Don’t go it alone
As a new mum, it’s really important to know that you are not alone – far from it! There are an enormous number of groups out there that can offer support, advice and guidance, so take what they have to offer with both hands. At many of these support groups, such as a postnatal group for example, you will meet other mums who will identify with the same experiences at the same time as you. Keep persevering with these groups, even if you don’t feel up to it, and bear in mind it may take a little while to fit in. Often, good long-lasting friendships are forged at mother and baby sessions. If you feel your local group is a little too ‘cliquey’ for your liking, ask your Health Visitor for support on meeting more-like minded mums. You will find a list of some of your local parent and toddler groups and activities in the Family Events Diary and Resources/Links pages on this website.
Get out of the house everyday
Do you dream of the time when you could spontaneously nip out for a pint of milk without a half hour procedure of getting baby, nappies, changing mat, blankets, pram, change of clothes and many other baby necessities ready beforehand? It’s worth knowing those times will return. In the meantime, make sure you get outdoors at least once a day to avoid the mid-afternoon wall-climbing instincts kicking in! Plan your time, go out to meet friends or family for a cup of tea and a chat, take a walk in the local park, go to the swimming pool, or go to an indoor play centre or local attraction. Often local play areas are the most relaxing place for mums as the children are happily distracted, giving mums much needed ‘breathing space’.
Enjoy a stress-free family holiday
If you have a young family, why not take a holiday in the UK? That luggage is easier to bundle into the car than carry onto a plane! Keep essentials like nappies, spare clothes, food and drinks in a separate bag so you don’t have to unpack a suitcase to find something mid-journey. Travelling at night can be a good option, especially for babies who are more likely to sleep through the journey. Find out what equipment your accommodation might offer, such as a cot and a highchair, and pack only what you really need in travel friendly quantities to save taking too much. Check out the Farm and Cottage Holiday’s range of family friendly holiday cottages throughout the West Country at www.holidaycottages.co.uk Enjoy your holiday!
Rediscover your identity
The role of ‘mum’ is very much a selfless one. All too often, a mum will neglect her own needs by putting everyone else’s needs first. Ok, this may be suitable for a while, but there comes a time when everyone needs a bit of guilt-free, me-time – mums included! Without breathing space, stress levels can go through the roof with the ongoing mundane multi-tasking rituals that are repeated day after day. So, plan some time - just for you. Feed your mind with a hobby or activity that is totally non-child orientated, take up a sport to re-boot those feel good endorphins or escape to the country for a long, leisurely adult-paced walk! For childcare, ask a friend or family member to help, or join a babysitting circle or set up a regular reciprocal arrangement with another mum. Planning some ‘me-time’ can really lift a new mum’s spirits.
Dance for the mind, body and soul
If you are looking for a new and exciting challenge why not try dancing? Not only is it a great form of exercise but it is excellent for the brain as well, making it an all-round good activity for mind, body and soul. The well-established June Bealey Dance School in Exeter, offers many classes for adults and children in Ballet, Tap, Ballroom, Freestyle, Cheerleading and Line Dancing. Classes are designed for different age groups and levels and work on a ‘Pay-as-you-go’ basis. To find out more go to www.junebealeyschoolofdancing.co.uk or call 01392 274493 or 07715 090493 or 07747 010573
Every new mum deserves a massage
Few mums have time for a massage, especially with a newborn, but post natal massage can be very helpful to new mums, both physically and emotionally. Physically, pregnancy and childbirth puts your muscles under a huge amount of stress, and massage can help restore their condition. Massage can also help relieve any shoulder and neck pain caused by carrying and feeding your baby. Emotionally, post natal massage can help reduce stress, anxiety and post natal depression, enabling you to enjoy those precious first weeks and months just that little bit more. A massage can be carried out within a few days of a normal birth and will be specifically tailored to your needs and comfort at that time. Although it provides you with badly needed “me-time”, at Holistic Therapies you are welcome to take your baby with you if you’d like to. For more information or a free initial consultation, call Lisa Tate from Holistic Therapies on 07561 519344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.lisatatetherapies.co.uk
Enjoy a pamper, a spot of shopping and a creative experience
When you visit the all-new China Blue store in Totnes, there will be even more exciting attractions to entertain and excite new mums. You can still treat yourself to a creative experience at the ceramic studio and you can now be even more inspired by craft workshops and a Blown Glass Studio. And for a spot of well-deserved self-indulgence you’ll also find Blue Hair Studio and a design-led home interiors store packed full of gifts ideas and home accessories at the same site. After all that shopping and creating, take the weight off your feet and treat yourself to a healthy slice of cake at the conservatory café. You will find China Blue at Station Road in Totnes. For details call 01803 860983 or go to www.china-blue.co.uk