I know what you’re thinking. Perhaps this advice would have been better suited before you got pregnant, The Violinist. You’re probably right. You could have drunk your way into a stupor, but you wouldn’t have if you’re still on the same meds you were in college. Then THAT would end you in the hospital and in hot water with all who love you. But I figured you weren’t due to the end of April, which gives me plenty of time to give you pearls of wisdom, which you might throw into the mud any ways, but you only have so much time to enjoy being a non-mommy. Once you give birth, you will forever and ever be known as someone’s mom. Amen. So here is a list of things to savor in those last months of freedom.
The Ten Things You Should Savor Before Becoming a Mom
1 ) Sleeping in. Or just sleep in general. Of course, it won’t be long before you’re getting up several dozen times a night to pee, and then there is trying to find a good position to sleep in as the kid does an acrobatic show in the embryonic fluid to entertain herself. But as soon as that kid pops out, you will no longer be able to sleep in. True, you might have a loving husband who’ll help out on the morning shift, but if you’re planning on using your God-given feed bags, you’re going to have to get up. Then as the child gets older, she’ll call for YOU, not Daddy, when she wakes up. So sleep in on as many days you can, and enjoy the blissful gradual wake up.
2 ) Meals. Very soon you’ll have to rush through meals. They will become a speed dash as you try to eat and entertain a baby. You’ll get lucky sometimes and eat when the baby sleeps, but this phase will only last a few months. Once the kid is old enough to eat, anything you have is fair game to them. I can’t remember the last time I finished a snack, a meal, a bowl of ice cream without hearing the sounds of “Please.” While at first it’s cute, it quickly becomes annoying as you realized THIS is your favorite kind of ice cream and THIS is the last bowl.
3 ) Showers. In the first year, the baby will take a morning nap about two hours after getting up. This is a lovely time to take a shower. Unless you’re so damn sleep deprived you prefer sleep or the you have no more clean dishes left or clean clothes or when was the last time you used the vacuum or the last time you paid your electric bill. The first few months you’ll be lucky to catch a shower every other day, and it’ll be a marathon. Hell, you’ll be lucky if you remember to change your nursing bra once a week. (Gross, I know; but you’ll get over it. Buy at least three.) Don’t worry; soon you can have the TV babysit her while you take a shower, and then she’ll want a snack RIGHT NOW as you try to wash your hair.
4 ) Child-stuff free rooms. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal now. So what if there are a few toys in the bathroom and a bassinet in the master room and bottles in the kitchen and diapers and toys in the family room. One day soon you just want to look somewhere where there isn’t kid stuff. I swear the toys actually reproduce at night. They’ll be kiddie bath toys in YOUR bath tube. You’ll roll over one night on some hard, sharp toy hiding in your blankets or you’ll wake up staring at some stuff animal. There will be toys under the desk, under the table, and in the coach. God, those damn pacifiers, bottles, and sippy cups grow legs.
5 ) Gritty Movies. Or scary movies or any movie that something happens to a kid. You’re going to get super-sensitive. You will never read or see something about a kid and not think THAT could happen to my kid. You’ll become surprisingly passionate over certain issues that you believe pertain to your child’s wellbeing. I didn’t even finish Syriana because of the pool scene. I just bawled as my husband apologized for not warning me. I can’t see movies about kidnappings. I defiantly can’t read Lovely Bones. Of course, this could just be me. Since Sean, I cry over Hallmark commercials. I swear. Remember last year’s Mother’s Day commercial with all the different people or kids saying Mom in different ways, and there’s that teenage girl that sobs it because her hearts broken; I cried every time. Even now I have tears thinking about it. Ugh.
6 ) Complicated books. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read. Hell, I read more during those first few months than any other time. Those “bond with your baby as you nurse” people don’t understand the true luxury of reading silently as your child fully enjoys eating. After a month or two, the kid will wonder way you’re interrupting her by staring at her. But your mind will be so addled by sleep deprivation that large, complicated books (which are pretty heavy holding one hand any ways) are going to be hard to focus on, especially at four am. I read one page over three times. So go light. Remember L.J. Smith?
7 ) Speedy errands. When you have a kid, everything will take at least fifteen to twenty minutes longer. With all the dressing, buckling and unbuckling. It will never fail; you’ll need to change the diaper right after you buckle her in. Not to mention, in those first few months, you’ll be feeding every two hours. You want to know how many stores you can hit in between feedings. One. You can hit more if you nurse in the car or on a bench. It can be a bitch. I preferred to nurse in the car so I didn’t have to carry a watch, had a cushier seat, and could listen to the radio, but you’ll find what is right when you get there.
8 ) Your mind. This is one of those things you don’t realize you lost it until it’s gone. It’s probably too late because you’re all pumped up with pregnancy hormones. By this time in your pregnancy, I had lost my cell phone, my purse, and my keys (several times), and you remember how often I lost things when we lived together. Almost never. This may get a little better after the child, but it’s highly unlikely. I suggest lists.
9 ) See how brain-addled I am; I don’t even have a tenth reason or an actual ninth.
So for all you moms out there, could you please add what you would savor if someone would take the kids for a couple of hours or a day or a week?
But really, The Violinist, once you’re a mom, you’ll never regret it.