When I gave birth to my daughter, Adeline, my husband had just taken a new job in a new state. A week after Adeline was born, he headed to work and I began a new season of life as a stay-at-home mom. For the first month, I didn’t have a car—and the loneliness was driving me crazy. I needed to get out of the house, but it had to be on foot and the baby had to be with me.
Morning walks became my new best friend. Every morning I’d take my days-old baby for a turn in the fresh air, which was good for both of us. Once I got my car back from the shop, I continued to make a habit of getting out of the house—even when I didn’t always feel like it. I found that heading out for an hour or two does wonders for morale in those difficult few months after a baby is born.
Below are 10 things I personally enjoyed as a new mom—all ideas you can implement as you get out of the house with your brand-new baby!
- Go for a run with your jogging stroller. My jogging stroller was the best baby item we bought. In the early months I strapped the car seat into it and took it for a spin, and once Adeline was old enough to be my jogging partner, I took her for runs at the park. Not only did I get my exercise in, but she got fresh air and we both came home full of vitamin D from the sunshine. Obviously, wait until you’re approved to run by your doctor. Walking is great, too!
- Head to a coffeehouse. Small babies don’t do much more than eat and sleep. A coffee shop can be a great place to relax, write in a journal and enjoy a latte as your baby sleeps in a wrap carrier or her car seat. It’s a low-maintenance, low-energy way to get out in society without putting in too much effort.
- Visit the library. This was a favorite of mine. I spent a lot of time reading when Adeline nursed, so the library was my go-to spot. Much like a coffee shop, you can read magazines and relax, or pick out some new books for the next few weeks at home.
- Go to garage sales. Not all states in the U.S. are big on garage sales. But if you live in an area where they exist, they are a fun way to find great deals on baby items, the next size up in baby clothes or some household needs while taking a leisurely drive or walk in your neighborhood. Just be sure to bring cash!
- Peruse the farmers’ markets. Another favorite during my daughter’s first months, farmers’ markets are a great place to pick up produce and baked goods without going to the grocery store. It’s a much more pleasant experience, and your baby will still get that fresh air that she needs.
- Go for a drive. This sounds simple, but it can be refreshing to your soul—particularly if you have a baby who struggles to fall asleep. Sometimes driving around your neighborhood or into the country is relaxing for both baby and mom.
- Go to the grocery store for fun. This may sound bizarre, but I’ve definitely done it! Most of the time we go to the grocery store in a rush—we have a list, we have a time frame and we want nothing more than to get it done. But sometimes it’s fun to simply peruse the produce aisle, look at new ingredients and consider what recipes you could make with those items. Be sure to have a budget when you go in, though—this one can be dangerous for the wallet!
- Find a walking partner. Earlier I mentioned going for runs or walks with your baby. Another great way to get your exercise in is to find a walking partner—either another mom or someone who will run/walk with you, even at a stroller pace.
- Walk through a greenhouse. A greenhouse is a beautiful place, particularly in the spring. You can head to the garden center at your local hardware store (like Lowe’s) or to a business that exclusively provides landscaping products. Looking at the flowers, smelling the fresh scent of plants and soil, and enjoying the warmth of the greenhouse environment can all do good for a mama’s heart!
- Moms’ groups. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, join a moms’ group! The group I was in when I first had my daughter was instrumental to my growth as a woman, not just as a mom. We need community and connection in seasons with small children—and though it takes effort, it’s always worth it!