When I was pregnant, mums would variously make recommendations to me about how best to use my time before the bub arrived. With a certain, hungry look in their eye, they would say, “Get lots of sleep.” “Go out to lunch with friends.” “Eat dinner at the same time as your husband.” “Travel. “Take it easy.” “Get a pedicure.” And my personal favourite: “Go to the toilet with the door closed.”
I was not one to mind the prospect of spending large portions of my time at home. I am a couch potato by nature, and like my father before me, enjoy nothing better than to solder myself to the armchair and wait out anyone else (ie my husband) to get up again, thereby conveniently asking him to get me x, y or z, seeing he was “already up.”
That said, there is one thing I would recommend to my pregnant friends to do before their bub arrives:
Go out – for five minutes, an hour, a day, I don’t mind how long – and switch off your mobile phone. Because once you have a baby, you are going to be plugged in for the rest of your life.
A case in point. My wonderful husband bought me a massage voucher after a particularly hard week with bub. I managed to get out of the house and use it a week ago. I entered the massage room, inhaled the sandalwood and gave myself over to the Enya soundtrack. I took out my phone from my pocket and ceremoniously switched it off.
“Oh, you don’t want to do that,” the masseuse, a woman in her 50s, shook her head. “Here, leave it on and put it here where you can easily see it and reach it,” she indicated a small shelf under the hole in the massage table where my face would soon lie, staring, it would seem, at the screen of my phone for the next 60 minutes of “relaxation.” “Anything could happen.”
So my fellow travellers, I don’t mind if you don’t get yourself to New York for a last hurrah, or go scuba diving with sharks as your final risk taking adventure before you have another life to take care of. I just want you to press one small, inconsequential button on your phone. Because soon, all too soon, you never will again.