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There’s nothing like a baby to bring your swinging single life to a screeching halt.
I look back at the summer of 2012 and laugh at all the fun I had: running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain; sailing a private boat down the Italian Riveria through the colorful villages of Cinque Terre, Italy; floating high above Marrakech, Morocco, in a hot-air balloon.
I laugh because I know this coming July will look a whole lot different: Instead of exotic trips, there will be marathon breast-feeding sessions; the first of many sleepless nights; my newborn’s first pediatric appointment; and plenty of travel, all right—to the nearest Wal-Mart for more diapers.
Being pregnant has, of course, put the kibosh on all cocktail hours and boozy brunches with friends.
Not that I’m complaining: I’ve wanted to be a mom for a very long time. Besides, single motherhood is probably the greatest adventure I'll embark on. And at 36, I’ve strutted my solo stuff with the best of them—having brunched and partied and dated to my heart's content during my 14 years in New York City.
Still, it is a bit shocking to suddenly scale back—way back—on my social life.
Being pregnant has, of course, put the kibosh on all cocktail hours and boozy brunches with friends. Being exhausted all the time—I’m coming to the end of my first trimester—has put a hex on late-night parties, and being newly conscientious about risks has meant not participating in any of the wintertime activities I normally enjoy, like ice skating or skiing.
In fact, I’m planning on gifting my outstanding Living Social and Groupon vouchers for rock-climbing and piloting a single-engine plane to family members. I admit that I do that with some regret. Had I only known my little angel was coming, I would have made sure to jump on those opportunities right away!
At this point—especially given the fact that I am doing this alone—I’m not sure I’d even feel comfortable engaging in these types of activities after my child is born. The idea of potentially leaving him or her motherless because I decided to engage in some unnecessary thrill-seeking seems a bit silly to me.
Still, I know that babies quickly grow into children who like to explore the world just as much as their parents do, and so my hope is to eventually take my child on the kind of adventures I had growing up—riding camels under the watchful eyes of my mom and dad in North Africa; petting Grizzly bears (with muzzles on them) on the streets of Istanbul; and field trips with classmates to Salzburg, Austria, to white-water raft.
After all, it was those types of experiences that made me the open-minded, adventurous and well-adjusted person I feel I am today.
To pass along some of life's greatest joys—the joys of exploration and adventure—I believe will be among the best gifts I can possibly give to my child.
In the meantime, I’m learning to get my kicks through the Travel Channel.