Staying Social During Lockdownby Jo Townsend
It’s been so tough to stay social this time around with my little one. With my first daughter, I went to an array of groups as well as meeting up with my close friends who had kids. I met some lovely mums at groups who I am friends with still to this day. But this time around it has been a lot harder to get out and about with my daughter- it really sucks. Lockdown has meant a lot more time in when most mums will agree- it's so important to get out and about at least once a day with your child. With my first daughter, I discussed every moment from the first roll to the ins and outs of weaning with my mummy friends at groups. And as well as all the baby chatter, you could talk about other interests to have a moment's break from teething and nappy changes. This time has been a different experience.
Unfortunately with the new tiers and high rate of cases, it’s highly likely we will have to experience a lack of a social life for a few more months yet. However, you don’t have to be lonely during lockdown. There are some ways you can still ensure you are still getting that important natter and support we all need during this tough time.
Form a support bubble
A lot of people are still unaware of this but you are allowed to create a support bubble with another household if you have an under 1. This still stands whether you are in tier 1 or 4. Therefore, if you do have a new baby, you can ensure you get the social time you need by joining up with your family or friends. You can then see them inside your home, share a dinner with them and even have a sleepover if necessary. Additionally, you can still have a childcare bubble with a different household if you need care for your little ones. You might feel a tad guilty when other friends say they aren't seeing family members but do join up with another household if you do want that support during that tough first year of your little one's life.
Go to a group that is Covid secure
While some groups have not been able to open during the past year, there are still some you can join. They class as a support group for under 5’s so can go ahead as long as they are Covid secure. While you might have to wear masks and stay 2 metres apart, you can still have a chat with a friendly face and let your little one have a change of scenery. I’ve been going to baby sensory which my little one loves and allows me to get a chance to leave the house and mix with other new mums. Once we get to our own mat we can remove the mask and it's a lovely way to spend an hour.
Get chatting online or on apps
There are lots of apps out there which allow you to have a chat with other mums. You can get mush or peanut and find other mums with similar aged kids in the area. Whether you want to talk about your little ones or have a natter about interests, you can still get that chat we all need. There are also other groups online such as on Facebook which you can join. I’m on one which is for lockdown babies which is quite good to get support and advice from other mums. And when all this is over, you might have some new mum friends to meet up with!
Do reach out to your friends/family members
If you are feeling a bit lonely, why not reach out to your friends or family. Just give them a Whatsapp message and It could soon strike up a conversation. They might feel the same way and would love a chat when they have a spare minute. I’m always checking in with my friends and having a natter; definitely a good break from nappies and tantrums.