Preparing to welcome a new baby into your home? Here are three ‘selfish’ things to do before he or she makes their much-anticipated appearance.
Let’s get straight to the point: your life is about to change forever. Soon, it will revolve around a tiny human who will insist on every second of your energy, strength and attention. Who knew something so small could be so demanding? Therefore, now’s the time to make the most of your freedom. Here are three ‘selfish’ things to do before you have a baby, as told by moms who wish they’d been given the same advice.
“Family holidays sound glorious, don’t they?” muses working mom of three, Sue Garden. “Unfortunately, if you go on them when your child is under the age of two, you’ll have to deal with a screaming baby in the car seat or on the plane all the way there and back, and when you do it when they’re older, you’ll have to listen to that infamous ‘are we there yet?’ soundtrack on repeat.”
Before you have a baby, travel is about peace, quiet and true relaxation. “Enjoy these aspects of a holiday now because future family holidays will be rather chaotic and consist mainly of making sure that your kids are constantly entertained” adds Sue. “The good news is that once they graduate from toddlerhood and start primary school, the family getaways do start to become more enjoyable, especially if you plan them well.”
Your relationship with your partner changes drastically when you have a baby. “It doesn’t necessarily get better or worse – it’s just different. You become a team. A unit. And instead of whispering sweet nothings to each other while you laze around on the couch, you’ll probably find yourself talking about the frequency and consistency of your baby’s bowel movements. And that’s if you get to sit and eat together at all,” comments new mom from Johannesburg, Elena Mavropoulos.
Make the most of those relaxing weekends together. Binge on Netflix series. Go out to eat. Catch a late night movie at the cinema. These date nights will become few and far between once baby arrives, so soak up every moment of them now.
- Pamper yourself
When a baby comes along, everything becomes about them. You’ll often hear new mothers talking about how long it’s been since they’ve taken a shower and thought to yourself ‘well, surely it can’t be that bad.”. The truth is that a new baby literally does take up every second of your time.
“Taking a shower is a mammoth challenge, especially if you’re alone with the little one,” says Tamryn Wills, a high school teacher and mom of one. “Just when you turn on the water and feel the relief wash over you, your baby will start crying again. What really helped me was investing in a baby bouncer. As my daughter got a bit older, I could put her in it and bring her into the bathroom with me. It bought me a few minutes for myself each time.”
So soak in a long bath, do your nails and spend an extra 15 minutes on your hair and make-up when getting ready in the morning. You’ll be so glad you did.
Don’t let the stories above terrify you or make you worry about everything you’re about to lose. Your life doesn’t end when you have a baby. It transforms, and while it’s likely to take you a while to acclimatise, you will eventually. Don’t forget to ask friends and family for help if you need it. As they say, it takes a village (it really does).