Being on maternity leave is great. Being home with the baby, having all this time with her, bonding with her, blah blah. All good.
You know what’s not good? The four walls of my house suffocating me all day.
Stu works from home, and he talks often about how he needs to just get out of the house because he he needs to just get out of the house. And while Stu works alone at home, he’s often on the phone or online with other people, having adult conversations, and making stuff happen.
I’m just doing everything I can to get her to sit up. I need to get out.
And so, Amira and I don’t stay home. We go out. We go anywhere. And over the months, I’ve compiled a list of the 6 best places to go with babe in stroller. Since I’ve done the legwork, allow me to share.
1) Shoppers Drug Mart
Now, you need to have a good one to go to. There are two within walking distance of our house, but the closer one is the better one. It’s new and bright and has a great magazine rack. One could stand at that magazine rack for HOURS. They also have an excellent cosmetics section. But be warned – spend too much time in there and you’ll end up buying way more nail polish than you need.
2) Starbucks/Timothy’s/Your local coffee spot
David Letterman was bang on when he said “There isn’t a man, woman or child alive who doesn’t enjoy a warm beverage.” And you know what the best type of warm beverage is? The one prepared by someone else. Walk your little one down to your local coffee joint to meet today’s barista, and get a little extra whipped cream for your efforts. A bonus is that these places all have free wifi now, so a smartphone or a laptop can make your stay even more fun. And right now, Starbucks has their red Christmas cups out. I can’t resist those red cups.
Now, if you know me, you know there is no place I love more than a book store. Books! Magazines! STATIONARY!! Knick knacks for your home that you don’t need but those displays make them look oh so delightful! What I like about mega-stores like Chapters is that you can go in, pick up a magazine or five, grab a book or three, get yourself a warm beverage prepared by someone else (Starbucks + Chapters is a match made in heaven), sit yourself down near a window with the baby sleeping in her stroller next to you, and just stay there for as long as you damn well please.
4) Canadian Tire
Don’t laugh. This one’s good. It’s not just your local hardware store. Canadian Tire has all kinds of goodness stocked on its shelves waiting to be browsed through by parents with babies in strollers. They have pretty chandeliers and nice faucets and dishes and shelves and coffee pots and every kind of screwdriver you could want. I particularly like it during this time of year because they have aisles and aisles of Christmas trees, decorations and other holiday paraphernalia. You can never go wrong with that.
I have a love-hate relationship with Walmart. I can go into detail another day, but there are a few things that make it a safe haven for mothers with babies in strollers. First, they are open all the live long day. Second, they, like Canadian Tire, have aisles and aisles of stuff, a lot of which you can use, which makes the browsing that much more amusing. Third, they get in new stock often, so there is always something new to look at. Fourth, there is a McDonald’s in pretty much every Walmart, and McDonald’s has excellent coffee. If you haven’t tried it, you should. The trip is worth it just for the java.
6) The Mall
Any mall will do – if there is a Walmart in the mall, even better. But the mall is THE PLACE for a woman on maternity leave. Lots of shops, lots of things to browse, a whole food court to choose your next snack from, it’s indoors so you don’t have to worry about inclement weather, and you can walk and walk and walk your stroller around that thing ten times and no one will bother you. I’m convinced that the mall was invented for mothers at home.
And there you have it. Moms, don’t let your home suffocate you. Get out with your little one and see the world. Or at least, read the magazines.
Is there anywhere I’m missing? Any ideas for where Amira and I can go next?