How joining Rhythm Time got me off the sofa , out the door and saved my life…
I’ve always been a ‘go-getting’ person. Never afraid to try new things, go to new places and push my limits. So why, after having a baby was I stuck to the sofa and letting the world pass me by? I know people say, ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps”… this never worked for me and I may very well poke the next person that offers this nugget of advice in the eye! So staying in was never a bonus. I did go out. I wasn’t a hermit, but I was lost. I had no routine, no plan and for a teacher who likes to have everything calendered to the last second this was a shock to the system.
I am notorious for being late and so sometimes going out was just too much hassle. The great thing about On Demand TV is that the schedule fits with you and so Desperate Housewives and the sofa was a much safer bet.
The joyous news that Desperate Housewives (Or DP as we call it… no idea why but it stuck) was on Sky Box sets was broken to me in the last few days of my pregnancy. I was on countdown to the Induction and was laid up with SPD, and was a crazy insomniac and so hooking up with my old friends was just what I needed. I quickly devoured the first few episodes, remembering why I loved it so much. I downloaded five episodes onto my iPad for going into hospital. I was being induced on the Wednesday, that should get me through.
As the pessary failed to work and hours turned into days, DP was my solace. Soon the five episodes were done and my addiction was fuelled. Sod it. I bought a 2 gig extension for my phone, hooked up and disappeared to Wisteria Lane until we got the labour show on the road.
Hours after giving birth I put another episode on. I didn’t watch it, I have no idea what happened. But it made me feel less alone. After the hustle and bustle of the labour ward and the joyous birth and congratulations, suddenly it was just me. I tried to sleep. No chance. I was on the biggest high of my life. But the silence was deafening. I was so aware of being on my own and so the banal chatter of Susan and Bree somehow helped.
So of course, the early weeks consisted of nappies, bottles, sick and a side order of DP. Emilie was very obliging in the early weeks and would sleep through most episodes. One episode perfectly fit in with the time needed to feed and burp her and so we sometimes had night time get togethers.
14 weeks in and my relationship with Bree, Susan, Gaby and Lynette was wearing thin. I was no longer enjoying just chilling on the sofa. (It’s easier than being at work – right?! As one of my friends kindly pointed out) ERM??? WHAT. Give me 30 Year 11s any day over one determined baby! Emilie was needing more stimulation. Her reflux was causing her pain and so screamathons were a daily occurrence and I was starting to lose my mind.
I would go out and walk round the local town centre – but resisting spending money due to crappity crap Maternity pay made this very little fun.
I only moved to this area a few years ago and so I do not have any friends locally. I’d met two lovely mums in the park in the summer and they kindly took me under their wing and so I ventured to my first baby group. It was so nice to be with other humans. To talk and have a hot cup of tea made for me! Wow! But I still felt a little out of it. I felt fake. I felt like I was an intruder and that I didn’t really belong.
The Health Visitor came to see me for Emilie’s 12 week check and gave me the local ‘What’s on’ guide. I tried for two weeks to attend a class. But I always seemed to be too late. By the time I’d decide to go either Emilie was asleep, feeding or I’d missed it all together. I wanted so badly to meet other mums and make friends but I didn’t know where to start.
And then I found Rhythm time.
Monday 11:15am. That was doable. Not too early. I could do this. I could get out on time. So I booked on. That was it, i’d paid upfront so I had to go.
Monday morning. Time for our first class. So I was up early and there well in advance to find a parking space and introduce myself to the other mums.
If only it was that simple. What a stressful morning. Emilie was still asleep at 11am and I had nodded off with her (after a million and one night feeds) I was knackered. I got us both ready in record time (we couldn’t rock up in a baby grow that would be so tacky – she needed a new outfit and so did I)
I was sweating… but we made it… just. I left the house at 11:13am… went to the wrong place. DAMMIT. So I was five minutes late (shock) but I was there.
I think I loved it more than Emilie. Singing songs and dancing around with Emilie just made my day, I badly misjudged my choice of outfit as I went in my new Jumper and Jeans which was my new ‘I don’t just live in leggings’ look… okay, okay I admit it… they were jeggings. I sweated and sweated and sweated some more. It was like a workout…
Baby face you…
Baby face circle…
I needed a glass of wine. But I felt invigorated. Emilie was giggling away when we did the exercises and I was so happy i’d made the effort to go.
There were only two others mums and I was looking forward to having a chat to them after class. This was the first time that I had met women with babies the same age as mine. The class finished. Louise the teacher asked me a few questions – I had to sign in and fill in the papers. (As I had been late!)
And then, by the time I looked up they had gone. I’d missed my chance. No mum talk. No ‘Is yours sleeping through’ No ‘Are you breast or bottle?’ No ‘I know how you feel it’s actually quite shit isn’t it?’ chat. They were gone. I was so disappointed. But we’d made it out and there was always next week.
Five weeks in and we love it. I have chatted to lots of lovely mums. When we do our freestyle Waltz of the Flowers we get to interact and chat and I have had a few little chats after class. I love the classes. Emilie is coming on each week. For the first few weeks she didn’t give a crap who Arrabella was (the Doll mascot) but this week her eyes followed her. It was amazing. She now holds the baton for the instruments and laughs her head off during the songs.
Rhythm time has actually saved my life.
It not only got me off the sofa but it got me singing. I have joined a local choir and so I have found my rhythm again too. I love singing and had already been singing to Emilie, but since joining Rhythm time I have learned loads of new songs that have some actual magic powers. They actually put some sort of spell on her.
Last week ‘Hide your knees for Mummy’ actually pulled her out of a full on epic melt down into a fit of giggles. I had to sing it on repeat for half an hour but it saved my sanity.
This week ‘Up and down all the way to London Town’ has been my saviour. When she has been niggling with teething pains a reprise of this with up and down, side to side lift actions guarantees a fit of giggles and a massive smile
So I want to say THANK YOU to Rhythm time. If you are sat at home reading this with a Box Set on repeat. Pause Sky (it will still be there later God Bless Skyplus) Pause Sky… put your coat on and go out and find a group. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but getting out and joining a fun group will not only stimulate and entertain your baby but will keep you sane and give you something to get up and dressed for.
I haven’t watch DP for about four weeks. We now go out somewhere every day. We go to Aquatots, have a Costa Coffee meet up group with girls from my Hypnobirthing class and when we can fit in go to the Baby and Toddler groups. I still see my other friends and family all the time but this new world of Mummy friends and Baby groups has given me the structure and routine that I desperately needed.
Me… a Desperate Housewife… oh the irony.
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