While life as you know it won’t totally end when a baby comes onto the scene, the spontaneity of a woman with child is much more limited than that of one who does not have to consider nap time, feeding schedules, and doctor appointments. So, if you’ve been trying to get pregnant and need a little respite, here are 10 things you can do before there’s a baby on board.
1. Take an adventure vacation
If you have always fantasized about scuba diving with sharks in Australia, zip-lining through the rain forest in Costa Rica, or hiking up Mount Everest, consider crossing that adventure vacation off your bucket list before trying to get pregnant. Obviously such extreme activities can be dangerous for pregnant women and, once your future baby arrives, you may find yourself putting them off in favor of more family-friendly trips that don’t require waivers and physicals.
2. Go to the theater
Once pregnant, the theater — with its cramped seating, limited bathroom breaks, and late-night timing — might actually seem more torturous than entertaining. Take in a play, an opera, or a concert before space, time and the right to pee are not deal-breakers for your enjoyable night out.
3. Drink up
Boozing it up is a standard pregnancy no-no, so before you try to conceive, go on that wine tasting tour, conduct that home beer brewing experiment, or try out that specialty cocktail at your favorite restaurant. While your doctor might not take alcohol completely off the table once your conception effort begins, your freedom to swig will significantly lessen.
4. Cancel Netflix
Ever tried to sit through a movie after drinking a Big Gulp? When you’re pregnant, you don’t need to drink 64 ounces of liquid to motivate frequent potty trips. Enjoy movie dates with friends and family now, and resume your Netflix subscription once you’re pregnant (you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the “pause” button).
5. Volunteer abroad
If you’ve always wanted to teach English in a third world country or assist with relief efforts in an area hit with a natural disaster, pack your bags now. You have the physical freedom to get your hands dirty without having to worry about overexertion or needing regular prenatal care. Bonus: you’ll be able to tell your future kids about that period of your life with a feel-good sense of accomplishment.
6. Utilize your extra bedroom
Do yoga in the extra bedroom. Or crafts. Or your spouse. It’s your space for now — enjoy it before it’s time to repurpose it for your future little one.
7. Adopt a (kid-friendly)
Simultaneously adjusting to both parenthood and puppyhood might be too much for any sane person to handle at once. If you’re set on having a family pet, adopt a dog at your local animal shelter that has already proven to be kid-friendly, and then spend some time getting Spot well-trained and acclimated to his new home before adding a baby to the mix.
8. Spend quality time with single and childless friends
Though good friends will continue to be good friends regardless of your pregnancy status, your invitations to Thirsty Thursdays and disco dance nights may dwindle with the assumption that you probably won’t want to go out once you’re bloated, fatigued, and dry. Let the good times roll now, and reassure them later that you really do still want to hang, even if it’s at an 11 am brunch instead of an 11 pm pub crawl.
9. Eat forbidden foods
Sushi, cookie dough, and unpasteurized cheeses may be some of your favorite foods, but they will be off the menu once you start trying to conceive. Bid them adieu in a farewell pig-out with a few good girlfriends.
10. Buy a really nice camera
Pregnancy is an expensive endeavor, so buy that fancy-schmancy camera while you have a few extra bucks in your pocket that aren’t earmarked for stretch cream, maternity clothes, and doctor bills. Use it now to document your bucket list adventures and, later, your adventures as a new parent!