Does having a baby mean giving up your social life?
“Everyone I know is like: ‘Hey, I’m getting married/having a baby’ and I’m like: ‘I’m planning my travels around the world”
…Or something similar, and it always wound me up a little – I’m sure it’s never meant in an offensive way, but sometimes it reads as though you can only do one or the other, or that having a baby or getting married is inferior or ordinary because hey, everyone is doing it.
Sam and I have been on some absolutely amazing trips. We’ve been to Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, New York, Singapore, Budapest… We would sleep in hostels, travel on sleeper trains, sit on plastic stools drinking cheap alcohol in the middle of the road, jump on motorbikes and go whizzing round Thai islands. It was incredible, and so much fun. Now we have a baby. We can’t do all those things right now, but that isn’t purely because we have a baby, and who is to say we couldn’t do them in the future with Dougie? Just because we have a baby doesn’t mean we have to spend the rest of our lives sat on the sofa quietly watching Netflix. I mean, we do that a lot – but we did that a lot even before Dougie was around – and a lot of my friends do that even if they don’t have a baby!
Having a baby doesn’t mean giving up on things YOU want to do. Yes, we have to adapt, and yes things are different now, but we just came back from our first family holiday, and while there was less travelling, and we definitely had a lot more luggage with us, it was an amazing trip, and I’m so excited to do more family trips. Once Dougie is a bit bigger, we could do more of the adventurous trips, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t!
If anything, I’ve found that I’m probably more sociable now I have a baby. This weekend, I spent the afternoon in the pub with a few of my friends, enjoying a drink and catching up. Not much different to how it used to be, except we all had our babies with us! They sat on our laps or in their pushchairs, they chewed on their toys and dribbled down their tops (completely adorable) and it was such a lovely afternoon. I’d never have met this group of friends if it hadn’t been for the fact we were all due to have babies around the same time. Sometimes we’ll go to baby cinema, other times for food, or to each others houses, and yes we talk about our babies because it’s so nice having other people who understand exactly how exhausted you are, or who are happy to see 573919 photos of your baby eating sweet potato, but we also talk about other things too.
Dougie & I in Bath
Dougie has been on holiday to Portugal with us, spent New Years Eve in Bath with some friends, been on a weekend away in Edinburgh, come to the pub with us for birthday celebrations and he comes for brunch with my friends. At the moment while I’m still breastfeeding, I do tend to be at home in the evenings, but my friends are happy to come round in the evening, and seem perfectly content to stay in and watch a film or whatever with me once Dougie is in bed!
Dougie’s first time at the beach – sand was a success!
The point of this post is simple – if you choose to start a family, you do what is right for you. If you want to be a stay-at-home parent, good for you. If you want to travel with you baby, go for it! Your social life will change, but it doesn’t have to disappear!