During pregnancy, everyone can be very quick to tell you how ‘your life will never be the same again’ and how your world ‘is about to be turned upside down’ and the truth is – they’re probably right. Whilst being a Mom has been the most rewarding and happy days of my life, there are a few things, that whilst not entirely impossible, become much more challenging when babies and children are around.
Here is my bucket list of things you should try to do before your baby arrives:
Sleep: An obvious one perhaps but sleep as if your life depends on it. Sleep spread eagled in your bed like a star fish, enjoy not having to share your comfy pillows, have a lie-in, go to bed at 10pm and sleep through until 7 (although let’s face it even in late pregnancy the latter is virtually impossible). Enjoy the feeling of waking up in the morning knowing you’ve racked up a solid 8 hours of relatively undisturbed sleep because trust me when I say we take our sleep for granted, and during those early newborn days it’s something you can certainly wave goodbye to.
Poop in peace: Yes you read that right. Enjoy having a poop with the door shut, without an audience, or without little fingers poking under the door shouting Mommy. Enjoy pooping at your own pace, without rushing or fearing flushing the toilet in case you wake the baby who has only just finally drifted off to sleep. Those peaceful poops you are used to could well be a thing of the past.
Drink a hot coffee: One with steam. One so hot it could burn the roof of your mouth or needs a little cooling blow between sips. When your baby is born most of your hot drinks will be forgotten about, popped safely out of reach where the baby can’t reach them, or put down when the baby cries every time you reach for your mug, and as a result, most coffees are stone cold by the time they reach your lips. Enjoy drinking a coffee the way it was supposed to be drunk!
Finish a conversation: Once a child is in tow, you will realize that the majority of conversations you start each day go unfinished. You will start them and either a) forget the ending before you reach it (baby brain!!) or b) have to divert your attention to prevent some baby related disaster mid-sentence and, as a result, never get to finish your story. After a day out with friends and their respective children, you will return home realizing that not one single story was completed during your visit, and that instead you have loads of half facts which you need to follow-up on via the WhatsApp group instead.
Go on a date: A child-free, adults-only day out with your partner – just the two of you. Enjoy each other’s company, eat a nice meal, enjoy the calm and raise a glass to your impending arrival!
Go on a babymoon: Even better, if budget will allow, head off on a mini babymoon to make the most or your time as a couple before your baby arrives. Feel the sand between your toes, watch the sunset, hold hands and relax. Whilst travelling with babies is absolutely possible, the moments of having each other’s undivided attention will definitely be more rare!
Capture the memory of pregnancy: With the trimesters of pregnancy passing by in a bit of a blur, you can easily forget to take a moment to record how it felt to be pregnant. Take a photo of your growing bump, video your baby kicking and moving, or fill out a pregnancy journal – document all those feelings and emotions you have prior to meeting your baby. They’ll be great to look back on with your son or daughter in years to come.
Wear white: Simple things, but enjoy wearing those white trousers or white tunic without having to worry about sticky chocolatey fingers, grass stains, snot stains or huge diaper explosions. Accept that you’ll be wearing darker colors for a little while at least, most likely smeared with milk.
Think about going out, and do it: Leave the house merely minutes after deciding to do so. Once baby arrives the very concept of leaving the house can require excellent project management skills, with copious amounts of time passing between the decision to leave and the moment you set foot out your front door. Who knew that babies needed so much stuff and that getting a child to put on their shoes could take up so much of your day?
Enjoy the silence and calm: Take a moment to look around and enjoy the complete peace and quiet of your home in its current state. The tidy rooms, the clear counter tops, the lack of miniature collectable plastic toys spread all over your sofa. Accept that silence will mostly become a thing or the past, or that the next time you do hear silence you will either be a) suspicious or v) stricken with panic.
Whilst I jest, having a baby definitely does make a big change to your family, but despite all the above I absolutely do mean it when I say I wouldn’t change it for the world. Despite the carnage, the craziness and the huge bags under my eyes, I can honestly say I have never been happier since my girls arrived on the scene!