When you have kids, they become your world. However, there’s space for more than your family on your planet, and listening to toddler-talk 24/7 can make you forget how to speak standard English.
It’s essential to reconnect with other adults for the sake of your mental health. Here are five tips for reconnecting with friends and getting social after baby.
1. Invite the Kids
A night out on the town is a welcome retreat, but let’s be real for a minute. Few mere mortals have the extra cash to spend, and having kids presents an added expense: the sitter.
However, no one can stop you from mixing and mingling in the privacy of your home, kids and all. There are multiple advantages to doing so, especially in today’s world. You will never know the vaccination status of the other folks at a nightclub, but you probably have a good idea which of your friends have gotten the jab. If you have health concerns or conditions, this information keeps you safer.
Plus, you have all the adults you need in attendance to keep an eye on the littles. You can even get the kids in on the fun. They can play and socialize with their friends while the sun stays up and bed down for a sleepover after lights out.
Once you put the kiddos to bed, you and your tribe can kick back on the couch, drink some wine and catch up on the latest binge-worthy Netflix
2. Plan a Monthly Get Together
Of course, it helps to get together without the kids sometimes, too. You might not be able to do so every week, but can you swing a once-a-month meetup? You could pool resources with your friends to hire a sitter to watch all your kiddos at one place, saving you cash.
Another idea is to go on a daytime excursion. You can often find free camps for kids at popular retail chains. For example, Apple offers a free 3-day, 90-minute coding camp and Michael’s offers Creativity Camps for Kids from 10 am until noon during select summer months for only $2.
While the kids are occupied with their learning fun, you and your friends can grab coffee or tea. You can catch up on all the juiciest gossip bits before the littles return.
3. Use Technology
You might be a bit fatigued from Zoom meetings if you switched to a telecommuting schedule over the pandemic’s course. However, there’s a big difference between FaceTiming with close friends in your pjs and donning a suit jacket and forcing an enthusiastic smile.
Besides, you and your BFF might not live in the same zip code anymore. They don’t suddenly become less important to you when they move away.
How should you connect? Zoom requires you to have an account. However, FaceTime is free if you use Apple products. Google, likewise, offers a Meet space where you can connect for no charge.
4. Combine Your Resources
The world has changed for many. The traditional routes to saving for a home or even a humble annual vacation are out of reach for many workers. There’s nothing wrong with you — it’s simple math. Even raising the minimum wage to $15, as some have proposed, won’t represent a living wage in many areas.
However, you might go farther if you combine your resources. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO allow you to rent an entire home, often for the cost of a hotel room. Can you say “shared vacation?” Think of the multiple advantages of vacationing this way. You’ll always have plenty of adults to keep an extra eye on the littles and pleasant adult conversation so that your entire getaway doesn’t revolve around the kids.
Are you and your tribe like family, anyway? If so, you might even join forces to find affordable housing — and enjoy a closer bond as a result. Buying a home with a friend can offer extra perks to single parents who might otherwise find themselves trapped on a roller coaster of ever-rising rents. They can stabilize their living situations for their families while enjoying a predictable monthly mortgage payment.
5. Try Serial Socializing
What is serial socializing? It refers to a friendship circle where you alternate hosting events at each other’s houses each week. Doing so takes the burden off one person to play the host with the most, complete with cleanup duty, every weekend.
Another perk is that such gatherings are informal. You open your doors at the appointed time. If folks can make it, great. If not, they join you the following week. You might never get the whole gang together at once, but you can meet up with everyone in your circle in a few week’s time.
Reconnecting With Friends After Baby
New parenthood can make you feel more complete. However, you still need adult interaction, perhaps more after you have kids than ever.
Please don’t think you can no longer afford the luxury of friendship. Follow the five tips above to reconnect with friends after having a baby.