There is very little I can do right now as I prepare for motherhood.
I can read all the books and magazines I want and decorate the baby's room, but that doesn't really prepare me for what it will be like once our little one is here.
I can hone my diapering skills on friends' children and practice calming techniques, but my child will be completely different than any I practice on, so that really doesn't help a lot.
I can even practice my voices for when I read books to my children, but that doesn't really prepare me for motherhood.
Is there anything that can prepare me? I don't know.
What I do know is there are a few biological factors I believe are the "warm-ups" for expecting mothers.
I don't know of any woman who was pregnant and didn't have to get up repeatedly during the night to use the bathroom. It's a fact of life. I can't tell you how many trips I make on average every night, but I would guess at least four.
Thinking about the nightly routine of getting up for the bathroom I figured it's all in preparation for motherhood. Once the baby is born there are feedings every couple of hours that keep new mothers on their toes at all hours of the night.
The months of interrupted sleep begin long before the baby arrives.
Another thing that I think prepares women for packing around a newborn are discomforts, such as heartburn. Not one of the most pleasant experiences, it can strike at any time, as can other discomforts of pregnancy.
I personally carry a large purse for my giant bottle of Tums. My purse also carry healthy snacks, because nothing is worse than being pregnant and not having something to munch on.
I think these things prepare new mothers for carrying around diaper bags and preparing for the unforseeable.
At Christmastime I was fortunate to be able to spend time with my nephew who lives in Philadelphia. Preparing for a day out of the house was a major ordeal as we filled the diaper bag with spare clothes, bottles, ointments and of course diapers.
So, although I can't be totally ready for motherhood, as there are so many aspects that are can't be determined ahead of time, I can at least look at my last few months as a training time.