Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Strengthening Our Support Network

The most recent round of Purposeful Conception: Preparing Your Mind, Body and Life for Pregnancy started this week. The first lesson is a holistic life assessment. I love working through the exercise every couple months with each new class. It's interesting to me how much our family's strengths and areas for growth can change in such a relatively short amount of time.
Right now, our biggest area for growth is our Support Network. It's definitely grown tremendously since we moved to Austin 1.5 years ago (has it really been that long?). My dear friend Sarah (author of Monday's post about living car-free) set up a Meal Train for the month following Tate's birth, and we've had a steady stream of friends delivering meals for us on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. We are incredibly grateful!
I specifically want to forge friendships in our new neighborhood, and I want to connect with other moms who are on maternity leave so Tate and I can have some companionship in the coming months.
I definitely think it's difficult to make new friends as an adult. My primary strategy is to be intentional about it. I try to brainstorm specific next steps related to meeting new people. Participating in this round of Purposeful Conception inspired me to brainstorm these ideas for making more connections:
  1. E-mailing our neighborhood listserv to see if there are any new mothers out there who would be interested in getting together.
  2. Signing up for a beginners tennis course through the local community college (and asking the listserv if anyone wants to also sign up and carpool with me). (Sarah, if you want to sign up, I can swing by and pick you up on my way down 183!). 
  3. Starting a Montessori in the Home monthly meetup group to get together with other families who are interested in implementing Montessori.
  4. At the beginning of each month, intentionally scheduling get togethers with friends.
The other area I really want to work on is exercise. Once my body is finished healing from my pregnancy and birth, I want to start jogging multiple times per week and going to yoga at least once. I know it's going to be extremely difficult with two children, but health and wellness are important to me, and I want to prioritize exercise.
I want to join the local YMCA as soon as we have enough money, so I can take advantage of their free childcare and exercise during the day. I also want to start playing tennis from time to time. (As a side note, if anyone plays tennis and can recommend an inexpensive but decent racquet for me to purchase, please let me know!)
I'm feeling really inspired by these specific, actionable next steps for improving some of my areas for growth!

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KT My Lady said...

That picture of your boys is too sweet. I love reading through your action steps and how they connect to what your current needs are. It's so easy for me to get bogged down in what's wrong that I don't think about how I'm going to make positive changes. Thanks for modeling for all of us how to take charge!

Laura said...

What a cute picture! I would love to be involved in the Montessori meetup group. Keep us posted!

Kelsey said...

While on maternity leave I attending a weekly breastfeeding support group through the hospital where I delivered. But you didn't have to deliver there to attend and it was free. I made at least 4 new mom friends that way AND got great support as a new mom and learned more about breastfeeding. So if you can find a breastfeeding group through a hospital or La Leche League I think that would be a great place to find support. And it was great b/c there was also no requirement that you HAD to be breastfeeding to join the group so no one was excluded, we talked about everything from sleep to starting solids to sex after having a baby!

Kelsey said...

Also, I have been loving having private facebook groups for new mom support. I'm a member of one from my breastfeeding group, one that is hosted by Kelly Mom (anyone can join, I can add you to the group if you want), and one that is the other moms who were in my same midwife group appointments and all delivered about the same time as me. So if you do create a little mom network a private facebook group is a great way to stay in touch and get support and you can post to each other in the middle of the night and it's kind of comforting to know others are also up too :)

Autumn Witt Boyd said...

Rachel Wilkerson posted a great article over at A Practical Wedding on making friends as an adult:

When I moved to a new town after graduating from law school, I was very intentional about joining lots of groups to meet people. Not all of them stuck, but I did find kindred spirits who remain great friends, even though I have moved on from most of the groups. I also just try to be open to letting friendships grow in the places I am now (very different now that I'm 33 with twin one-and-a-half-year-olds than when I was 24 and single in the city!). I've made a pal with another mom at my day care, not just by seeing her there but by exchanging email addresses and setting up lunch. I do find that making friends as an adult is almost like dating :) Saying "let's grab lunch sometime" does not work. "Are you free for lunch next Tuesday?" works much better. Glad to hear you and Tate are doing well enough that you are eager to get out and about with him.

Sarah said...

Yes! Tennis sounds fun--email me the details and I will see if I can make it happen. Creating a good network takes time... We're still working on ours, too. Thanks for the inspiration to stop being lazy and start being intentional about reaching out and being involved.

Chelsae said...

My best friend figured out the best rhythm that worked for her to exercise after having her first baby was to do it in the evening after she got her little one down. She said at first it was hard to get motivated at the end of the day but after a week or so she looked forward to it. She rented home-work out videos from netflix, figured out the ones that really got a sweat going, and kept them circulating on the queue. A personal trainer friend of mine said this is also a great way to exercise as it activates one's metabolism just before sleeping.

Congratulations on baby Tate!

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