Before my postpartum depression was diagnosed, I almost never left the house. I took the baby on walks, never straying more than four blocks from the front door. The rest of the day, I drifted from room to room of the house, wanting to go someplace exciting, but not knowing how other moms did it - and made it look so easy! Just a trip to the grocery store seemed like a lunar expedition.
Once my PPD was diagnosed, and my energy returned, I was excited to take Pippa on outings. But where? I was still intimidated by the logistics of feeding and changing a baby in public.
Yet I knew, just knew, in the marrow of my bones, that I had to get out of the house and take Pippa on adventures. Almost every day, I forced myself to take Pippa somewhere, and the more we went out, the more energy I had, and the braver I got. We started going to more exciting places, like the zoo and beach, and these outings gave me even more energy. The energy spilled over into other areas of my life. Long story short, getting out of the house was ESSENTIAL to my recovery from postpartum depression.
If you are spending most of you time at home, alone with your baby, get out of the house! But it is okay to start with easy outings. Don't go to Disneyland on a rainy day. Go to Target when it is sunny. Here are five easy outings for Pasadena moms with postpartum depression (or for any Pasadena mom!):
1. Santa Anita Mall: I know, I know, this is a list for Pasadena moms, and the first place is in Arcadia. But this is a very easy mall to visit. There is a big family changing room by the food court, and the bathroom on the first floor of Nordstroms has a lovely changing area and quiet spot for feeding baby. Walk around the mall. Let your baby watch the children frolicking at the indoor play area by JC Penny's. There's another play area in the outside promenade (near the Banana Republic) and there's also a little "pond" nearby with lots of turtles. When Pippa was five months old, and I was just rejoining the world, and still very shaky from my PPD darkness, I went to the Santa Anita Mall at least three times a week.
2. Petsmart on Foothill: This is still one of Pippa's favorite outings! There is doggy day care at the back of the store, and there are huge glass windows so you can watch the dogs. There are always at least twenty dogs there and they are very entertaining. When Pippa was very wee and small, we would sit and watch the dogs for at least 30 minutes. Then, you can show your baby the fish, reptiles, birds, rodents and sometimes there's even a chinchilla. At the back of the store, there's a restroom with a clean changing table! Such an easy outing, and if you want to stay out longer, you can swing by the Starbucks, Old Navy, and hallelujah, Nordstroms Rack.
3. Target: There's a changing table in the bathroom, and you can wander the aisles and let baby look at the world.
4. Mommy and Me at Huntington Hospital: Mingle with other moms! And it's only $10 so if you have to leave early, eh, you've forfeited two fancy frapucinnos. And since it's mommy and me, everyone is understanding and helpful if your baby cries or spits up everywhere.
5. Amy's Playground in South Pasadena: I love indoor playgrounds! There are a lot of great indoor playgrounds in Pasadena, but I know that this one is free for babies nine months and younger. (Mommy is always free, yay.) They keep this place immaculate and yes, there are changing tables. And there is easy parking behind the playground. Go before 2:30 p.m. to avoid the after school crowds.