The "Before Baby To-Do List" and Unrealistic Expectations - Baby Chick
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The “Before Baby To-Do List” and Unrealistic Expectations

Many women have unrealistic expectations about what they hope to accomplish before baby arrives. Here's one mom's before baby to-do list.

Published August 5, 2016

By the time you reach the final trimester of your pregnancy, most women are in full nesting mode. (And more than ready to meet that sweet baby! From a purely physical exhaustion standpoint, of course.) I would know. This was me with all three of my pregnancies. However, the exhaustion didn’t stop me from making a “Before Baby To-Do List” approximately 10 miles long. I wanted everything to be perfect — like it would ever be that way again. Are you picking up on my sarcasm?

I was out of my ever-loving, pregnant mind. I see that now. But at that particular moment, it made all the sense in the world. And then some. Do you feel me? I’m not going to say that we pregnant mamas are crazy. I know better than that. But oh, the hormones. It’s like a whole new level of (nonsensical) obsessive-compulsive behavior. And woe to anyone who tries to stand in our way. Here are a few items that made my “Before Baby To-Do List.” It’s okay; you can laugh. Trust me, I’m right there with ya.

(Completely Ridiculous and Unrealistic) Before Baby To-Do List

  1. The house must be spotless. Dust EVERYTHING. Including the baseboards. That’s right, scrub all the baseboards (in our 4,000-plus square foot house). Because obviously, baby CANNOT come home to even a speck of dust. Obviously.
  2. Wash and iron all the baby’s clothes, bedding, blankets, burp cloths, and toys. The nursery should be immaculate. It should look like a magazine, dammit.
  3. Cook and freeze at least three months’ worth of family-friendly, five-star postpartum meals. (I know. It makes no sense.)
  4. Reorganize every closet in the house. Drawers and cabinets aren’t off-limits. Again, with the scrubbing and the dusting. What if baby happens to pull open a filthy kitchen drawer? I would be mortified.
  5. Paint the dining room. Paint the downstairs powder room. Hell, why don’t we repaint the entire house? That seems doable.
  6. Bake several batches of lactation cookies and freeze them.
  7. Finish the two older children’s baby books. (Seriously, who do I think I am?)
  8. Devise a workout plan for losing all the baby weight.
  9. Learn to speak French. (Yes, I wrote that down.)
  10. Get a spray tan.
  11. Get my nails done.
  12. Get everything waxed.
  13. Host a garage sale.
  14. Schedule newborn photos and pick out a birth announcement. There’s no need to wait and see what the photos look like. Better to be prepared. (Kidding!)
  15. Pack my bags for the hospital.
  16. Wash and sanitize everything (baby bottles, pacifiers, pump parts) in preparation for baby’s arrival. It should be neatly organized (and easy to access).
  17. Install baby’s infant car seat. (Funny story: we made the mistake of waiting until the day I was discharged from the hospital to do so. We couldn’t quite figure out how to install the preschooler’s convertible car seat in the third row of our new SUV. So we had to make a quick detour to our local fire station on our way home. No biggie. Thankfully, the preschooler and the toddler were at a friend’s house then.)
  18. Organize and print every photo I have ever taken. This includes real cameras and iPhones. Yeah, that’s a lot of pictures. Okay, maybe by the time all three kids graduate. From college.
  19. Buy #allthecutebabyclothes—all of them. But don’t tell my husband!
  20. Also, stock up on wine. Wine is a necessity. And we are never leaving the house again.
  21. Plan a special, celebratory dinner for “just the four of us” before everything changes — we become a family of five. This one was important to me. (And we actually made it happen!)

See? I told you. Utterly ridiculous — I am not Super Woman. Not even close. (But for a couple of weeks there, I thought I was; I was wrong.) I didn’t get around to about 75% of the tasks on this list. But I at least completed the big stuff. Oh well. I guess I will wear my “slacker mom” badge with pride. My kids still like me, dusty baseboards and all. So, I must be doing something right. Fingers crossed anyway.

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Wife, mommy to three precious little girls, currently pregnant with baby a boy, and owner of The Plaid Pony. Read more

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