In the pre-baby days I was never what you would call a “party animal” (OK, not even close), but I still enjoyed getting fancied up and heading out with some friends on occasion. Trying out new restaurants, taking in a movie, strolling around downtown…
But, now that we have a baby, things are a little bit more challenging. If you’ve ever gone out to eat with a little one over the age of three months (before that they pretty much just sleep through meals) or dealt with baby sleep schedules you’ll know what I mean. Then, add to this the fact that our friends have kids now also who also have their own sleep schedules, often different from ours and their own set of behavioral challenges and you have a recipe for a pretty sad social life.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve just had to reframe our thinking when it comes to having a social life and our new mantra is: “Staying in is the new going out.”
Instead of heading out to try out new restaurants and libations and desserts, we make them at home. Recently I really wanted banh mi sandwiches, but instead of heading out to our favorite haunt I learned how to make them in my own kitchen. Other times, we’ll have friends over for late night happy hour after Fern is in bed. That way we can be here with her and still have fun with friends. Sometimes we’ll host a backyard fire pit or a coffee tasting.
The possibilities are endless and if I’m honest about it, it’s kind of nice to have an excuse to stay in and save money instead of always going out for entertainment. Plus, when the night is over we just have a short walk to our bedroom and it’s off to dreamland – a pretty great perk if I do say so myself.
We still go out on date nights sometimes and I get a night out with a friend, but otherwise we’re homebodies and I’m kind of ok with it because it really is true: Staying in is the new going out.
Especially when you’re a parent.
How do you keep a social life now that you’re a parent?
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
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