So you’re a new mom (or dad) in Charlotte, now what?
Having a baby is a delightfully terrifying experience. One minute, you experience blissful euphoria over the tiny toes and miniature fingers, the next you are shipping off little Liam Mason Parker to boarding Preschool. Note to self: Research boarding preschools.
You left the corporate world of conference calls, daily Starbucks, designer heels, TPS reports and $30 lunches in the big city to stay at home with your precious bundle of joy. Great! You think to yourself. This will be amazing.
No more conference calls. Real Housewives on repeat. Little Madeleine Kennedy Jr. will nap erryday, all day. The house will be pristine. You will wear red lipstick, cook a roasted turkey dinner in stilettos while donning a freshly pressed A-line skirt.
“Honey! I’m home,” your darling husband will say. While serving him his Hendrick’s and tonic, he and you embrace like he is leaving for a war. He kisses the giggling baby on the forehead as your immaculately groomed Labradoodle wags her tail. Birds will chirp out your doorstep. Bees buzz and a unicorn happily jaunts over a rainbow.
Reality sets in. The house looks like it upchucked a tornado. You haven’t showered in days. You have grown a few gray hairs. You have an inner tube around your waist. Oh wait, that is permanently attached. It is your stomach. You have pulled out said gray hairs. There is crusty food in your gray hair. The dog vomited on the carpet. The kid has been screaming bloody murder for two hours. You are stuttering as you can’t form words. You haven’t seen or spoken to a real human in 12 hours. Your OMB Copper is empty. And dinner is nowhere in sight.
You realize things have got to change. Never fear! Here are 10 things to do in Charlotte with your precious bubbling baby to get you out of a rut:
(1) Join Stroller Strides
Goodbye inner tube, hello banging Mom body! Half the time, the baby will sleep in the stroller while you get your body back and meet new mom friends. First class is free.
Photo via Facebook
(2) Take a Tummy Time class at Carolina Kinder Development
Yeah, my kid had to wear a helmet. He was doing multi-variable differential Calculus at four months, but he could not turn his head left. He was not an ambi-turner (see: Zoolander). Carolina Kinder Development taught me so much about babies and their physical development. They offer Tummy Time classes on the regular.
(3) Join a mom’s church group
Free childcare to sit, drink coffee, converse or commiserate with other moms with children of the same age. Praise the Lord; I am a believer! Check out the various churches around town to find programs. Many times you do not need to be a member to join.
(4) Attend a story time at the library
Check out the Library website for all of the story times and get Baby Melvin Turner Fitzpatrick speaking Mandarin by the time he is two by giving him the gift of reading.
(5) Music Mondays with Mr. Nigel
He sings. He dances. It is free. Head on over to Sam Ash on Mondays at 10 am. Follow Mr. Nigel on Facebook for show times.
(6) Visit a park
This is a no brainer but Charlotte has a bounty of beautiful parks – Freedom, Park Road Park, Latta Park, etc. Enjoy the fresh air, flora and fauna while James Johnathan Ryan babbles in the Bob.
(7) Go to MayoBird on East Boulevard around 10 a.m.
It is baby central. Sip on an almond milk cappuccino while cherished Sophia Ava Olivia plays with a napkin, observes, maybe poops a little bit, and coos.
via Tara Lilly
(8) Another no brainer is Discovery Place
The Nature Museum, Discovery Place and Discovery Place Kids are all within a stone’s throw. Granted these are more fun as Jimmy Tommy Turner gets bigger and more mobile but kids under the age of 2 are free.
(9) Sign up for a Music Together class
While it sounds hokey to enroll your 6-month-old in a music class, you will be pleasantly surprised by how Jack Carter Owen sways to the beats at Music Together. Bring it on Baby Beethoven!
(10) Strap on the Baby Björn and head to Hall Family Farm
Pick up a pumpkin in the Fall for your front porch. Enjoy a hay ride. Get lost in the corn maze.
Evelyn Hagood is a stay-at-home mom to a 3-year-old boy in Charlotte. She has experienced both the corporate Uptown banking life of Charlotte as well as stay-at-home-mom-dom in Southpark. She will fully admit that she doesn’t really like babies even though she has another one on the way. In her free time (what free time?), she enjoys running, yoga, golf, cooking and traveling. She naps every day even if her sleep ninja child does not.
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