Let's be honest. The first few weeks at home with baby are tough. Cry, feed, diaper change, sleep (baby, not you), repeat. There are moments of immense joy and excitement directly followed by weepy frustration. It's hard to even fathom leaving the house. Once family members have dispersed and your significant other is back at work, quality time with other moms and their babies can be a saving grace. It may take a lot of schedule coordination and a few failed attempts to make it happen, but once it does, having time to connect with someone who can truly relate makes all the difference in the world.
1. Prenatal Yoga Classes - I was pretty set in a Bar Method routine during my pregnancy but I have several friends who really enjoyed getting to know other expectant moms in a relaxed yoga environment. The benefit here is that you have a chance to get to know other moms-to-be whose babies will be around the same age as yours. It is also much easier to get to know someone while you are still pregnant and can have a leisurely one-on-one conversation. Trying to connect with another woman once you are both sleep deprived and simultaneously tending to newborns is a little more tricky. The conversation can be hilariously fragmented.
The Motherhood Center - This place is an all around great resource for moms and moms-to-be. I attended a few prenatal classes here and loved them.
Joy Yoga Center - Another great option. I love the classes here as well. One location is in Memorial and the original is on Washington Ave.
2. Local College or Sorority Alumnae Associations - When I moved to Houston, I only knew two people. I was lucky to meet some of my closest friends a few weeks later through the local chapter of my sorority alumnae association. We all went to different schools and ended up in Houston within a few months of each other in 2009. In fact, two of them threw us a beautiful baby shower last year!* By joining a local association, you can immediately connect with numerous women as many of the Houston chapters have thousands of members. Smaller interest groups such as Moms Night Out and Playdate in the Park are available within the larger associations. Don't pass up this opportunity to expand your network of moms!
*To see photos of the gorgeous nautical themed shower that my friends threw for us, check out this post featured on I Dream of Pretty Things, a blog by another friend that I met through our alumnae association.
3. Neighborhood Moms Groups - In a city as large and spread out as Houston, it is essential to get to know other families in your own neighborhood. Add heavy traffic to the mix and you will quickly realize that attempting to cross town before 10am or after 3pm can often be a nightmare. Check out sites such as Nextdoor to find kids play groups in your area. I was excited to learn that an upcoming moms meet-up in my area is walking distance from my house. This particular site is also great for information on upcoming neighborhood events, used baby gear for sale, and handyman recommendations.
4. Mommy and Me Classes - Having the chance to bond with your baby through activity in the company of other families is so much fun. Whether it is a fitness class for moms that baby can attend or an educational experience for baby, there are a variety of options out there. We are still new to these classes so I will add updates as we discover more opportunities.
Define Baby - This is a great way to get a quick workout while baby rides along in the carrier or lays next to you on a blanket or in the carseat carrier. 30 minutes may seem like a short class but the instructors do a great job of packing in a full body workout. Now that Landon faces out in the carrier, he loves to watch what's going on in class and I can easily make faces at him in the mirror. Right now, the class is only offered at the Tanglewood location. No minimum age for baby.
Mommy and Me Yoga at The Motherhood Center (also see #1). For ages 4 weeks to 2 years.
The Little Gym - Highly recommended by other moms. We will be trying this out soon! There are four locations around town. Minimum age for baby is 4 months.
Mommy and Me Yoga at Houston Public Library - Landon and I are excited to check this out. The baby class is held at the Heights Neighborhood Library and the toddler class (for ages 3 and under) is held at the Central Downtown location. There are several other fun activities to check out at the library such as 'Storytime' and 'Playtime' for different ages.
Infant or Toddler Music Classes - We recently checked out a demo class at our neighborhood location of Fundamentally Music and had a great time. The 45 minute class includes several songs with dancing, instruments and even a bubble machine. It was so fun watching Landon interact with the other kids that ranged in age from 5 months to a little over a year. I have also heard great things about Prelude Music School and Crescendo Family Music. More details to come! Minimum age for baby is 4 months.
5. Get Involved! One of the best ways to meet other moms and new friends in general is by volunteering. Whether at your child's school, your church, a hospital, local charity or through an organization such as Junior League, lasting friendships can easily be made while giving back to the community.