While you are excited to take on a new role in life, it is important to know that parenting comes with a lot of changes in lifestyle. Before your life gets all ‘baby-centric’, here are some things that you can do together with your partner in preparation for your little bundle of joy!
1. Take at least one dream vacation
Sit together with your partner and name some of the places you have been dying to visit. Make plans to visit at least one of them, creating beautiful memories together before the baby come along. Travel planning is not going to be easy and carefree with your little plus one.
2. Late night, Date night
Late night supper. Midnight movie plans. Supper and long chats. Such events will be a luxury in future when your late night turns into milk feeding sessions or comforting them after a bad dream. Some other interesting late night date ideas include LED night kite flying under the stars, going prawning and night cycling.
3. Host a dinner party together
Gather your common friends together at your house and throw an unforgettable party. Go all out to prepare the food for your guests. Or even better, invite friends over for cookout sessions with well-planned menu and enjoy a gastronomic experience together. End the night with some games and drinks – something that you hardly think about when you have a baby to handle.
4. Get all fancy and have a special night out
A quiet, candlelight dinner at one of the fine-dining joint is such a romantic way to spend a night together over good food, wine and endless conversations. Nobody would like a crying baby to be a part of a beautiful ambience like this. One way to enjoy dining experiences like this with a smaller budget is to dine during Restaurant Week – when several restaurants in town offer fixed-price, multi-courses lunch and dinner at a more affordable price.
5. Journal about your pre-baby life together
Roles and responsibilities grow and change as a baby come along. Your entire life may change its focus and become so devoted to your child that you neglect your partner. Spend time together to pen down your favourite memories coupled with photographs so that both of you can look back at it and note how much both of you have grown together.
6. Movie marathons
It could be a movie marathon at the theatre or simply one spent at home on your own couch, cuddling together. Uninterrupted time where you get to enjoy movie after movie together with your partner, occasionally putting food into each other’s mouth. Make
dates for monthly movie marathon so you have something to look forward to.
7. Be spontaneous
A last minute phone call from your friends to hang out together. An impromptu meet up with old friends. Instead of brooding over how unprepared you are, be spontaneous! Having a baby would be means a lot of planning and packing to be done before you are ready to meet the world. You wouldn’t want to be out too much during his milk feed or nap time.
8. Sleep in and have breakfast in bed
Enjoy weekend mornings and wake up together when the sun is almost over your head. The decision to sleep in or not will not be yours when a baby is in the picture. And breakfast in bed, don’t even think about it. You wouldn’t want your child to see you doing it, imitate you and leave you will dirty linens from sauces and juices.
9. Make a list of all the restaurants and bars you have been meaning to check out and GO!
Staying in a wonderful multi-cultural place like Singapore definitely has lots of advantages. One of them is the great variety in cuisine and endless numbers of new eateries popping out in wonderful places. Follow thehoneycombers and get updates about all these restaurants. Money and time will not be on your side with a plus one on
its way. Money is better placed in the bank as emergency cash. Time is better spent
together with your child or getting quick snooze while you can.
10. Have weekly night out with friends
Go for dinners. Go concerts together. Enjoy art galleries. You do see your friends after pregnancy but topics will start to change. When the baby comes and you have got another little person’s schedule to juggle, making time for friends may get a little tricky. Venues for meet up starts moving closer to home, choices of activities get more restricted and times with friends do not seem that fun anymore. Take time before pregnancy to create stronger bonds with friends that will last a lifetime.
11. Wear your favourite delicate or expensive clothes and jewellery
You can’t have a baby without lots of stain. So put on all your beautiful silk or cashmere before machine-wash only becomes your favourite choice. Babies are often curious about accessories and when they learnt to grab and pull, you might want to put away those gorgeous necklaces and earrings of yours. You do not know when they might get a scratch from your jewellery.
12. Read those books that you have been wanting to
Haven’t had time to finish that book you bought for a long time? Or read though the entire series of 50 Shades of Grey? Get lost in some great books and enjoy these hours of uninterrupted reading time. Very soon, books will be limited to those from Eric Carle, Julia Donaldson, or Dr Seuss. You can also take time to explore further into other things of your interest such as baking or journaling through scrapbooking.
13. Savour quiet, obligation-free weekends together
While it is difficult to leave weekends with no plans at all, you will be surprised by how enjoyable it can be occasionally. You can start off by going on a jog together in the morning followed by a nice hearty breakfast and some groceries shopping. Head back home and simply laze the afternoon away. You can spend the time reading side-by-side, watching random shows on the television or just simply doing your own things.
14. Take long shower or bath
Savour every minute of your alone time and we really can’t stress this enough. One of the best alone time place is your bathroom. Take time to soak in bubble bath, enjoy the music and your favourite book. Invite your partner to join you from time and time. Bath time gets short and hasty with a baby in the house.
15. Take care of your body
Get your body ready for pregnancy. You can visit the GP on advice on the types of supplements you can start with. Also make time to take care of your oral health as hormonal shift during pregnancy can make you more vulnerable to gum problems. Get into an exercise routine – being fit before baby will help you bounce back into pre-natal body more quickly! Moderate drinking is considerably fine when you are conceiving not when you are pregnant. It is recommended to stop drinking altogether to prevent potential harmful effects on your developing fetus.
16. Enjoy an all night out together
It’s Friday night and both of you are off work the entire weekend. Make plans for late events such as karaoke, games night, bowling, clubbing together with your partner. Make time to enjoy things you used to do during your early adulthood because staying out all night is a BIG no-no for parents with young children. Even if you do get help from your parents with the baby, you might probably spend half the time worrying about him/her than having the time of your life.
17. Save an emergency fund
Expenses for a baby can get overwhelming at times. To make things less stressful during pregnancy, start an emergency fund right away. Whether you have children or not, a sudden loss of income or unforeseen emergency can be disturbing. With this additional responsibility and extra costs (for diaper, strollers, formula milk), an emergency fund equivalent to six months of expenses is necessary. Also take time to plan for future costs such as childcare, clothing and college education so as not to get caught off guard when time arrives.
18. Talk about big issues
Having a child is a life-time responsibility and can be an additional stress if prior planning are not done thoroughly. It is not necessary (in fact, not possible) to see eye-to-eye on all the matter regarding child upbringing but it is necessary to have a common understanding in order to minimise chances of argument in future. Who is going to take care of the baby? What values are important to inculcate to the child? How will finances work out with the baby around?
19. Invite a friend/relative’s child to spend the night
Sometimes, simply talking about it may not be sufficient. When being thrown into a real situation, both of you may react differently. Talk to friends with young children and discuss how you can do it together. Watch how each other reacts to challenges and have healthy discussion on how you can work together to overcome it in future. And the good news is, you can return this child the very next morning.
20. Have fun choosing names for future babies
Look at books on baby names and have fun selecting some of your favourites together. Try out your favourite names for a couple of days and see how they sound. But do not be quick to come to your final decision until your baby is born. Once you are looking at the gorgeous, real one, you may then finally have a better ideal name.
A strong relationship with your partner is one of the most valuable things you can give to your future children. So do take time to sneak in quality time together.
By Lim Qiao Yi