Leaving Your Comfort Zone (Your House. Leaving Your House.)

I’ve charged the tablet through the correct hole this time (it helps), whipped up some cookie dough (already eaten, obvs), and got my writing head on.  Sort of.  I’ve also put Friends on in the background and have gotten through two episodes already, so…

I shared online earlier today about my day, how I’d made the decision to leave my pjs (and put other clothes on, don’t worry that’s not where this story is going) and venture out of the house.  To many this is a complete non-story; got up, went out, the end, but to some of us it’s a whole big thing.  I struggle to leave the house some days, but I’ve found balance with my issues and although I push myself to meet people or take Sophie different places I don’t expect miracles from myself every day, more like every other day or 3 days a week as a rough guide.

Going out doesn’t have to be a mammoth expedition to a wildlife centre or a trip to the beach, just having a walk to the park for half an hour of swings and slides can blow the cobwebs away, popping to a friend’s house and half-drinking a cup of tea can restore you, or if your little one is still having naps, timing a nap with a trip out so you can sit in peace with a hot chocolate and watch the world go by is an amazing feeling when you’ve been staring at the same four walls for a few days.

If you find yourself at home more often than not, but you wish you were out there more with your little one, you’re not alone, honestly (it feels like it, though, right?).  You might worry that you’ll look like a tit trying to battle through an awkard shop door with your pushchair (Subway, I’m looking at you), or that you’ll get funny looks from people around you while you try and breastfeed or diffuse a toddler tantrum (if you are good with comebacks then let them fly if that helps you, but not reacting does wonders too, if you can help it!), and decide that just staying at home will avoid the problem.  Which it does, temporarily, but try and brave the shops occasionally, or find a coffee shop with a cosy, quiet corner to feed your little one.  Start with short journeys where you know you can nip home if it all gets too much.  Look around for baby groups that interest you, but don’t go to just the first session as chances are you will still feel uncomfortable and just not feel like going back.  Go back, two or three times, and by then it’s already routine, you’ll remember people and it’ll feel familiar.  I made a leap by taking Sophie to her first Tiny Talk baby sign class when she was 5 months old, and even though the class was lovely, the people were friendly and it seemed like the perfect class, I almost never went back after my free taster session! (Sorry Sarah!)  Then I realised that the hard part isn’t always trying new things, it’s actually making things part of your comfort zone that is tricky! I kept going back and 18 months later that class is part of my routine, I know what to expect, it feels familiar and comfortable and the best bit is I’m guaranteed to get out of the house that day every week (except school holidays, but they’re a whole other game!)

This leads me to today, already a bit stir-crazy from being stuck indoors due to the Beast from the East (snow, for the non-Brits) but still tempted to stay in bed with Sophie watching Hey Duggee on iPlayer.  (If you’re going to binge-watch anything on CBeebies, it’s Hey Duggee, amirite?) But no! I did step 1 of escaping the house: Trying something new.  I popped along to a playgroup at a church hall nearby that my friend goes to with her girls, and was pleasantly surprised (having been to some playgroups before and not really feeling it after several visits), so now I not only have a new Monday morning filler, I also came home with a bunch of foam cut-out flowers for Mother’s Day! Yay crafts!

What little things have you achieved lately?  No matter how small, shout them out!

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