As wonderful as early motherhood can be, sometimes the days can start to feel a little repetitive. Being restricted by sleep times and your own exhaustion, it can be difficult to find variety in the routine. One mum reached out to Mumsnet asking for suggestions for new activities, or advice on what else she can do each day. And one thing she learnt very quickly – she was not alone.
“DS is nearly 5 months old, our first baby and an absolute joy. He’s always smiling & seems very content with life,” she says. “I just wanted to know what other SAHP do with their babies all day? Some days go really quickly while others seem to drag on forever.”
The daily routine
This mum has certainly been busy trying to finding ways to spend her time but also worries that she should be doing more. “At the moment we go to a baby yoga/exercise class once a week (and do the exercises at home in between), we spend one day a week with my mum, and he goes to PIL’s for an afternoon a week. Every morning I sing him songs with actions (he loves this, but I don’t know how many more repetitions of wheels in the bus I can take!) and if the weather’s good we go out for walks. Is that enough?”
Sometimes she finds she has powered through her list of activities by lunchtime and then finds herself wandering around the house chatting to her baby, even more so since his sleeps are getting shorter.
We all know that ‘what can we do now’ feeling. I remember thinking once, that perhaps I could get the dinner on – but when I looked at the clock it was only 2.20pm. Sometimes those days are very long, particularly when they started in the early hours of the morning (or night as the case may be).
Fortunately for this mum, the response on Mumsnet was both supportive and extremely helpful. “I’ve actually found maternity leave quite tedious,” said one reader. “I’ve tended to go to a mum and baby fitness class most mornings, home for lunch nap, then out for a walk or coffee with a friend in the afternoon. Time at home is spent with him doing floor time or me reading to him or playing peekaboo etc. It’s easier when they start weaning… as a big proportion of each day is spent eating! 😁 Don’t worry that you’re not doing enough for him- you are!!!”
MORE Play and Activities
Support when you need it
Another reader totally understood. “I was like that,” she said. “I found maternity leave mind-numbingly tedious. I coped by going to a toddler group (they all have baby corners) every weekday morning between 10 and 12. No family around so it was just me and the baby. Which meant we were out of the house. DD would often sleep there (I transferred her into sling when we got there and would walk to as many as possible to waste a bit more time). It was good as I got a chance to meet and chat with other people and given a hot drink and it was low cost.”
Meanwhile, this reader made some great suggestions. “Swimming, we started at that age,” she wrote. “Baby sensory is fab, playgroup, I used to plan somewhere to go almost every day I felt better being out and walked most places. A walk into town, read books, go to petting farms soon, find nice parks to go to, investigate soft play with sensory rooms there may be a local mum’s Facebook group with info on. You are about to get into weaning, so food takes up some of the day. Oh, and baby-friendly cinema!! Look it up for a cinema near you.”
Sometimes it’s just good to hear what others do, as well as a few words of support and understanding. It’s such a short time, but sometimes it can feel like an eternity. The trick is to find a way to enjoy it and make the most of what is actually a precious part of your life.