The happy memories I maintain of walking around town with my baby in a soft carrier or sleeping in his stroller all take place during mild weather. Fighting cold, rain and wind with a car seat handle hooked around my elbow? I’ve blocked that out.
Freezing temperatures make leaving the house daunting, but if we don’t make at least one outing each day, we can go crazy. Here are four missions for you to assign yourself and your baby, even in the winter months.
1) The mall. Like, omigod, totally! If there is an indoor shopping complex you can get to, head out. I’m not trying to make you spend money, but if you can get to a place where there is a coffee store and a bookstore under one roof, I think you and your little companion can have a good time. Do a few laps with your stroller. Show baby the trinkets in a gift shop, and leave without buying them.
2) Library. Shhhh, right? Not really. Locate the children’s section — follow the sounds to the noisy part of the library — and find a cozy chair. Read a bunch of board books with your baby, and when he nods off, browse the magazines. Check the schedule to see if they have a weekly baby circle time; most libraries do.
3) A friend’s house. Pack up your diaper bag and camp out at a friend’s house for the afternoon. Order in food and catch up on gossip. Facebook is fun, but nothing is more invigorating than face time with your buddies. Know someone who works from home? Offer to bring her lunch. Even better if you’ve got a buddy who is also on maternity leave.
4) Exercise class. If your gym has childcare, then you already know the drill. If you don’t know this thing of which I speak — The Gym — then google for a postpartum yoga class, the kind where it’s expected that you’ll keep your baby next to you. Seriously, even if you don’t care about yoga, it’s a great place to meet other moms, or at least where you know fussy babies are par for the course.
Do you have your own ideas about where you’ll escape to when you need to get out of the house? We’d love to know what they are.