Why I refuse to treat my baby’s arrival as the end of me

Mommies-to-be get smothered with light-hearted lists from experienced parents about how we should be “living up” our pregnancy – as if it is our last real, fun gig in life. It feels a little off key to me. 

700 x 300Adding a baby to the family is obviously a blessing that comes with many sacrifices, and I am fully aware that little one’s arrival marks the start of selfless, sleepless days and nights. But, I’m more than okay with this approaching change, and my pregnancy is a time to prepare for it, not run from it.

All of you exhausted super moms may look at me like I’m crazy for not sleeping all day or planning a romantic baby moon with my husband, but you are the ones rightfully in need of a much-deserved break – not me, not yet!

Just let us be ignorantly pregnant, wasting hours of precious sleep opportunity in exchange for pointless nesting. If it’s what feels best to us, it’s probably what is best for us.

Here are my candid reactions to this list of “30 things you’ll wish you’d done when you were pregnant”one of many blogs circulating the Internet serving as a “guide” to how expectant mommies should be embracing pregnancy.

1. Stay in bed all day. Third trimester insomnia, 20-minute bladder hold and total inability to actually lay in bed comfortably aren’t really conducive to this. Plus, I still have outside responsibilities to the world even though I’m growing a little one inside.

2. Be selfish. I am, don’t worry.

3. Say yes to a spontaneous plan.  I’m a home body. Always have been. Regardless, where will these spontaneous plans suddenly arise from in our otherwise predictable adult lives? You’ll have to whisper ideas into my husband’s ears. 

4. Hit up the bar.  Why would I want to be the DD for everyone and resort to using a nasty public restroom for my incessant pregnant bladder?

5. Enjoy an all-nighter.  I stopped enjoying all nighters when I was in college, and I am perfectly content with this. 

6. Sleep in.  I get that you parents are sleep deprived, but the best I can do for you is listen to my body. I can’t force sleep. 

7. Go to an amusement park.  Where I can’t ride the rollercoasters? … Or, I could just go out for ice cream. 

8. Sneak into a movie.  I could also pay the $10 like an adult. 

9. Pick the movie. This implies that I don’t already have a man child in my life, my husband, who has already been stealing this freedom from me for years.

10. Have more sex – You might not be in the mood, but power through.  Power through? Really? Sounds like a man wrote that one … 

11. Have more sex in places you aren’t supposed to.  Please stop trying to give one-size-fits-all sex advice to other couples. 

12. Have crazy sex.  See no. 11. 

13. Wear all of your expensive jewelry.  And risk not being able to get it off when my hands swell up? No thanks. 

14. Wear all of your designer handbags.  You’re assuming I own designer handbags.

15. Spend a day completely alone. Too late. Even though my child is not here yet, I still have people counting on me on a daily basis. I get it, I really do, but carving out alone time is not now or never – it is an ongoing challenge that is not unique to parenthood.

16. Take an unnecessarily long bath.  I do, to help alleviate the constant back pain from this pregnancy; the grass isn’t always greener.

17. Leave the house on a moment’s notice. Should I pretend there is an emergency, or?

18. Take a meandering walk.   Is there no meandering with a stroller?  

19. Binge-watch a show.  Deal. I’ll give you this one. 

20. Go out to dinner instead of ordering takeout.   Sorry, but my pregnancy cravings trump yours. I eat what I want, when I want. I’m being selfish as you suggested earlier. 

21. Spend an hour on your hair.   Never in my life have I spent an hour on my hair; nor do I want to. 

22. Master a ridiculously fancy, overly complicated dinner recipe.   Or, I can embrace the convenience of my crockpot because slaving away in the kitchen while pregnant doesn’t sound fun. The sooner I sit down the sooner I can possibly get a foot massage.

23. Order the chef’s tasting menu – When else will you have five hours and $300 to spare?  Not sure where that five hours or $300 magically appeared for expectant couples. 

24. Throw a temper tantrum. I kind of am right now. 

25. Get away on a girls’ weekend.  I have endured two trips during my pregnancy, and I personally do not enjoy traveling while pregnant. I’m always peeing, burping and wanting to lounge around in oversized bathrobes. 

26. Fly first class.  See no. 25.

27. Rent a sports car.  Pregnancy has given me zero interest in suddenly wanting to rent a random car. 

28. Read a book cover to cover.  Yes, I’m reading up on baby books, because naturally, I can’t stop focusing on my coming bundle of joy. While you rightfully long for an emotional and physical break, I am in a different place. I am new to motherhood and blissfully anticipating all of its woes. 

29. Host a house party.  Food and friends? Check. 

30. Take the seat – When someone kindly offers you a seat on the bus, don’t be too proud to take it.  I do. I told ya, I have no problem being selfish.  

I’m not trying to discredit or be argumentative towards parents who share these tidbits, rather, I’m trying to shed light on the fact that pregnancy is meant to be experienced candidly.

For every piece of positive insight passed down to pregnant mamas, there are 10 pieces of negative warnings handed down. Can we stop focusing on all that we give up in our journey to parenthood and start sharing more of what we are gaining? 

Speaking firsthand as a new pregnant mama, that’s really what I need to hear right now – not that I should be sleeping more or escaping to bars and amusement parks. I refuse to treat my baby’s coming arrival as the end of fun, or worse, the end of me.

Tell me, instead, 30 things about parenthood that I have to look forward to- that make all of the sacrifices, big and small, worth every second.

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