Thursday, August 6, 2015

8 Ways to Have a Social Life After Having Kids

Sorry you haven’t heard from us in a while but we have been enjoying our summer by following our own advice on how to have a frugal family vacation! We have enjoyed time at Hot Springs, AR, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Tullymore Golf Resort, and Muskegon State Park, and next month we are going to the Porcupine Mountains, Pictured Rocks, and Tahquamenon falls.

People often ask us how we manage to take so many vacations and there are two main reasons 1) I do a lot of planning…. really far in advance and 2) we take frugal vacations like the time we spent only $121 on food and drink for 8 days in Los Cabo, Mexico (click here to read the story)

I was recently asked (ok it has been a couple of months already! remember we have been gone on vacation!) how to get out of house after having a baby.

For us it is/was pretty easy because we take our kids almost everywhere! We took our first family vacation when our son was 1 week old. Our foster son was only three days old when he went to his first hockey game, and our biological son went shark fishing when he was 2 months old. I just wore him in a sling and he slept almost the whole time. Most of the people on the boat didn’t even know there was a baby on board until he woke up to eat!

The Air Zoo at 1 week old

But for those that find it difficult to have a social life after kids or if you are pregnant and you are worried that will have to be a hermit here are some ideas on how to have a social life after having kids:

Oh and a quick tip for taking a newborn in public. Unless you have a preemie I don’t see any problem with taking a newborn out and about but if you are worried about it put your baby in a carrier or sling and strangers are a lot less likely to put their germy hands on your baby. And practice breastfeeding with your cover in front of a mirror so you can feel more confident that you are covered! Or just plan to excuse yourself to nurse your baby either one is fine...don’t  be hatin’ (maybe I should just write another post for tips about going out in public with a newborn, hmmm….). on how to have a social life after having kids

  1. Go to a kid friendly brewery like Schmotz in Grand Rapids or Right Brain in Traverse City! Schmotz (John’s favorite brewery) is super low key and not rowdy so your new baby might keep sleeping. They do not serve food so you can order pizza delivery or bring your food or takeout or just enjoy a beer with their free popcorn. Like I said it is a very low key environment. We have had a group of friends meet there to play board games and we order pizza. Right Brain is again low key and even has kids games in the corner.

  2. When going out to eat try to pick less busy times like between lunch and dinner (3-4pm) or after the dinner rush. If your infant stays asleep in their car seat (unlike mine) then try to go during nap time but for older children AVOID naptime or bedtime. What worked well for us was to leave early and take a small walk with the baby in a carrier and then if we were lucky he would keep sleeping in the carrier throughout dinner.
  3. Host the party! That way you can put your child to bed a normal time and still be able to return to the party!
  4. Convince your friends to have kids too! It is a lot easier to hang out with other couples with kids because they will understand your struggles and know why you can’t go rock climbing or to a concert at 10pm. (If your friends are pregnant don't forget to pass on this valuable resource, The Ultimate Baby Registry)
  5. Now that you convinced your friends to have babies too now you can take turns babysitting for each other so you can enjoy a night out kid free!
  6. Meet at the library, park or children’s museum! If you feel like you haven’t had a chance to have an adult conversation in a while take your friend with you to the library, park, or children’s museum. That gives your children something fun to do while you sit down and talk to your friend.
  7. Attend a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting, Le Leche League meeting (or another breastfeeding support group), ECFE (Early Child Family Education) classes, Bible Study, Babywearing International meeting, etc to connect with other mothers and make new friends. The bible study at my church meets in the room next to the nursery and we hire a babysitter so we can focus on our meeting while the kids have fun with their friends then we can socialize afterwards. 2015-07-02 16.21.05.jpg
  8. Do an activity that is entertaining for both the kids and adults like a circus show, zoo, demolition derby, movie in the park, ice skating, amusement park (take turns watching the kids so you can have some adult fun too!), bowling, arcade, bike ride, or sledding.  

Have a great day and thanks for reading. Please make sure if you've been enjoying the blog to put your email in the right column and check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

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