With so much societal pressure on women to get married and pop out babies, our brains are hardwired to be in relationships, which lead to marriage and eventually children. Even if we're enjoying our lives, we're always focused on the next step as opposed to living in the moment and truly appreciating our current situation. Being a mom has many advantages, but it is also a permanent life-changing event and after having a baby, some things will never return back to the way that they were and you should enjoy as much as possible while you have the chance!
1. Traveling after kids is an entirely different experience than it is before. Traveling with a baby is an experience that’s filled with anxiety. You’re anxious about the airplane or car ride, You’re worried that you’ll be that parent with a crying baby that can’t be calmed on the plane. You’re anxious about whether or not being in a different environment will completely mess up your child’s sleep. Even a short trip to visit a friend or family member in a different state isn’t as relaxing as it should be because you don’t have all of the modern day conveniences.
2. Spend time with your husband or partner. Go on dates, have sex, cuddle and just generally enjoy each other as much as possible! Having a baby will completely change the dynamic of your relationship. That’s not to say that you won’t love each other anymore, just that you’ll both be under more duress, especially in the beginning when you’re sleep deprived and won't be each other's main priority anymore. Even when your baby gets older, time alone won’t be quite the same, it’ll be limited to nap time or after bedtime and you may even be too exhausted to really truly appreciate that time together. Take some time before jumping into having kids to just spend quality time nurturing each other because you’ll never get that time back.
3. Sleep as much as possible! Sleep in until the late hours of the morning or the early afternoon on Saturday and don’t take those naps or days to sleep in for granted before kids because you will miss them after. Don’t feel bad or like you’re wasting precious time if you sleep because there will come a time when you fantasize about sleep and you’ll have plenty of extremely early mornings soon enough.
4. Splurge. Of course, always make sure to pay your bills first, but don’t be afraid to splurge every now and again. Once you have kids, chances are you won’t have as much time to get that mani/pedi so get it now. Buy that cute dress or romper that you’ve had your eye on, go out to a nice dinner and have an appetizer, entrée, and dessert! Go on vacation and stay at a nice hotel. When kids come along, there’s less time and possibly less money to do these things, so enjoy them now.
5. Binge watch TV! It seems like such a waste of time before having kids, but you will never ever again have an entire day where you can sit and watch TV all day, so do it now! Once the baby comes along, TV time will be limited to nap and bedtime and assuming you have the energy to watch TV rather than sleep, it will probably take a back seat to everything else that you have to do.
6. Enjoy your “me time”. Me time as a mom is hard to come by. Even when you’re away from your kids, it’s not the same, your kids are always on your mind and there’s this ever-present guilt for doing things for yourself. Take yourself to lunch or dinner, take a warm, relaxing bath, get a massage, go see that movie that you wanted to see. Doing things alone is a very daunting task to most but you will wish for time to do things alone after your child comes along so do it now while you can!
7. Get dolled up! The other day, I was out with my husband and daughter on a Saturday in my normal mom gear, leggings, and a workout top and I saw all of these women dressed in cute sundresses headed to brunch or wherever they were headed on a Saturday afternoon and I realized that I missed wearing cute little dresses and getting dolled up in general. With sticky and dirty fingers constantly on me, dressing up is a thing of the past and only happens on date nights, which is only once or twice a month.
8. Be spontaneous. My husband used to be the king of spontaneity. We planned our honeymoon only 2 weeks before going! It used to drive me crazy because I was such a planner but in hindsight, I’m grateful for those crazy, last minute decisions because the ability to be spontaneous goes away when you have a little one to take care of. I’m happy for those times that we were able to throw caution to the wind and do something on a whim and the memories they created.
9. Do absolutely nothing. Have a lazy day where you only get out of bed to use the bathroom or eat. Don’t clean, catch up on work or even leave the house. Enjoy the silence and the peace of pure relaxation because you will never be able to achieve that level of peace and relaxation ever again after you welcome your bundle of joy!