“Sleep now while you can!”
“Go out on dates while there’s still time!”
“Have you considered a babymoon?”
Well meaning people told me these things over and over when I was first pregnant. I understood it on some level, but I didn’t truly grok it until my baby arrived.
Life as you know it will change forever
I wish someone had sat me down, looked me in the eyes and told me about some things to do before baby arrives.
I’m not talking about learning about breastfeeding, or buying the perfect cloth diapers (although those things are important). I’m talking about taking care of YOU.
I thought for sure that a wonderful, tiny little baby couldn’t change life that much at first. All baby does is eat, sleep, and poop.
How hard would it be to have a late night out-on-the-town? There are grandparents and babysitters, right?
How hard would it be to sleep in? There are two of us; we can tag-team it.
How hard would it be to go to a movie with hubby?
Not likely! (Although some mamas have been known to sneak a newborn into the show, but only when baby is super, super new to this world.)
It’s not impossible to go out with baby, it’s just different
Don’t get me wrong; I adore my children and love being a mom. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
However, there is a grief and a letting go of your old life sans children. The more you can enjoy those moments before baby, the more you can embrace your new life with baby.
With that in mind, here’s a list of things to do before baby arrives.
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(without leaving your couch)
17 Things To Do Before Baby Arrives
1. Catch some live music
Let’s face it. Most bars and clubs are not exactly baby friendly. Neither is loud noise or big crowds of people. Listen to some amazing music that will uplift your souls.
2. Get your hair done
What once was routine, often becomes a luxury. I use to get my hair trimmed every few months….now, I’m lucky if I go twice a year. Let your hair down and go get pampered!
Your sleeping life will forever be changed once the baby comes. Now is the time to bank up on sleep as much as possible! Sleep until noon. Sleep often. Nap. Leisurely lay in bed reading. Whatever sleep pattern you love to indulge in – DO IT! Do them ALL. And often! I can’t stress this one enough.
4. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi.
No pregnant mama should go into labor without painted toes. Ok, maybe that’s not your thing ;). But I did find it helped me immensely to have pretty feet, even if I couldn’t see them that well.
5. Go out to eat…a lot!
Restaurants will become a thing of the past. By the time you plan it around nap time, dress for it, and pack up baby, all the necessities, and the family, you are either too tired to go or baby is too AWAKE to go.
6. See all the good movies
I used to love seeing all of the Oscar-nominated movies and analyze each one before the Academy Awards. Because, Disney and Pixar movies will become your new standbys.
7. Read all the books
Reading a novel is pure luxury. While some mothers are better at this than others, I find picture or parenting books fill my nightstand now.
Seriously, this is so important that it deserves a double mention. Get it in now. Whenever, wherever possible.
9. Go out with your girlfriends
(meme) SO TRUE! When a newborn comes, our life starts to close around us and our universe is within our home. Each day is about feeding, burping, bathing, sleeping, and changing diapers. It’s hard to have a social life when the most exciting part of your day is how many doodoos baby had that day. Socializing becomes less important and our relationship can suffer. Don’t worry…they will come back…besides, most of our friends are in the same boat.
10. Wear fancy shirts
After baby, wearing fancy clothes isn’t the best financial decision. Most days, you’ll be sprayed with “Mommy’s Eau de Toilette”… baby’s slobber, spit up, throw up, snot, poop, pee, and drool. It’s wise to simply put your clothes in the back of the closest until baby is around three-years-old.
11. Finish any house projects (within reason)
Remember, the intention here is to pamper your pregnant self – not create an endless project because you run out of time or energy. Focus on manageable projects that make you feel good. Paint those bookshelves you’ve always wanted done. Reorganize your kitchen cupboards. Dust the blinds. Or choose to let them go, as you won’t get to these again until at least 1 year postpartum.
12. Go on a Baby Moon
Again, this is a fantastic idea. Incorporate a vacation before baby arrives. Hopefully some exotic resort on a beach or some place you’ve always dreamed of going. This is your moment! Carpe diem. You won’t travel again alone or GUILT-FREE, for decades…perhaps not until retirement…maybe if you’re lucky – or as an empty-nester.
13. Consider a spiritual retreat
Think silent meditation retreat. Or a retreat far, far away from everything. Indulge in some stillness, solitude, silence, and simplicity – you won’t regret it! Being grounded and centered will help you be an awesome mom.
14. Take leisure road trips!
Some babies love cars. Other hate them. Either way, I found that my nesting instinct to stay home lasted until baby was at least 1 year old. I didn’t travel long distances unless I absolutely had to.
Have I mentioned this before?
16. Block out some “me” time
After baby, you will miss yourself. At least time alone with yourself, which will seem nearly impossible…at least, for a while. When you do have that rare span of free time, you will be torn as to whether to spend it alone or with others who speak in full sentences. So enjoy it now.
17. Go shopping (and no, I’m not talking about Amazon.com)
Go out. Wander a mall. Window shop. Try on clothes just because you can. You don’t have to buy anything – but if you do, buy something pretty. Splurge on a little something frivolous.
How about you?
What’s on your list of things to do before baby arrives? Did you try any of the above things to do before baby arrives? Share with us in the comments below!