Before becoming a parent, I wish someone had told me to:
1. Travel more with your spouse.
No, actually, come to think of it, I received that memo, the person who didn’t, however, was my husband. When I learned that we were pregnant, I tried to convince him that travel would be “different” post-baby, that it would be more logistical, more stressful, and that there would be more luggage. He didn’t believe me, however, and here we are, dreaming of a romantic getaway that will likely have to wait until Nya is at least one.
And, don’t get me wrong family vacations are fun, but they are not the same.
2. Spend money on stupid, unnecessary things.
After a baby, you become (or should become) more cognizant of that lesson that your parents tried to instill in you as a child on the “difference between needs and wants.”
3. Be more random.
After getting into the groove of married life, I’ll admit that I became much like I would imagine a sixty-year old woman would be (no offense to any readers of this blog who may be sixty or more). My husband and I became less random out of our desire to seem more “grown up like.” Now, the closest I can get to random is taking the stairs rather than the elevator to get to the gym in my apartment building, or, better yet, leaving the house without a diaper bag! I know, I’m sooooooo risky!!
4. Take more long showers.
I know it’s like super bad for the environment and my water bill, but I would have now, in my minute-woman showers, made up for all that, right?
5. Eat slowly, and remember to chew.
Before, I was in such an imagined rush in my life that all of my meals were completed within thirty minutes or less. I ate thinking about what I had to do next, so I never really savored the moment or my food. Now, a slow meal, is nearly impossible. In general, with Nya, I eat in ten minutes or less. Without Nya, I still do the same because I have become so conditioned to “ready.set.go” eating.
6. Travel lightly.
It is unfortunate, but now, when traveling with Nya around friends and family, I am often referred to as the “bag lady.”
7. Call in sick more often in order to focus on yourself, your wants, your desires.
In addition to not having very much time to do “me” things, my list of things to do just “for me” has dramatically been reduced to only include such things as: shower, read one (or two) chapters of a book, or do something to my hair other than put it into a tired ponytail. I know, sounds fun, right?
8. Take your career and resume less seriously.
After a baby, your priorities change. You may, if you are lucky, realize that things you used to do, such as stressing out over the bottom line of an employer (of course, any employer other than yourself), working late hours for a positive performance review, or exceeding your boss’ expectations for a project deadline, in the grand scheme of things, are very, very, very unimportant.
9. Be thankful for the beautiful body that you have today.
After a baby, you realize, if you are lucky, the many “other,” more important uses of your body. Again, if you are lucky, you stress out less about very minor flaws, such as slightly stretched tummy skin, stretch marks, and cellulite that appears in certain lighting because your perspective on what really matters has changed.
10. Be more creative and groundbreaking when deciding on your home decor.
As I look on my living room, I feel as though I am trapped in some type of baby research facility. Along with all of the furniture that we had pre-baby, and will likely have to replace now that Nya is moving more, we have at least six new additions, including a Jolly Jumper, a gym, a swing, a “moving” changing table, etc.
11. Drive faster, and listen to bad music more loudly.
When traveling with a baby, your main concern should be their safety. This means traveling at a slower speed and listening to music that is audibly appropriate (both in terms of language used and volume level) for their tiny ears.
What else do you wish someone would have told you to do before becoming a mommy (or, so as to not discriminate, daddy)?