It’s a currently unproven phenomenon that time goes a little crazy during pregnancy.
The first trimester passes painfully slowly, only to be followed by the whirlwind second trimester where you seem to be running out of time to get everything ready before the baby arrives.
Then suddenly, the final month arrives, and you realise that the first trimester had nothing on the snail’s pace that you will be forced to endure for the next four or more weeks.
Chances are the nursery is ready, the baby clothes are washed and folded away, and now all you have left to do is wait.
And wait. Aaaand wait.
Don’t worry though, you won’t be totally bored because you’ll receive at least 20 calls and texts each day (disclaimer: this may be a low estimate) from people wondering whether there’s any news. You’ll be kept busy coming up with new and interesting ways to reply without using all your swear words at once.
When you tire of that — after all, there are only so many combinations for hilarious swears — you could give the following a try:
Ways To Keep Busy #1: Get Lost In A Good Book
There is truly nothing better than getting lost in the depths of a good read. Ask for recommendations from friends, pick up a bestseller, or wipe the dust from the cover of one of the unread titles on your bookshelf. Immerse yourself in a make believe reality, ideally one without swollen ankles and indigestion. If you haven’t yet embraced eReaders (for example, a Kindle or Kobo), now is a great time to try one out. Many who convert don’t go back!
Don’t know what to read? If you want an easy, inspirational read that will make you go “WOW!” at the end, BellyBelly recommends The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A book that was difficult for many a reader to put down!
Ways To Keep Busy #2: Try Out Some New Recipes
What better time to perfect your cooking skills than when you are about to welcome a new mouth to feed?
Unless you’re a very committed cook, it’s unlikely you’ve tried every recipe in your cookbook stash. You probably spend time ogling the mouth-watering recipes, wishing you had the time, but then settle for one of your tried and tasted fall back recipes that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less. When the baby arrives, you will have even less time to cook – in fact, warm toast will probably feel like a slap up meal for the first couple of weeks.
So make the most of your baby-free time, and try to cook and eat something new and exciting each day until the end of your pregnancy. Better still – freeze meals for after the baby arrives. They’ll be so handy on those nights when baby wants to be permanently attached to mamma, and it’s difficult to cook. You will be SO glad that you did.
Ways To Keep Busy #3: Go To The Movies
Pensioners are the only people who know where it’s at during daytime hours. They know where all the good deals are, and exactly how to stay entertained before falling asleep on the sofa at 7:30pm. One thing that many pensioners do during the day, when crowds are non-existent, and prices are lower, is head to the cinema to catch a daytime performance.
Since you’re pregnant, why don’t you pay extra for a VIP or upgraded ticket? Some cinemas offer reclining chairs and all sorts of wonderful comfort measures for moviegoers.
Ways To Keep Busy #4: Take Control Of The Remote
Unless you’re in the very lucky minority, you probably have totally different viewing preferences to your other half. While you’re quite likely to be able to find some common ground together, he has probably vetoed a number of your Saturday night movie suggestions. Well, whilst he’s busy at work, and you’re using your energy cooking a baby, it’s time to work your way through the list of movies you never quite find the time to watch.
Ways To Keep Busy #5: Start Your Bucket List
If you don’t already have one, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your bucket list.
What are things you definitely want to do during your life? Do you want to see the world, climb mountains, or raise money for charity? Write down all your ideas, and then have a look through that one that might be achievable during these last few weeks of pregnancy. You probably shouldn’t go deep sea diving right now, or disappear to Machu Picchu beneath a giant backpack, but you might be able to get started on one of the gentler items on the list.
Ways To Keep Busy #6: Get Organised
In the past, you could have claimed to have poor organisational skills, not any more though.
Now that you’re sitting in a perfected nursery next to a pile of ready washed, ironed and organised cloth nappies, with more than a month to go, you can’t pretend to lack organisational skills. You have the skills, now is the time to utilise them. You know those little jobs you always mean to do but never seem to find the time to tackle? Now is that time.
Organise your photo albums, defragment your laptop, neaten up your sewing box, and alphabetise your spice cupboard.
Ways To Keep Busy #7: Treat Yourself
Pregnancy is tiring, and the last month especially so. Take yourself down to your local salon, and treat yourself to a new haircut, a pedicure or a massage. The last month of pregnancy can be exhausting, and a trip to the salon will leave you feeling relaxed and, well, a little more human.
Ways To Keep Busy #8: Go For Walks
Going for a short walk is a great way to stay fit, reduce stress, and prevent boredom – it may even help you to have a better labour, as it helps baby to wriggle down into your pelvis.
Just a mile or so a day could help to keep you organised. Download a podcast or create a soundtrack of your favourite music and head out into the world. Your healthcare provider will probably suggest walks as a way of naturally inducing labour as your due date nears, but there’s no harm in starting early.
Ways To Keep Busy #9: Have a Blessingway (Mother Blessing)
Unlike a baby shower, a Mother Blessing is about the mother, not the baby, and it involves presence, not presents.
A Mother Blessing is a gathering of a pregnant woman’s most trusted friends and family (traditionally, it’s a woman-only gathering). They sit in a circle and share experiences and stories, nurturing the mother-to-be’s body and soul. It helps the woman to prepare herself for the birth and motherhood, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
A Mother Blessing can help a pregnant woman release any emotional blockages she may have, and she can hear stories that will help her embrace what’s to come. Hearing other women’s positive and supportive stories can be reassuring, exciting and heartwarming to hear. Mother Blessings can be very affirming, empowering and uplifting, where plenty of oxytocin will flow.
When we bond with others, it produces oxytocin in our bodies, which is also a key labour hormone. Go and get loved up and spend time with those you cherish the most.
Either yourself or a friend can plan a Mother Blessing for you, or you can hire someone to help you – doulas usually know someone who can help you, if they don’t do Mother Blessings themselves. Read more about blessingways.
Ways To Keep Busy #10: Do Lunch
If you’re the only one of your friends on maternity leave, life can feel pretty boring for the first few weeks. You might not be able to natter with your friends all day, but you should be able to meet them for lunch as they escape from the office for an hour or so. Good company and good conversation always makes time fly past.
Alternatively, try and connect up with some new pregnancy friends. Especially as you become parents, it can be very reassuring seeing and hearing others going through the same things.
Most importantly of all…
Remind yourself that every single day your baby is being hugged by your uterus, he or she is safe and doing some very important final development, especially preparing the lungs for breathing outside the womb. As long as baby and mother are physically well, and there is no evidence that intervention is truly needed, every day spent being protected by your uterus is truly a gift for your baby.