New moms: Six ways to seize the moment now

book coverReprinted from The Girlfriends' Guide to Getting Your Groove Back, by Vicki Iovine, by permission of Perigee, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2001 by Vicki Iovine. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission.

From the moment when it became clear that our helpless infants' needs would be replaced by our preschoolers' wants, we should have seen this job for what it was; as essential and unchangeable as our height and tendency to sunburn. If we were going to sit around waiting to grow, shrink, or stop freckling before we went out into the world, we were going to miss our day at the beach. Let's just make a pact to carve out the fulfillment of our own precious dreams while helping the dreams of the people we adore to come true. With the hindsight of a gal who still has several eggshells in her hair from Mother Nature's little cosmic pranks, I'm here to tell you that there are six things we Girlfriends must do to prepare for the unexpected curve balls that She is sure to pitch:

1. We Must Be Healthy. I hate to be an alarmist, Girlfriend, but as a general rule, women who are far enough along in their lives to consider working on their grooves are old enough to have to take their physical condition seriously. Even if we feel terrific, and who even has the time to notice, we are of an age where it's important to get enough sleep, get regular pap smears, get baseline mammograms and bone density tests, and swallow enough calcium to turn us into whalebone. Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed that a common cold now lays me flat on the couch for three days. Even just missing a couple hours of sleep has me so jittery and disoriented that I don't feel safe driving carpool, let alone capable of picking up a child with a suspected fracture.

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