In today’s world, we all know that time is precious. We also know that expecting a baby is a game changer in many ways. That shift includes time — your own precious time.
Once you become a parent, your time won’t really be yours for a long while. Those
mornings of lounging in bed, afternoons of leaving the house whenever you feel like
it, and nights of staying out as late as you want will vanish.
I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but it’s important to take a look at how
life changes when “parent” becomes a part of your identity. But it’s just as necessary
to remind those thinking of having a baby or those already expecting to relish the
time you have to yourselves before that life-changing moment. And that’s the part
nobody seems to talk about.
When I was pregnant, I was lucky enough to have a spouse who thought ahead and encouraged me to do things I would not get to do as easily once baby showed up. If it weren’t for his thoughtfulness, I probably would not have taken advantage of that time the way I did. And it was so important to my well-being, both during pregnancy and after the wee one arrived. It made pregnancy a time for me to enjoy.
Every Saturday morning I would starfish in bed playing Candy Crush until coffee and
breakfast sounded better than my continued lounging. I made plans to see friends
and left the house whenever I felt like it. I took naps, my husband and I went out to
dinner, and we went on weekend getaways to visit friends and enjoy some quality
I embraced each moment, knowing that after baby arrived my time would no longer be my own. I appreciated every quiet moment and every adventure a little bit more.
Sure, I get some quiet moments now, and my husband and I have had a few
excursions without baby. But it’s different. Now, during quiet moments at home, I
find myself staring at the monitor periodically, not feeling quite settled because you
just never know when she’s going to wake up. During our adventures without her,
my breast pump is right there with me. Another thing they don’t tell you is that
pumping can feel like a part time job. So even though I might be out for the night
having fun, I know that after we get back I can’t just flop into bed. Pumping is in my
So my loving advice and encouragement for you soon- to- be moms and dads
(especially whoever plans to be the primary caretaker) is to think about how you
want to spend your time before your sweet little one shows up. Make a list of
everything you would like to do, and then do your best to go do those things.
I wanted to go see a Broadway play, so we did that. We went to Florida and I sat by the beach and floated in the pool for hours. I also slept — a lot. I had introverted nights in and a few late nights out with friends. For my birthday, my husband encouraged me to have all my girlfriends over for one last baby-less hoorah. And I did. It sounded like a nightclub in our house because of all the noise and laughter!
I have so many wonderful memories from that period — from the moment I found
out I was pregnant to “go time” nine months later — and it was making the effort to
consciously appreciate my time during those months that allowed me to create them
So if you’re pregnant, do what you want now and relish in it. It will make you appreciate the now, and also allow you to enjoy your time with baby without regret once they arrive.
Now go make that list.