So you’ve just started your mat leave, and have an indeterminate amount of time before your baby is due… It could be days, a week or a month, or more. I had 3 weeks, but baby H arrived 1 week before her due date. This got me thinking, I had loads of things I wanted to do in those 3 weeks, some I managed others, I didn’t. But I did prioritise what I did and how soon I did it! Of course sleep as much as you can…
1. Go out for dinner with hubby and/or friends. Dinner is the keyword here, yes, you can go out for dinner with a newborn, but, once routines kick in it’s much more difficult. We’ve tried, and failed miserably. Yes, we were the couple with the screaming baby. Yes, you were looking at us like we were mad, appalling parents taking our baby out after bed time, but most of all, we did see the glances between diners in the pub saying “how inconsiderate are they!” I’m sorry, we tried, we failed, but we’ll probably try again in a month or so.
2. Go to the cinema. Unless you have a babysitter or go to a baby cinema screening, you won’t go again, ever. So take advantage see anything and everything, get popcorn, sweets, hotdogs and huge drinks.
3. Read a book. I wish I’d done this. I think in retrospect I could have during all the newborn feeding, but I didn’t… So please if you’re pregnant read a book for me!
4. Be spontaneous. Go out, just decide on the spur of the moment to do it and go. It’s near impossible with a baby… Once baby is here there’s a cycle of checking for poos, milk, nappies, wipes, muslins, more muslins, and, oh yes change that nappy again…. And finally yes, you’re about to leave, ah no, it’s milk time again!
5. Lie in. Yes I know with a huge bump it’s incredibly uncomfy to sleep, but if you can stay in bed, even if you’re sitting…. do it. Just enjoy sitting and knowing you don’t have to be anywhere else.
6. Coffee and cake. Meet other nearly new mummies and new mummies for coffee. Take in all the advice those new mummies have, look at their little teeny tiny babies and know that in a few days or weeks, that will be you. I remember that feeling so well: surreal, a little daunting but very exciting.
8. Clean up your phone, make sure you have as much room on it as possible. Even if you have a super expensive super-duper camera, you will use your phone camera and video ALL the time. You’ll use all the space on it, REALLY, you will.
9. Quick Meals. Make meals you can freeze and heat up in the oven or microwave…. Yes, everyone says this, but when you’re immersed in all things baby, and realise it’s 9pm and you’ve not eaten since 12, it’ll be the easiest solution. Ok, frozen pizza and chips might work too. Or a food delivery from Granny!
10. Have ‘you’ time but also you-and-your-other-half-time. Relax. Walk. Do things. Go for a walk, or shopping, or to the swimming pool, really do whatever you like, as yes, you can do all these things with a baby, but it’s nice to do them and say, “I wonder if this will be the last time it’s the two of us.” Yes, a walk near the end of pregnancy is uncomfy, but it helps. It’s exercise and being out of the house getting fresh air will be good for you, remember you might be stuck inside in a hospital ward or room for several days very very soon! It’s probably a good idea to take your other half with you in case it does bring on labour, but also so you can have a chat.
11. Have a night away. I’m talking about when you’re 37+ weeks pregnant, so the VERY end. Stay in a hotel, have lovely dinner and a huge breakfast, relax, and just be the two of you. Ok, you might have to take a dozen pillows with you, but this is one thing I think hubby and I didn’t do. Even if we’d booked into the hotel 10 minutes down the road, we probably should have had one last get away right at the end. We went away at 34 weeks and had a lovely time, we even had the car seat and hospital bag sat in the back. Yes I was paranoid, but we did go to Scotland, 6 hours from home!
There were loads of other things I was going to do, some I did, some I didn’t, but I can’t remember them all now. These are the ones I remember, so, I’ll take it these are the main ones… If you can think of any others, please comment!