Between acid reflux, my new friend Braxton Hicks (a real one sided relationship if you ask me), not fitting in 99% of my wardrobe, and doctors appointments that appear from nowhere like the genie in Alladdin, being a social human being during my third trimester is difficult. I use the term “difficult” because going out does suck sometimes and it definitelty can be a pain in the butt, but it’s certainly not impossible.

I believe it is extremely important to make time for friends and events before Itty Bitty enters the world.

Yes, being pregnant and a soon-to-be-new-mom is life changing, but it doesn’t mean that who I am needs to completely change. I freely admit the previous sentence is a little “pie in the sky,” but I firmly maintain that one has to retain, as best they can, who they are and not become something else entirely just because a kid will, or has arrived.

Before & After getting ready for a night out

Work, weekly doctor appointments, classes, and sleep keep my schedule pretty jam packed. Most nights all I want to do is jump in my pajamas and catch up on Downton Abbey. The easy, lazy route. From here on out this route will be referred to as The Dark Side.

But then as I journey into The Dark Side, I hear a little voice inside my head that reminds me to get up and see people. I grumpily roll off of my couch, having an inner dialogue with myself, and generally the little voice wins. (Is anyone else thinking of Gollum as you read this? I think Downton is My Precious.) Searching through my closet, I pick out one of my four suitable outfits, throw on a little makeup, and ask my hubby to help me put on my shoes (it’s getting a bit difficult.) After zipping up my coat, I grab a raw fish….oops, I mean string cheese (to keep the hungercrankies away) and head out the door. That’s when my grumpy old hermit man melts away, and I realize that this was a great decision. I’m out, and will be thankful for this. Even if I only go out for an hour or two, it won’t keep me up later than watching TV, and it will certainly be more fulfilling. I have found that The Light Side always wins.

So here are some of my suggestions for staying social during pregnancy:

  • Bond with other soon to be moms in a pregnancy group or at prenatal yoga once a week. Share stories, ask questions, and laugh at all of the crazy experiences we are now going through. (Has anyone else lost complete control over their bladder or gas?). My hubby and gay best friend, try as best as they do, don’t know what a tiny baby feels like on the inside. It’s nice to be able to chat with people who are going through many of the same wondrous new experiences at the same time as myself.
  • Make sure to see your non-mommy or daddy friends at least once a week…and try to keep discussions about your tiny baby to a minimum, unless they keep asking. Baby is always on our brains, but it’s not on everyone else’s. In other words, don’t be that girl. That girl is self centered and concerned with only talking baby. It’s annoying and turns people off. You were friends before baby, so being friends with baby shouldn’t be hard.
  • Stay active in networking events, continue to meet new people and keep your career alive, even if you’ll be taking a hiatus. Your brain will thank you!
  • Keep up your volunteer work! The topics and causes that you feel passionately about can always use your help. Sure, we may not be doing a 5K at this point, or won’t be doing heavy labor, but there is still so much we can do.

Much of my reasoning behind staying social during these last few weeks is because I know I won’t be able to so as much for the first few months after Itty Bitty arrives. From what I hear, the first month after birth is like something from a zombie apocalypse. No sleep, running on auto pilot, as unfashionable as one can be, and just trying to keep myself and my new tiny baby alive. (In this case, going to The Dark Side is not only ok, it’s expected). I also hear this time is one of the most amazing time in one’s life, and that babies change daily. Parents don’t want to miss out on a single moment.

So for now, I’ll keep heading out into the world, making sure I continue to strengthen my relationships, and not become a hermit. Downton Abbey, despite my inner Gollum’s protestations, can wait. There will be time for Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess later – when I look like a zombie. A glowing, on top of the world, happy, zombie.