There are so many things that change once you have your first child, and it is some of the smaller pleasantries (think showers and clean clothes!) in life that go unappreciated until they become absent or difficult to accomplish.
Here is a short list of a few things I suggest moms-in-waiting do now while time and selfishness is a luxury!
1. Sleep. Go to bed early. Actually, no — stay up as freaking late as you want and sleep in because I promise you that once your darling baby is here you will feel like you are always awake! You will learn to sleep in 2 to 3 hour increments and you will constantly feel tired even when your child sleeps through the night. You and your spouse will quickly learn why sleep deprivation is a form of torture! Do you know that most babies (once they have a schedule) wake between 6 to 7 am? Every. Day. They don’t know what weekends are and therefore don’t participate in “sleeping in” on Saturday’s and Sunday’s — so stock up (and stay up late!), while you can.
2. Enjoy your showers. Take your time as you bathe. Light candles, listen to music and let the water run until it turns cold. Enjoy the peace and quiet because after your newborn is welcomed into the world he or she will more than likely be sitting in a bouncy seat outside your shower door watching and waiting for you to finish. And worse, many times just as you step into the shower and feel the warm pellets of water hit your back your baby is red-faced and screaming forcing you to quickly rinse, forget the shave, and jump out to cater to their needs. Again, enjoy your showers!
3. Read. If you enjoy reading, whether it is books or gossip magazines, read as much as you want when you want during your 9 months of pregnancy. After your baby is born you will be too tired and have too little time to read for pleasure. The little bit of reading your tired eyes will allow will probably be on message boards seeking advice from other mom’s or baby books explaining how to sleep train. Oh how I miss my chick-lit!
4. Have date nights with your spouse. Schedule lots of them! Sure, you may have an easy going baby who will quietly sleep propped up in their car seat during your meal; but more than likely this perfect behavior won’t last past 3 or 4 months old. At that age babies start to need routine and bedtimes and they will easily let you know when they want their sleep. Nothing irks me more when I am out to dinner during my own date night and someone’s child, infant or toddler alike, is crying when its past 8 pm. Your child should be in bed, asleep! They are not the problem YOU are. So go to the movies, and eat at some fancy restaurants now before your baby is hanging from your breast while you eat your filet mignon or you are rushing home to not have to pay the sitter for an additional hour!
5. Go on vacation. Even if you are pregnant, go on vacation. Vacation will never be the same, again, ever! Prior to having two children my husband and I traveled outside the country every wedding anniversary. We made 4 years of anniversary travel before having our first born in which we vowed to still take these trips. Stupid first-time parents. Ha! I wasn’t leaving my baby with anyone to go overseas and I wasn’t bringing my baby overseas! So travel as much as you can afford; shoot, if you can’t afford it, charge it to the credit card because you probably won’t do it again for a couple of years!
6. Enjoy your body! You may be one of the lucky ladies whose body will “bounce” right back post-pregnancy. Or you may be the mom who forever carries those last 10 pounds years later. Regardless, your body will never look as good as it did before you had a child. Be it stretch marks, cellulite, a cesarean scare, or flabby skin — stop wasting time hating your body, because in later years you will look at photos and admire the body you constantly criticized as not good enough.
What else would you tell mommies-in-waiting to do before their delivery?