytime and YouTube and Skype are great. But there’s still no substitute for communing with an actual, in-the-flesh human being. Until women start having virtual babies, it will be worth the effort to get yourself and your little one out into the world, no matter how challenging it might seem.