Well, my calendar certainly tends to fill up quickly, especially now that I have two little ones in tow.
Before babies, before diapers, breastfeeding, snack times, meal times, and play dates, it drove me nearly crazy to have anything on my “to-do” list for more than a few days. Not to mention that my job involves setting, meeting, and enforcing deadlines right and left.
Now there’s a light in my kitchen that’s needed replacing for a year and a half, two bathrooms that haven’t seen a GOOD cleaning in months, two bank accounts I’ve been meaning to start for my kids for quite some time, and more.
And even before the babies are born, pregnancy can go by so quickly that it seems like you pee on that stick, go to a series of doctor’s appointments, blink, and then they’ve arrived!
There are many things about parenthood you can’t plan, and many ways in which you’ll have to let go of what you used to call a sense of control. Redefining your “normal” is sort of what it’s all about, I guess.
So you might as well lighten up, settle in, and have a good chuckle at these 15 deadlines you might miss before the baby’s ever even born.
15Ladies Who Labor
You’ve heard of the ladies who lunch, but how about this other set? It’s the mom friends you have in your head – the ones you make at Lamaze class or already happen to just know from your everyday life (who all miraculously happen to be starting families at the exact same time as you somehow…).
Sure, for some, it does sort of just work out this way. But many women find that, oh, shit, I don’t have a close-knit circle of female friends all having babies at the exact same time that I am.
My husband and I led the pack when it came to having kids. Even now as our youngest passes the half-year mark, we’re attending our longtime friends’ weddings, not their baby showers just yet.
Mommy groups might help ya out after the baby’s born if you aren’t quite able to make this deadline in time.
How are you going to perfectly match the cliché of the all-American mom if you have not yet even purchased your very own minivan??
Or maybe it’s a station wagon, an SUV, or the latest crossover.
If you still have your college ride, your sturdy sedan, or your cute coupe, well then you’ve surely missed yet another mom-tastic deadline.
Moms I meet are sometimes astounded that I’m able to fit my stroller, two kids, diaper bag, and more into a car that doesn’t fall as neatly into this “soccer-mom car” category. Do you sometimes wonder if obtaining these classic “mom” rides is sort of more about fashion and following the herd than it is about function, though?
Anyway, if it’s important to you not to be the only mom in the roundabout without a pimped-out “mom” ride, better get thee to the dealership.
It’s the American dream (a constantly shifting target, these days): Make at least enough money to do as well as or better than your parents financially and use that money to buy a house (with a white-picket fence, of course) and start makin’ babies.
Welp, a lot of us graduated college and entered the job market after or around the time some pretty big stuff was going down in the worlds of real estate and finance – and this combined with all the other fun factors of life meant that we didn’t all exactly sign on the dotted line for that 30-year mortgage, start spending Saturdays at Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond (if we had time…), or pick out paint colors just yet.
Maybe instead we neared or surpassed 30, decided we were tired of waiting, or just sort of coupled up and it happened – and there we were expecting our first child, before we bought a house.
It’s nice to think you’ll be able to pick your neighborhood based on a short list of important factors, such as how safe it is, how close it is to your place of work, and (now here’s the big one) whether you are in the preferred school district and next to the best (free, public) elementary school.
But many of us end up living wherever we could squeeze in, wherever we can afford, and wherever we’ve sort of wound up.
Private school is a HUGE expense, so much so that it may very well be cost-prohibitive when it comes to having children.
But living by a public school your children will then be allowed to attend that you feel proud and comfortable sending them to is just not always in the cards.
Welp, maybe you’ll get a chance to figure it out sometime before kindergarten…
11Procuring A Provider
In big cities and small towns, alike, parents in the know realize they better get a move on and get on waiting lists for the best and / or most affordable daycares in the area like the minute they get pregnant. Hell, why not even start shopping around for childcare providers when you start “trying” (kidding).
The thing is, it’s likely you’re not the only one in your fair city in your particular income bracket or thereabouts who plans to return to work after the baby is born and needs a capable yet affordable establishment at which to leave your little love something like 9 hours a day, 5 days a week.
You will need to interview them, they may request to interview you, it may help to have connections that give you that “in,” and you may have to have first-, second-, and third-choice options to fall back on.
Every baby book I’ve seen has a page for you to fill in the blanks and then neatly paste a cute photo of baby with his or her “First Best Friend.”
Well, the first weeks and months go pretty goddamn fast, and if you don’t already have a preg buddy expecting at right around the same time as you are, you may feel you need to add yet another important line to your postpartum to-do list.
Whether it’s a mommy group with an entire crew you can line up and take adorable pictures of together or a single bosom buddy to come over and roll around with on the carpet, every baby surely needs a friend, right?
Don’t worry if you’ve already missed this “deadline” as your due date nears, mama. Community groups, classes, and grocery stores will surely provide great venues for you and your attention-grabbing cutie to socialize.
9Follow Me @InUtero
At the very least, you’ve already set up a personalized hashtag for your little boy- or girl-to-be, right? Is your feed filled with your own posts of your growing bump, numbered cards displaying how many months along you are, and maybe the various fruits and vegetables that happen to resemble your baby in utero in size at that moment? Maybe it’s #babyemma, #tylerjames, or #jonesbaby2017?
Beyond this, have you claimed your little love his or her very own Instagram account yet? No?!? Better get a move on, or you’ll miss this deadline, too.
You wouldn’t want your kid to have the fewest followers of anyone in the class by the time he enrolls in kindergarten, would you?
Social media can be many things: addicting, fun, dangerous, silly, meaningless, connective, and boundary-making. But – and I’m completely serious now – some parents see it as a vital part of their parenting game.
You don’t want to be the only mom in your Facebook feed without a picture of your newborn child posed delicately (and nakedly) in the palm of Dad’s hand or a teeny-tiny basket, do you??
Scheduling a newborn photo shoot better get bumped right now to the top of your expectant-mom to-do list.
Seriously, though, is it not hilarious how repetitive these pics can seem after you’ve received a handful of birth announcements in the mail? Eyes are closed, butt is always naked, and little miss or mister snoozes soundly on a carefully prepared set, posing unwittingly for his or her very own first photo shoot.
Given that many of us have pretty high-quality cameras at our fingertips every waking moment of the day now, it can be fun and easy to capture some more unique (or hey, maybe even alert) moments yourself and craft your own collage to announce your offspring’s arrival.
Before the “Milestones” page, the section for month-to-month pictures and accomplishments, the area for “First Vacation” and of course the blanks provided for “First Birthday Party” in the baby book comes where it all began: The designated section of the baby book provided for an expectant mother to glue a picture of herself and write down some of the details of her pregnancy.
What did she love to eat? What did she hate the site / smell of? What were her dreams for her future child? What was the date she discovered that she was pregnant? These types of questions and prompts are usually included.
Sorry to say, though, that if you don’t find the time, energy, or interest to fill out this section by the time the baby comes, you may have already missed another deadline, and you may never end up completing it. Oh well!
The expectant mother stands in the soft morning sunlight of an impeccably decorated nursery. The crib linens are washed, ironed, and put on the bed, a small pink or blue stuffed animal sits just so on the shelf, and a perfectly folded stack of petite onsesies is washed, dried, and ready to wear in the dresser.
The reality? Some moms don’t exactly find the time or see the need to completely deck out the nursery in time for baby’s arrival. Heck, there must be plenty of new moms out there who don’t even have a separate room for their babies.
Perhaps they don’t want to go all out with the décor until they’ve learned (or been surprised by) the baby’s gender, perhaps they don’t want to throw a bunch of cash at this pursuit, or maybe their abode simply isn’t big enough! Ah, another “deadline” missed.
When you packed your hospital bag, and carefully inserted baby’s tiny little “going home” outfit, did you not include the teeniest size available of Freshly Picked moccasins, See Kai Run mary janes, or Toms slip-ons? For shame! You’ve already missed yet another mom deadline.
In all seriousness, though, we get it. There’s just something about baby shoes that makes pregnant women — and even dreaming-of-becoming-pregnant women — swoon, weep, and otherwise pine. They are just SO. DARN. LITTLE.
Having $60 made-in-the-USA suede moccasins for them to wear home from the hospital – in the latest and greatest seasonal patterns and prints – may not be something you ever really thought about, until now.
Sorry, mom-to-be. I’m probably being a bad influence.
Perhaps some soft little socks, a sweet footed romper, or a cozy keepsake blanket will do.
In reality, a diaper bag need only be a container, preferably one that zips in order to somewhat delay baby rummaging through it, that can fit within it a change of clothes, a handful of diapers, some wipes, a bottle, a snack, some diaper cream, and whatever purse items mom has found to be an absolute necessity (think lip balm, hand sanitizer, and money).
But in mom-reality, a diaper bag is a fashion statement, a status symbol, a work of art, a chance to go shopping, and perhaps an evolution of her lifelong obsession with handbags and purses (yes, my friends and family are probably raising a knowing eyebrow in my direction right now…).
You may tell yourself that you’ll just use an old tote bag from your last vacation or a big roomy purse from the last time those were in style, only to find “high-end diaper bag” should have been a higher priority.
The 4- to 6-month mark, at which many pediatricians and parenting books and sites recommend beginning to introduce “solid” (not-just-milk / formula) foods to babies, can creep up REAL fast – so fast, in fact, that some may say that if you don’t already have your Baby Bullet food processor on the counter, your organic garden growing, and your cookbook collection fully stocked as that due date approaches, you’ve already missed another parenting deadline.
Yeah, see, there isn’t always time to make fresh, organic baby-food purees when the age of introducing solid foods is suddenly upon you. Sometimes there’s time to grab a couple jars of smooshy squash or prunes at the store, sometimes there’s time to mash some pees around in a bowl with a fork, and sometimes there’s time to change everyone’s clothes afterward.
But there’s not always time to become a master chef of fresh baby food.
If you have any small amount of disposable income, any generous checks coming in from family and friends at baby showers, and any dreams of teaching your kid about money management – or hey, maybe even sending the little tike to college one day – you’ve probably been meaning to look into how and where you can set up your baby’s very own bank account.
I’ve gone by “Mom” for going on three years now, and, yeah… I’ve still been meaning to do this one.
I have a short stack of checks we’ve been meaning to deposit and a small sum of funds in my own savings earmarked for my little ones… Does that count?
Managing money, household bills, mortgages or rent, retirement, grocery costs, and more can be quite a chore for many new parents. Heck, it’s pretty tough for most people in general!
Getting a bank account just for baby may be one deadline that looms for quite some time.
Omigosh, have you SEEN how small kids are these days when they strap on the shin guards, tie up the cleats, and start preparing to be the next David Beckham?
And there are Dads by the scores where I live training their mini-mes hard on miniscule scooters and itty-bitty balance bikes, the better to become a future BMX-er or Tour de France champ.
If you’re pregnant and you haven’t yet chosen the sport that your little love will be training in, well then you’re obviously already late to the parenting party.
Even if your little boy or girl doesn’t become a professional athlete, well they’ll need to have well-rounded extracurriculars to get into a good college, right?
How funny that we start so early in attempting to craft the sort of people our little people will become.
Let’s focus on having fun and loving them, and maybe put away the mom calendar for a while.
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