Your Life as a Parent: Your Social Life

Your own health and happiness are critical to being the best parent you can be, and you may find that your social life has changed (or vanished) since welcoming your baby. Your life may be different now, but it's still important to spend time with people you care about and who can offer you some much-needed support.

Try to connect with other parents in your area through playgroups or other interest groups. Local libraries and community centers are great resources for finding such groups.

Also, busy lifestyles can make it tough to carve out time for yourself. Make it a priority to do something you enjoy on a regular basis, whether that's a pursuing a hobby, exercising, or catching up with old friends. You may decide to plan a get-together with friends and bring your baby along or get a sitter and enjoy some adult conversation without your little one. Your friends will love catching up with you, as well as seeing your baby, if that’s what you decide to plan.

Party Planning Fun

You may be getting ready for your little one's first birthday now by planning a special party for family and friends. It's wonderful to celebrate this exciting day (and your success as a parent!) but do try to minimize any stress. Try not to hold yourself to ideas of social-media-inspired party perfection. Your baby may or may not love attempting his first candle blow, and while some babies enjoy crowds and a festive atmosphere, others do not.

You may want to choose a theme for your baby's party to help get you started. This could be as simple as a color scheme, or it could include something your baby loves like trains, animals, or princesses. Establishing a theme will make choosing any decorations and refreshments a little bit easier. Whatever you choose, consider having a separate cake for your guests and one for your baby to smash for those priceless first birthday photos. Take lots of pictures, and, above all, enjoy this celebration with your baby — you've both earned it!