Welcome to the first lifestyle post on Travel Pray Love! These posts will be mingled in with our regular travel/expat posts, but will focus on things like pregnancy, becoming a mother, building a life as a new family, etc.
HOW DO I RELAX (BUT STILL HAVE FUN) DURING MY PREGNANCY?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve taken your pregnancy as a sign to slow life down a little bit. You’ve had a million people telling you how you won’t be sleeping, having alone time (or really, having any kind of life) after your child is born. While I think this is a bit of an exaggeration, I do think that life will be a little hectic and fast-paced for the first few months of your child’s life until you get a new routine down.
HAVE A LIST OF BOOKS TO READ AND TV SHOWS TO WATCH – and don’t feel at all guilty about the days where you do almost nothing but read and watch TV. Obviously, you should try your best to stay healthy and relatively active during your pregnancy, but there WILL be days when you just want to sit on the couch in your pajamas, sorting baby clothes, leafing through What to Expect books with old FRIENDS re-runs on your TV. And that is definitely okay! Allow yourself to relax, because (as everyone is telling you), this is a sacred time that you might not have much of once your baby arrives!
FIND PREGNANT FRIENDS (OR OTHER EXPATS IF YOU’RE LIVING ABROAD) – and have monthly/weekly dinner dates together. It’s so nice to be able to share your pregnancy with someone who is going through it at the same time. Obviously you can share your pregnancy with your significant other, your parents, your siblings, your friends, etc – but there is nothing quite like talking swollen feet and embarrassing digestive problems with someone who is actually going through the exact same things as you are.
HAVE “ACTIVE DAYS” AND “RELAXING DAYS” – because how can you feel guilty for binge-watching the entire new season of Orange is The New Black on one of your relax days!? Say you plan to go to the gym, or on a walk 4 days a week. The other days, you will feel absolutely okay with lounging around because you know you have days when you’re productive and days when you’re not.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY – and do what it says! If your feet are swollen, your back aching and you just don’t feel like you can be productive today – then don’t! Your body knows best!
This definitely goes for any pains you don’t think are normal, if you think you’re going into labour or any weird questions you might have. It’s YOUR body, YOUR pregnancy, YOUR baby – trust yourself!
DO THE RIDICULOUSLY CHEESY PREGNANCY THINGS THAT YOU WANT TO DO – and feel no shame!!! Belly painting, taking insane amounts of maternity shots, scheduling maternity photo shoots, doing cute gender reveal photos/videos and re-arranging your house a million different ways. This is an incredible time in your life (one you might not experience many times), so don’t be afraid to let yourself be a typical pregnant person doing all the typical pregnant-person things.
LET YOURSELF BE TAKEN CARE OF – because you will be taking care of another human being for the next 20 years or so! Since this is a fairly common thing among new moms (because you’re taking care of a child, as well as
your husband who might also sometimes acts like a child), use your pregnancy as an excuse to be pampered and taken care of by anyone who is willing to help!!
FUN PREGNANCY IDEAS
(FOR THOSE LIVING ABROAD AND AT HOME):
Home Dopplers: If you’re comfortable enough (and use them properly), home doppler systems can be incredibly fun and an amazing way to share your pregnancy with those who may live further away. Most home-dopplers these days have a feature to record/upload and send a track of your baby’s heartbeat (thank you, 21st century!)
Maternity Photo Shoots: Family oriented or momma-oriented, documenting this special time in your life is so crucial. (Plus, getting all dolled up for a photo op is bound to make even the most swollen and round women feel gorgeous in their pregnant skin.)
Belly Art: Although I haven’t done this yet, my sister arrives in a few weeks and this is one of the first things we plan on doing! Using body-safe paints and molds to decorate or create a mold of your bump is a great way to boost your energy/happiness levels during your third trimester (a time in which you will need all the smiles you can get!)
And the fun thing about these is that you can use this as a way to get your partner/family/friends involved! Planning these activities together is so much fun!
Gender Reveals: If you YOUTUBE the words “gender reveal”, I swear you will have a blast looking at all the videos. People announce the gender of their bundle of joy is such awesome, creative ways! (Again, thanks, 21st century!)
Baby Showers: Depending on your cultural traditions, having a baby shower before your baby arrives can be fun (and not at all stressful if you have someone help you plan it!). It’s a great way to have people wait on you hand and foot – too! 😉
Travel/Baby-moons: While I seriously applaud anyone who can travel while (heavily) pregnant, taking a little baby-moon for yourself and your partner is an INCREDIBLE idea and I seriously suggest it. Everyone is bound to be telling you that alone time once baby arrives will be scarce, and I’m sure there’s some truth to that!