So maybe you’ve decided that this year is going to be the year – the year you and your partner make the leap and have a baby. Just the thought of going from a couple of two to a family of three sends chills of anticipation down your spine. You have achieved those all-important first steps – you’ve secured a partner and survived the wedding – and now the next logical thing seems to be to procreate. You have already begun the fantasies – you’re holding a gorgeous newborn while hubby smiles down proudly over the hospital bed in awe of the miracle you have just performed. I mean, it almost bring tears even to my eyes knowing the excitement, the butterflies your tummy feels when you think, hope, there might be a baby in your belly next month.
WAIT. Back up, back up…about five seconds after the fantasy moment passes, that newborn starts crying and neither you nor dad are exactly sure what to do. It’s actually pretty awesome, but the reality is, once the baby comes out, it’s here FOREVER.
Here are a few things you should be sure to do before you toss your birth control:
Sleep. Everyone says this, right? Well, maybe they say it for a reason and you should listen. You will never, and I truly mean NEVER feel well rested again. I don’t care how many kids you have or how old they are, being a parent means being tired.
Travel. Take a special trip, near or far it doesn’t matter. Just do as much traveling as you can while it’s only the two of you. Is your idea of a fantastic vacation sipping wine over a fabulous French meal on the Left Bank in Paris? Or zip lining in the jungles of Costa Rica? Because theirs will involve 7AM breakfasts with Sesame Street characters and swimming in pools that are the temperature of pee.
Sex. Have a lot of it very regularly. Do it everywhere. You’re too tired? Do it anyway!!
Make amends. Having a baby is very special time in your life; make sure you can share it with the people who mean the most to you. There is enough drama in those first few months; you don’t need any more from angry friends and family.
Spend an entire day in bed. Do it just because you can, because these are these the last moments in your life where you will be solely responsible for just yourself.
Read. It will be a long time before you have the brain capacity to read anything other than The Happiest Baby On The Block. If you have a few good reads on your list, try and check them off prior to the arrival of your little one.
Don’t rush. Make sure to spend some quality time together alone as a married couple. The kids can wait a bit, cherish your “alone time”.
Dine out. And make sure to do it at places that don’t have chicken fingers or buttered noodles on the menu!
Get fit. Flaunt your pre-baby body assets. You like your legs? Wear shorts in winter. Have great boobs? Show cleavage every day, for they will be gone post-childbirth. I’m not saying you won’t ever look great again; it’s just different. Better not to discuss it, I don’t want to scare you too much.
Luxuriate in the bathroom. Seriously, spend an entire day in there. Take a nice long shower, read an entire book while pooping, or just sit quietly while you stare at yourself in the mirror. Post-kids a shower is more like a five second rinse every few days and you’re lucky if you get to finish peeing before some small child interrupts your flow.
Get dressed up. Now is the time to wear all of those fun clothes you have. Even months, or years, later when they fit again, they will be covered in spit up, food, dirt, snot…
Don’t Decorate. Or at least “undecorate”. I get it, you’re adults now and you want your living quarters to reflect that, but you’re going to be really pissed when chocolate milk splatters on that expensive white throw rug and your walls are covered in crayon. Learn to embrace Ikea.
Bringing a child into this world is the most magical and special moment of your life. It is also immediately followed by some of the most complicated and trying times you will ever encounter. Enjoy the freedom of being just a couple, it will make it that much easier when everything changes.