Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman's life, but it can also be kind of the worst. From morning sickness to constipation to everything in between, growing a human being isn't easy. Then again, neither is taking care of that human being you're so valiantly growing inside your body. So, as difficult as it may be, there are things every pregnant woman should do before her kid is born.
Now, I'm normally not one to tell someone what to do with their life, but I think as a woman who has experienced pregnancy, and is now in experiencing the "joy" that is raising a 2-year-old toddler, I think I'm in the not-so-unique but valid position to drop some knowledge. As a new mom who had no idea what she was doing when she was pregnant, postpartum, or any time since, I can say that if I could go back and do my first pregnancy all over again, I would have stopped to appreciate that child-free life just a little while longer. That's not to say I don't like having my kid around, because I definitely do. Being a mom is pretty awesome, but it also means I don't get to spend that much time alone and I don't get to see a new movie on a whim and I don't get to sleep in on a lazy Sunday morning.
So, if you're pregnant and preparing to welcome your baby to the world, I suggest to do the following before you send out the baby announcements. After all, you'll have 18 (and then some, because you're never not a mom) years to enjoy being someone's parent. You only have 40 or so weeks to be someone's soon-to-be parent. Enjoy it, and take care of you.
Sit On The Couch For An Entire Day And Refuse To Move
You'll be moving around enough when your kid is a newborn, so take the time to sit and do absolutely nothing. Once that baby is on the outside of your body, you'll be up changing diapers and breastfeeding or making bottles or pumping or giving your newborn a bath or doing one of the millions things that are required of a new parent.
So, you know, just sit. Sit and enjoy the idle life while you can.
Plan An Enormous Postpartum Dinner Of Everything She Can't Eat When She's Pregnant
I may or may not, but definitely did, do just that. When you're pregnant and hormonal and constipated and nauseas and just genuinely miserable, the fact that you can't eat or drink the very things that you want to eat or drink just adds insult to injury.
So, plan an epic postpartum meal that has everything your little pregnant heart desires. Go wild, soon-to-be mom. After labor and delivery, you're going to deserve it.
Buy Herself Something She Absolutely Doesn't Need, But Just Wants
When the baby comes, what you want (for the most part) no longer matters. Now, I'm not saying you wont' be able to buy yourself something nice or give yourself the things you need to function at the capacity that will be required of you, but whatever you want will come second to the things you need to purchase for your baby.
I can't tell you how many clothing sales I've been forced to ignore because diapers and wipes and new clothes my kid will grow out of in a week, come first. Sigh.
Have Ridiculously Loud Sex...
No, but really. I'm talking yell and scream and say some very sexy things at a very high volume. Before you know it, you'll be covering mouths and whispering sweet nothings for fear you'll wake the baby. So take advantage while you can, and let the entire neighborhood know you're getting your sexy time on.
...That You Actually Enjoy In Your Own Bed
If you plan on co-sleeping (something yours truly did and is continuing to do) then enjoying sex from the comfort of your bed is as frequent as the eight hours of sleep you're definitely not getting.
So, enjoy that mattress and comforter while you can and before you have to get your freak on in the kitchen or on the cold floor of your living room.
Spend An Entire Day Alone
One of the hardest transitional parts of motherhood, for me, was getting used to being in the constant presence of another human being. For the most part, I lost the ability to spend time by myself. Once my baby was born, I was needed on the hour every damn hour, and I missed the serene silence that comes along with complete isolation.
So before your baby enters the world, spend at least one entire day by yourself. Don't talk to anyone and don't let anyone contact you. Turn your phone off and take a drive or go walk or stay in your room. Do whatever you want to do, but do it alone. Finding the time to spend with yourself, and only yourself, will be exponentially more difficult once your baby is born.
Read A Book, From Beginning To End
For almost two years I lost the ability to read an adult book from cover to cover. For me, that was a significant loss because I'm a book nerd and reading something of the Dr. Seuss variety just didn't cut it.
Then I moved to a city and riding the subway became part of my morning and afternoon commute. Sure, I'm stuck in a metal tube with a bunch of strangers, but I get some time to read a book. So, before your baby comes into the world and demands your time (and then demands that you read about green eggs and ham and cats in ridiculous hats) find a book you love and lose yourself in it.
Go To A Fancy Restaurant That Doesn't Allow Children
You know the one I'm talking about, dear reader. It's the high-brow joint with the overpriced appetizers and the ridiculous cocktails that are almost impossible to pronounce. Yeah, go there.
Sure, you'll spend a fortune and wonder how in the hell steak can cost that much money, but you'll also be pampered and wined and dined and you'll enjoy a meal without having to worry about the other patrons growing increasingly upset that your kid is acting like, you know, a kid.
Watch A Movie In An Actual Movie Theater
The last time I was in a movie theater, I was nine months pregnant and hoping the horror movie I was watching would scare me into labor. True story.
Since then — and because my partner and I don't live anywhere near family — we haven't been able to go to a movie. We don't want to bring our son to a theater that is not only amazingly loud, but filled with other people who are paying money to enjoy a movie without listening to a toddler do toddler things. So, we're all about that #WaitingForTheDVD life.
That life will one day be your life, my friend. So go to the movies and smell that sweet, sweet smell of buttery popcorn and buy the ridiculously expensive candy and enjoy the HD, surround sound goodness that is the movie theater experience. In fact, just go so I can live vicariously through you.
Call Your Mom Or Dad (Or Both) And Talk About Yourself, And Only Yourself
I miss the days where my mother called me to ask about my life and my day and how I was doing. Yeah, that doesn't happen anymore. Now she has a grandson, so it's all about her grandson.
I guess I don't blame her, because he's adorable and far more interesting than I am, but still. Make those phone calls and enjoy someone taking a genuine interest in your life before you're passed up by a tiny mini-human who doesn't even know how to use a toilet correctly.
Spend An Entire Saturday And Sunday Morning In Bed
Once that baby is here, you will not be "sleeping in." Not without some help and/or assistance and/or some some serious bribing. So for the love of all things holy, dear reader, sleep in. Be lazy. Enjoy lounging around and taking your sweet time. I promise, you won't regret it.