I could have called this post “things that make life with a newborn easier” but most of them we’ve been using for a while, and make non-baby life easier as well.
I could also have called this “why I’m glad to have a baby now and not 100 years ago . . . or even 20 years ago.”
– On-demand TV
So many channels have replay options, that even without a DVR, we can usually find something we both enjoy to watch at night. And while I have had some issues with the phone/internet company Orange in the past, they recently included an on-demand movie channel in our package. Not just movies actually, series as well, and all without dubbing as an option! Since we probably won’t be going to the movie theatre anytime soon, it’s nice to be able to see some new(er) movies fairly inexpensively. And my long days and nights aren’t so bad when there are 4 seasons of True Blood to catch up on . . . (No spoilers please!)
-My husband’s billion vacation days
I have the standard 25 days for Luxembourg, which is already pretty awesome. In the banking sector, they get even more, so my husband can take off a morning or a whole day to get stuff done. Things like taking the car to the garage, getting paperwork from the city, waiting for the repairman . . . He was able to take off 10 days after the birth, which was both an incredible help for me and great for him to get more time with bébé.
-Online grocery shopping and drive through pick-up
We’ve been using Leclerc Drive since November, and it’s totally changed our lives. No, they don’t offer everything online (I have to go to the store to get peanut butter, but at least they have both smooth and crunchy!), but it’s so much easier for us to menu plan for the week by seeing everything laid out in pictures on a screen, rather than jumbled together in a cart. And the drive through is right next to our gym, so our Saturday routine used to be an hour or two there before picking up the groceries, instead of two hours spent going to the store, dealing with the crowds, then getting home. I know that Saturday routine will be possible again in a few months, but for now, I’m happy to give up peanut butter in exchange for a stress-free shopping experience with bébé.
I know I spent the first half of my life getting by just fine without cellphones, but seriously, how great is all the stuff we can do with them these days? I am pretty good about not using it during meals and when with friends, and in general I prefer reading on public transport. But since getting a new phone this year, I’ve been finding all sorts of fun things to do with it.
I try not to use it too much while feeding bébé. But sometimes, it’s the only quiet moment during the day to send an email or look up my most recent burning question about him (“Is my baby’s head bigger than normal?”). Also, the TV remote control app on it is super useful when he’s sleeping/eating and I don’t dare reach for the actual remote.
I’m sure I’ll think of others as time go by. But just these few things have made the first three weeks much easier than I’d anticipated. Not “easy,” just “easier” . . . And while I know people got along just fine without stuff like this, when things are frustrating or hard, I like to think about some of the more positive aspects of my modern life.
What kind of things make you happy to live in the 21st century and not the 19th?