Photo by Kerry Shaw
You’re expecting and suspect your life will never be the same again. So what should you do with the precious little time left before you become a parent? Maybe that ’round-the-world trip or scuba diving course isn’t going to happen at this point, but there’s still a host of things you can check off your life to-do list before baby arrives.
Take time to be just the two of you
Preparing the nursery may be a given, but enjoying the last stretch of pregnancy is just as important, says Kimberley Fernandez, a doula who teaches hospital and private prenatal classes. “I tell expecting parents that this is the last time it’s going to be just the two of them for a long while, so they should go out and have a spontaneous dinner or see a movie.”
Consider taking time to yourself Alva Singer, mother to Ella, now 18 months, managed to cross that and a whole lot more off her pre-baby bucket list. In addition to buying a new house and moving in when she was eight months pregnant, Singer took a month off work before her due date to unpack and take some time for herself. “I went to the spa, saw friends and just walked around the city,” she says. “I knew it would be invaluable.”
Read more: Completing my pre-baby bucket list>
Make some new parent friends Singer also made a point of meeting new parents in her neighborhood so she’d have a network in place when her daughter arrived. Alternatively, Fernandez recommends setting aside time to create a cozy “nesting place” at home other than the nursery. “This is where you’ll rest, learn how to breastfeed and just be with your baby while the visitors come to you,” she says. “You may not be ready to bounce up and serve coffee right away.”
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Accept that you won't get to everything And if you don’t cross everything off your list, remember that life may be chaotic after your baby arrives, but it won’t always be. “I really wanted to get my driver’s licence and take a CPR course, but I never got around to it,” says Singer. “I still plan to though — eventually.”
What did you do before baby arrived? Any great tips to share?
Originally posted in February 2012.