When new parents bring their brand new baby home from the hospital, family and friends often swoop in for a visit – or several. Caring friends may drop off ready-made meals and gifts. Some family members may stay for an extended period of time to help the exhausted parents adjust to life with a newborn. The extra set(s) of hands can really come in handy, especially when visitors offer to help out with grocery shopping, chores, and errands. Allowing visitors can give new parents a break, and of course – friends and family members can shower the new baby with love.
But eventually, the newness wears off. Friends leave the family alone for longer stretches of time in between visits. Visiting family members have to return home. Pretty soon, it’s just mom, dad, and baby. And while the mom may get to stay home on maternity leave for awhile, the dad probably isn’t so lucky. That leaves mom all by herself – with just baby to keep her company!
But let’s face it. Newborn babies - although precious and cute and just made for snuggling – are really boring. They are sleeping, eating, pooping machines, and that’s about it for the first few weeks of their lives. Newborns will sleep up to 16 or 17 hours a day! A lot of new moms are shocked to find out that life with their new baby is kind of dull and repetitive. (Still wonderful and happy, but definitely repetitive!) So what’s a mom to do when she’s stuck home by herself with a snoozing baby? Here are some ways for new moms to get people to come visit, when they’re craving some company but don’t want to leave the house!
13 Let's Do Brunch!
If you have mom friends who also have little ones, you can invite them over for a weekend baby brunch or playdate! The little ones can nap and interact with mom and other babies. Older kids can play together around the house.
The moms can enjoy a simple but nice brunch without having to go anywhere besides your house! If it’s a bunch of moms who stay at home, you can do this pretty much any day of the week. For working moms, you can schedule regular brunch dates on the weekend. Think of the girls from Sex and the City… only they all have kids!
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Buy some bagels and cream cheese, coffee cake, fruit, juice, and coffee, and you’re done. Maybe even make some mimosas if you’re feeling fancy. Bonus points if you can somehow manage to get the babes napping simultaneously! Then everybody can really relax!
12 Girls’ Night In
Plan a girls’ night in. Invite a kid-less friend or two over for a night of spa treatments, mani-pedis, and girl talk. Make it super low-key, but fun. You’ll get to see some faces from “the outside” and your friends will probably welcome the chance to finally catch up with you.
Your friends probably miss you just as much as you miss them. Your life has changed dramatically with the birth of your baby, and so the way your friends perceive you has probably shifted, too. You’re not exactly the girl who used to dance on the bar after two Jager Bombs. You’re a mom, now, and that’s how they see you. It can be hard for old friends to figure out where exactly they fit into your new life with baby. Try to make it easy on them and let them know that you’re still available to hang out… it just might require some earlier nights and a little more planning now that you might need to arrange for a babysitter. In the meantime, see if they can just come to you.
11 Casual Catch Up
Another thing you can do? Don’t make plans at all. Just ask someone to come over for a visit. Just so you can see a different face. Just so you can have some grown-up conversation. Just ask someone to come over, sit and talk. Have some coffee or snacks ready, but that’s it. Sure, you might have to nurse or change some diapers, but whatever you do, don’t let having a baby make you feel like it’s the only thing you have time for. You are allowed to visit with friends. You are allowed to make plans. You need to have that contact with the outside world. You’re a mom, not a hermit.
What you don’t need is to worry about how you look or what your house looks like. Your friends will understand if you have a laundry basket sitting next to the couch or if your sink is full of dirty dishes because you haven’t been able to empty the dishwasher yet. In fact, maybe they’ll even offer to give you a hand.
Back in the old days, maybe your idea of bingeing with a girlfriend was staying out until three a.m. and drinking your face off. Or maybe the two of you would sit on the couch and split a half gallon of ice cream. Nowadays, one good way to guarantee a decent chunk of friend-time is to plan a binge of the Netflix or Hulu variety.
Make sure everybody’s caught up on the series or choose a series that’s brand new to both of you. You can still keep an eye on your baby and nurse and change diapers – with Scandal or Bloodline playing in the background. Your friend may even want get a dose of baby love and snuggle your baby while you watch.
You and the baby get to have a visit, you can get caught up on your shows so you know what everybody’s Tweeting about, and you don’t even have to leave the house!
9 Host A Playdate
When the babies get a little older, it’s time to start with the socializing. Having a regular playdate group is a great way to get the babies used to faces old and new. It’s also a great way for moms to make friends, catch up, share advice, and get out of the house.
You don’t really need much to host a successful playdate. Parents bring their babies and maybe a few toys, and that’s it. The kids can practice tummy time and babbling to each other while the moms get to chit-chat.
While it’s super convenient for you to host playdates at your house – everybody just comes to your place to hang out and you don’t have to schlep your baby, diaper bag, toys, car seat, or stroller anywhere – it’s probably a good idea to rotate to different houses so that all the moms in your group can have a break.
8 Exercise Together
It might not be the most fun way to spend time with a friend, but maybe it’s something you both want to work on. See if you can find a friend with a schedule similar to yours who might be interested in working out with you. I’m not talking signing up for Zumba classes or joining Gold’s Gym. I just mean getting out of the house and getting moving!
Just call up a friend and make plans to go for a walk. You can wear your baby in a carrier or push him in a stroller. Your walk can include a stop at Starbucks to sit down and chat, or you can just keep on movin’.
Whether you’re trying to lose some of the post-baby weight or you’re just trying to get out of the house on the regular, having a buddy to do it with might help keep you motivated to stick with your plan.
7 Happy Holidays
The holidays are a great time to get your friends together, especially if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen some people. Invite your mom friends and their kids over for a baby Halloween costume party – an awesome way to get lots of cute photos of your little ones all dressed up! (And a way to try out that costume before the big day!) Host a small Friendsgiving celebration – have people over to share all those Thanksgiving leftovers. Get your supplies together and have friends come over to wrap gifts together after everyone is done with their crazy Black Friday shopping! (Or, if you’re like me, until all of the Amazon boxes have arrived on your doorstep!) Organize a holiday cookie exchange or a Secret Santa gift swap… for the babies!
These are all easy ways to include friends in the holiday fun. You don’t have to do a lot to plan these activities, and you don’t even have to leave your home – or your baby!
6 Start A Book Club
A book club is a fantastic way to plan regular visits with friends. Plus, it gives you something to focus on during your downtime away from baby, and it gives you something to look forward to! You’ve probably got some time on your hands when baby doesn’t need you – naptime, bedtime, when you take a bath or before you go to bed at night… So find out who’s interested, ask around for some book recommendations, pick a date to finish the book (or part of it) and decide when you’re going to meet up. Then start reading!
Sure, the purpose of a book club is to discuss the book, but once that’s done and out of the way, you can move on to other things – like what everybody’s been up to and how things are going in their lives. And with your baby right there with you, everybody can ooh and ahh over how much your little one has grown since the last time they saw him!
5 Be Couch Potatoes
A TV club would be similar to a book club, but rather than reading the latest bestseller by a certain date, you’re just meeting up every week to watch your favorite show(s) with your friends and fellow couch potatoes. How easy is that? Some girlfriends and I used to do this every Sunday night when True Blood was on HBO. We always spent time together during the week – going out to dinner, shopping, doing crafts, things like that… but when Sundays rolled around, we all ended up at one friend’s house to watch True Blood.
That way, you can gawk over the twists and turns with your friends (and your baby, of course!) and you don’t have to text or call each other to share your surprise at how the show ends. And more importantly – you’re getting some regular one-on-one time with a friend. You’ll just have to find something else to do when the season ends and the show goes into reruns!
4 Get Crafty
Remember several years ago when scrapbooking was all the rage? People would host parties - like Tupperware parties, but for scrapbooking supplies - where you could design a scrapbook page and then buy tons of scrapbooking supplies like stickers, special scissors, and fancy paper.
As a mom, you know you’re dying to dabble in some of those Pinterest kid crafts you’ve seen. Maybe you really do want to work on your baby scrapbook, or at least get all those photos under control. Maybe you’re looking for something to do with all the empty baby food jars you’ve been saving for some reason. Maybe you’ve got a friend who would love to come over and get crafty with you!
If you do, there’s no reason why you couldn’t host your own “paint night” at your house. Get some canvases at a craft store, buy some paints and brushes, and have at it. You don’t have to be a master artist. You just need the supplies. It’ll give you and a friend something to do – and you’ll have a memento from the evening.
3 Get Cookin'
Have you ever seen any blogs or Pinterest pages for people who do all their grocery shopping, meal planning, and prepping all at once? It is an amazing way to get a lot of work done in the kitchen! Sure, it might take a lot of time, but who wouldn’t want to knock out several dinners in one day?
All you need to do is get a friend who’s interested in meal prepping. You can split groceries, buy your own groceries, or swap and trade meals. You do all of your prepping at once – all of your chopping, browning, and marinating. Some meals you simply freeze in a bag to thaw out and cook later. Others you cook all at once and freeze to eat some other time.
You know what else this would work great for? Baby food. If you have a mom friend who’s interested in making baby food, the two of you could get together. Teaming up, you could make a ton of baby food in one day. Then all you have to do is freeze it and thaw it when you need it!
2 Ain't Too Proud To Beg
Of course, a lot of these ideas do involve some sort of planning. If you’re asking people to come over, as a hostess, it’s probably a good idea to have something for your visitors – whether it’s snacks, coffee, drinks, or a meal.
These are all perfectly acceptable ways to get people to come over. I’m not talking about bribes. I’m talking about inviting someone over to enjoy an activity or some food and drink – and your company. And your baby’s company. C’mon, babies are cute, but they’re boring, remember?
But if you aren’t crafty, if you’re way behind on all of your favorite shows, if you feel like you’d rather catch up on sleep than read a book… you still need to socialize. You still need to have visitors. You still need to take care of yourself and make sure that you’re getting out and about… and if you don’t feel like going anywhere, then you really should see if you can get someone to come to you once in awhile.
1 "While You're Here, Would You Mind...?"
While your friends may be coming over to spend time with you, they probably won’t be able to resist spending some quality time with your little one. Having your friend visit with the baby is your opportunity to take advantage of some baby-free time, however short that time may be. While your friend is cuddling up with the little one, use that time wisely! Ask your friend if they would mind holding the baby for a little while longer, and then hurry up and get to work! Fold that laundry and get it put away. Get the dishwasher started. Run the vacuum cleaner.
An even better way to spend that no-baby time? How about taking some time for yourself? Take an extra-long shower. Enjoy it. Savor it. Shave your legs, deep condition your hair. Put your feet up and relax for a little while. Then, once you’re feeling refreshed, get ready to socialize!