This time is unprecedented for all of us, but the reality of being a new mom during a pandemic can be extremely scary and isolating. Motherhood is not meant to be done alone. We all thrive when we have community and as a new mother, having a community of moms is one of the most critical ways to get through the hard days and the even harder nights! (Did someone say sleep deprivation?) You can read all the books, but when another mom says, “I was up every two hours last night, too” you finally feel like you are not the only one!
As a mom of three, I know all too well about the feelings of isolation with a newborn. I had my first baby in December of 2012, and we had just moved to Los Angeles from New York City. My husband went right back to work for his new job and I was at home with a newborn, no car, and I didn’t know anyone, especially any moms. There were lots of tears, lots of sleepless nights, and so much unknown. Once I was finally ready to get out, there were so many ways to connect with other moms (parks, meet-ups, libraries) and I was slowly able to form that community and network I was so desperately seeking!
So, what is a new mom supposed to do in 2020, heading into 2021, in the middle of a pandemic, when gathering in-person is not allowed in many areas of the country? Moms still need their community!
For starters, definitely look up your local FIT4MOM location (disclaimer: I am the owner of FIT4MOM Los Angeles). FIT4MOM is the nation’s premier fitness program for pre and postnatal women, while offering an amazing community for moms to connect. Our communities are like no other and even better, you get a workout in while you are with your little ones! Most locations are offering COVID-safe in-person classes and also, offer a wide variety of virtual classes. The certified instructors know how to safely ease your body back into exercise and understand you are still healing. They offer programs that get you moving safely, and help you take advantage of all the great physical and mental benefits of exercise. Additionally, most locations offer playdates, Mom’s Nights, and more!
Of course, you will need to gear up for your workouts, so stock up on your Balega socks (Highly recommend the Grit & Grace) and measure your feet because sometimes your feet grow during pregnancy. No, seriously!
Next, you can join an online mom community. Facebook seems to be the go-to for these and a quick search should bring up some FREE local mom groups. This is a great place to search for information and even ask questions - there is a mom out there who is going through or has gone through the exact same scenario you are. And more likely than not, there are many going through exactly what you are!! Hearing from fellow moms is so comforting. These spaces are generally judgement-free and having a group of moms in all stages to ask specific questions can be a lifesaver! These can also be a great resource for other local happenings...socially distant neighborhood walks, breastfeeding support groups, local library story times, and free swaps of clothes/toys/etc.
I also recommend searching for a Mommy and Me group - many in-person groups are now offering Zoom classes. While you may be completely over Zoom, the brightside is…...no screaming babies in their car seats and pulling over on the side of the road for a quick feed before the next stop! These Mommy and Me groups are typically grouped by the babies age and you gain information about developmental milestones, how to handle a lot of firsts (first teeth, first foods, sleep, etc.), and are a great way to connect with a small group of moms with kids very close in age. Los Angeles locals can look up the Pump Station and The Wright Mommy and Me for some Zoom class times!
Create the community you seek. Some of you might think, “No way. I couldn’t put myself out there like that!” But imagine if there are 10 moms sitting at home struggling and you were the one to unite them all together. You could post a virtual coffee chat in your local moms group (Zoom.us meetings up to 40 minutes are free!). Post a flyer at a local coffee shop, pediatrician’s office, or even a children’s gift shop. Many Starbucks have a bulletin board where you can post local happenings. You might be a mom’s bright spot to what can be a very difficult transition into motherhood.
If you are a mom, then you know we are all in this together! New moms, veteran moms, single-moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms. Find your community. Stick together. Stay in touch. Create ways to connect, even if it’s not in-person right now. Like all stages of motherhood and life, this too shall pass, and we’ll pick up right where we left off stronger than ever. Enjoy all the stages because they will be gone before you know!
If you are experiencing more than the typical Baby Blues, please seek out help with your healthcare provider. For more resources visit www.postpartum.net.
About the Author: Abby Massucci
Abby Massucci is the owner of FIT4MOM Los Angeles, the nation’s premier fitness program for pre and postnatal women while offering an amazing community for moms to connect. Previously in sales in the fashion industry, she quickly found juggling work and being a mother too much. FIT4MOM has allowed her more time with her kids and LOTS of time to lead workouts with her #momsquad!