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Girl Talk: Down In the Dumps

Q. There are so many changes in my life right now. Not only did I just become a mom, my husband and I moved to a bigger house in a different neighborhood and I quit my job to stay home with our new baby. These are all exciting changes, but I can't help feeling down. Shouldn't I be happy?

A. Yes, you should. And I should have a flat belly after giving birth three months ago. But that isn't being realistic, is it? My husband and I went through the same series of upheavals right before my first son was born and were masochistic enough to repeat the process a few years later, after we had our second child. In both instances we knew the changes were positive -- particularly being blessed with healthy baby boys -- and yet we were often overwhelmed by the stress of it all. Moving, changing jobs, and having a baby are huge, life-altering events, even on their own, and it will take time to absorb them and feel settled. (It's been more than a year since our last move and I still have a couple of unpacked boxes mocking me in the basement.) You can speed up the process, however, by getting involved in your community and connecting with other new moms in the area. Great places to fish for friends include local baby classes, like Gymboree, Mommy & Me, or stay-and-play groups at the Y. Look for flyers at your local library or religious organization. Or try online dating for your baby -- www.onlineplaygroup.com has links to many playgroup finders all over the country. It can be hard to put yourself out there -- and to see that you're not alone in feeling like it's your first day of high school, but making a few friends can make all the difference in the new 24/7 job you have as Mommy.

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