5 things I can’t wait to do on maternity leave

I am expecting our first baby, a girl, any day now. Heather asked me to share the things I can’t wait for, so here goes:

Drink a beer

Or maybe a margarita. It’s not so much the alcohol I’ve been missing, as much as the ability to bond with my husband over a drink. It’s not like the two of us can’t hang out sober but there’s just something about sitting and chatting for hours while sipping a delicious beverage that kind of makes time stop. Everything/everyone else around seems to disappear and it’s just the two of us, totally focused on each other. And while we’ve definitely gone on dates throughout this pregnancy, it hasn’t been the same. I mean, I can only drink so much water.

And I’m not so unrealistic to think that getting away, and focusing on just the two of us will be as easy as it was pre-baby but I’d like to try. Continuing to strengthen my relationship with Chris is incredibly important to me and even if our date nights have to include a baby I’m fine with that. It just means we get to find some new favorite baby-friendly drink spots.

Eat Avocados

Ok, so this is a little weird but I’ve hated avocados this entire pregnancy and normally I love them. I’m really, really hoping my love for them comes back. I can’t wait to have my favorite 2 egg, avocado and sriarcha breakfast again. Although that would mean I’d need my taste for sriacha to come back too”¦ Basically what I’m saying here is that I’d like my normal palate to return. Things haven’t gotten too crazy this pregnancy, no weird cravings or anything but I just haven’t liked some of my favorite foods and I’m really excited for my taste buds to go back to normal.

Break a sweat

I’ve been lucky with this pregnancy in that I’m 36 weeks along and still getting to the gym almost every day but the intensity with which I exercise is way less than normal. For most people, this is probably fine but it drives me a little crazy. I love to sweat ”“ not so much for weight loss but more for peace of mind. Exercise is just something that’s a part of my life ”“ I just like doing it. My husband and I each wrote lessons to our daughter ”“ and one of mine was, “make exercise a lifestyle not an event” and I can’t wait until she’s old enough to understand that.

To know that mama isn’t working out because she feels bad about her body, but rather working out because she loves how strong it makes her feel.

I know it’s going to be challenging to take care of a tiny baby and get myself back in shape but I’m going to figure out how to do it. Somehow. So here’s hoping that baby girl enjoys long walks in the Ergo and slow jogs in her stroller. Or that she gets on a lunchtime nap schedule so I can drop her off with Chris for an hour while I hit-up a class at the gym.

Go on vacation

Let me let you in on a little secret ”“ Chris and I love to travel! We have this big travel map in our guest room pinned with places we’ve been and where we want to go and we recently ran out of pins! We have too many places to see. And I can’t wait to take baby girl with us and start having adventures as a family. Sure, packing a stroller and car seat and baby things is going to be an adjustment. We’re pretty light packers so I know we’ll be completely overwhelmed at our 1st in, and we’ll want to run and hide when she cries for 6 hours of a 7 hour flight.

But I also can’t wait for her to grow up knowing there’s so much more to life than Portland, OR. I want her passport to be full of stamps and our walls to be littered with pictures ”“ memories of places we’ve all explored together. And we’ll start with Hawaii. In June.

Become a family of 4

Is this cheating? Can becoming a family really count as something I want to do on maternity leave? I hope so because it, more than anything, is what I’m most excited for. Chris and I (and Chance) have been together for almost 6 years and we’ve got a pretty good thing going. I couldn’t ask for a better life ”“ for a better partner to share it with. I am so lucky to get to spend every day with my best friend.

And yet I can’t wait for the next chapter.

To see him hold his daughter has probably been the thing I’ve been most excited about this entire pregnancy. To see what our life becomes with this little human who will be half him and half me. I know this adventure is going to be full of ups and downs but I can’t wait to experience every single moment.

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