We are back home after a fab week in the Norfolk Broads with my parents, sailing, walking, going for lots of cups of tea and meals in pubs and seeing the sights of Norwich and all of a sudden we’re back to baby’s regular weekly activities from Monday. Crazy how time flies. Having said that, I wish there had been more classes for her to go to over the ‘summer holidays’. Being a ‘new’ mum you have to follow the structure of ‘term time’ again if you decide to sign up for anything. It’s like being back at school, which is frustrating at times when suddenly there isn’t a class to be seen for 2 whole weeks because of ‘half term’?! What’s that about? New mums don’t get a ‘half term’! We have to follow what the teachers or leaders are doing as most of them have their own lives (?!) outside of teaching our little darlings to clap, wave or swim.
Baby’s classes started at 11 weeks old, going to Baby Sensory on a Friday. We then decided to do baby massage classes on a Tuesday with the other NCT mums at 12 weeks old and then when massage classes finished, we went to swimming on a Monday! I don’t want you to think I’m looking for a medal telling you this, but I highly recommend signing up for at least one class of something, for me it was mainly to force me to get out of the house to anything I had pre-paid for. In the early early days I couldn’t even face walking to the local shops, let alone drive anywhere, but as the weeks went on I was dying to see other people and get out of these four walls.
One reason why I took a while to get out of the house and either sit or walk anywhere was that through the birthing I had to have an episiotomy (ugh) which although made no difference to the pain I was going through during labour, the healing afterwards took about a total of 8 weeks. This is nothing compared to say having an emergency c-section or any other complication you might go through during labour, however not only was I struggling with nursing a newborn, I also had to sit on only one hip to aid pain and healing and if I walked too much, this would also slow the healing down (Ahh! The things we go through for these little pickles!). Anyway, I wasn’t going to be sitting on a local town hall floor, singing songs or massaging my baby leaning forwards for a while.
So Baby Sensory has been the long-standing class we’ve partaken in and although I might sound cynical most of the time, I have actually really enjoyed taking baby to this class every week since she was 11 weeks old. I’m quite reminiscent in reality, as this will be her last term- this class only takes them up to 13 months and she will be turning 12 months very soon (eek!). We have seen her grow so much through classes, going from only being able to lie on her back, looking and gurgling at the bright colours and lights and singing, to now being one of the ‘older ones’ causing havoc by crawling around the big playmat, shouting constantly and stealing the other baby’s shakers. It’s been a great marker for seeing when her mealtimes have changed and although I sometimes even now, get apprehensive about being able to feed her beforehand or making sure she naps afterwards, it’s actually been quite freeing in seeing that we can both cope if the routine is shaken. This is another bit of advice I would give to new mums, is don’t let the time of the class put you off from signing up. More than likely baby will either be too distracted to miss that lunchtime exactly at 11:30 or they will let you know anyway. In the early days, baby’s nap was meant to start before the end of the class and she would just fall asleep on me halfway through anyway, which meant I just got to chat to the other mums and relish in the fact that I’d actually been out that day.
So back to ‘school’ we go this week then and back to swimming class as well (we’re hoping to be the teacher’s pet there as well as we’ve managed to go nearly every week over the break!) so lots to keep us occupied and getting out of the house for. As well as meeting friends and going for walks we try to go out nearly every day during ‘term time’ and I think it keeps us all from either getting bored or going crazy…
Hurrah for the determind new mummies getting out there and if you haven’t managed to do it yet, then no worries either! These classes are good fun and although we don’t know everyone’s stories about becoming that mummy or daddy in the class, we all come together doing the same silly songs and dancing around with marakas, impressively getting out of the house into this new world as a parent.