women

28 to 32 Weeks Pregnant (part 2) - 29 WEEKS PREGNANT - Make New Friends and Keep the Old

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

29 WEEKS PREGNANT

Make New Friends and Keep the Old

This week, you can
• Start making concrete plans for a post-baby social life with other moms
• Be sure your old friends ride the baby wave into your new life with you

PICTURE THIS SCENARIO. It’s six months from now, on a cold, gray, rainy (or snowy!) day. Your baby’s mood seems to match the weather—she’s been fussing for hours. You’ve had your fill of daytime talk shows since about two months ago. You feel like climbing the walls, in fact. Between sobbing bouts, your baby just stares at you and eats her toes—she’s definitely no conversationalist yet.

You’re bored. And it’s just occurred to you that you have no one you can call. All your friends from your “old” life are at work right now. As for other mom friends? Well, you don’t really have any.

Sounds awful, doesn’t it? New motherhood can be wonderful, life-changing, and fascinating. Sometimes, it can also be boring as all get-out. It’s too easy to find yourself stuck at home with only soap opera heroines for friends. Unfortunately, too many moms wait until they’re walloped with the isolation that can be life as a new mother before they try to do something about it. And when the weather’s rotten, you aren’t sure where all the other moms are, you’re sleep-deprived, and maybe you have a touch of the baby blues, it’s not the best time to start the process of seeking out friends and things to do.

This six-months-from-now scenario can look quite different if you start working on setting up your post-motherhood social life while still pregnant. Maybe you’ll send a message to the moms on your local e-mail list, asking if anyone wants to meet up at the coffee shop to chat over a latte. Or perhaps you’ll call that mom you really hit it off with during your childbirth class to check in. The two of you can congratulate each other and have a nice chat. Or if you’re really organized, you’ll know when and where there are a variety of different mom’s groups happening in the area and you’ll be able to say to yourself “Oh, it’s Tuesday at noon—at two o’clock, there’s a La Leche League meeting across town! I think I’ll go.”

If you’ll be returning to work post-baby, don’t just think you’ll pick up your old social life where it left off and everything will be back to “normal.” You’re heading toward a new normal now, and you need to seek out other mom friends. Mothers in your community are a rich resource. Through them, you’ll learn about the best preschools and pediatricians. Other moms have the scoop on different put-baby-tosleep methods and will give you the unvarnished truth about teething and ear infections. If you already have a lot of mom friends at work, you may be covered here. But it can’t hurt to branch out, and it’s best to organize your efforts ahead of time to make the transition to motherhood as easy as possible.

After all, being organized doesn’t just help you find the right place to put your things. It’s also about how you keep track of information and manage your relationships. When you have a baby, your relationships will change. You won’t be able to rely on comfortable old habits for sustaining the friendships you’ve already got. And you’ll have to come up with a plan for nurturing potential friendships as new people enter your life via your child. Knowing where you put the phone number of that mom you met at the playground last week could mean the difference between a long, lonely afternoon and the beginning of a wonderful new friendship. Remembering to schedule in a twicemonthly lunch date with your oldest and dearest friend could mean the difference between a relationship that grows distant as your lives change in different ways and a relationship that weathers and even benefits from those differences and stands the test of time. The choice is yours. Put yourself on the path to strong post-pregnancy friendships now.

NEW FRIENDSHIPS: WHERE DO I FIND THE OTHER MOMS?

One of the biggest questions, of course, is where exactly to track down other moms with whom you can forge a friendship. After all, since the baby isn’t actually here yet, it might look a little odd to show up at Gymboree and start clapping along with “The Wheels on the Bus.” So you may have to get a little creative in order to find and befriend pregnant women and mothers.

If you’re very friendly and outgoing, this may be no problem at all. You’re probably the type who seeks potential buddies everywhere you go, easily striking up conversations and exchanging contact information. But the less bold might crave a more formal venue for getting to know other expecting moms. Here are some ideas:
 
Pregnancy support groups. You’ll find them in most big cities and many smaller ones. They may be run through an organization or church, or may meet informally in someone’s home. Pregnancy support groups give you an opportunity to talk over the ups and downs of pregnancy and impending motherhood with other women in the same place as you. Some possibilities to track down pregnancy support groups:

• Check the catalog of your local YMCA or Parks and Recreation Department
• Ask the owner of the local baby boutique
• Check with your hospital or birth center, yoga studio, health club, or any mom- and baby-related business or organization
• Ask your childbirth instructor, midwife, doctor, or doula
• Look at the bulletin board at your local coffee shop, library, or bookstore
• Search Craigslist or other online venues like mommyandme.com
• Start your own! Let moms in your area know about your group by hanging flyers in local stores and cafes, and posting at Web sites like mommy andme.comand mothering.com. The local library or toy store might let you use their space, or you can rotate the group through participants’ homes.

La Leche League. This is an organization devoted to supporting breastfeeding women, and pregnant women are always welcome. The group meetings can be a great way to make new friends as well as to get information you’ll need to get off to a good start breastfeeding. Check www.llli.org for a searchable directory of groups near you.
 
Mom’s groups. Many of them are especially welcoming to pregnant women and will enjoy the opportunity to help initiate you into the “club” of motherhood. Try Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) at www.mops.org.
 
Social media. Over the past few years there has been a virtual explosion of “mommy blogs” in which women chronicle their adventures and thoughts on motherhood. You’ll also find a rich array of blogs that can help tie you to your premotherhood self, whether your passions include crafting, politics, art, music, cooking, gardening, or any other imaginable topic. Jump in and comment! Soon you’ll find that you’re getting to know other readers and maybe even considering starting a blog of your own. Blogs and other social media, like online forums, Facebook, and Twitter, can provide readymade community whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you to log in . . . there’s no need to drag a baby out on a blustery day. Just be careful: While online community is great, it can’t replace the immediate, hands-on support of in-real-life friends. Don’t forget to get off the computer and go out and find people in your own community (or better yet, use the Internet to help you find them, as my next paragraph will illustrate!).
 
Online. A variety of Web sites help bring together people with similar interests in the same community so they can take their relationships to the third dimension. Try moms.meetup.com and momslikeme.com to get started. You can also search Yahoo! Groups (groups.yahoo.com) and Google Groups (groups.google.com) for mom gatherings in your area.
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