If anyone tells you that their biggest accomplishment was to procreate, you know that they’re fibbing to make themselves feel better. Having kids is hard work and, honestly, not for everyone.
Having a baby is a life-altering experience in the best way possible. You’re launched into a different stratosphere of love that you didn’t know was possible and learn you actually don’t need as much sleep as you thought. But that life you had pre-baby? It’s definitely altered, which makes doing pretty much everything harder than it used to be.
If you’re planning to have a baby someday, add a few or all of these to your pre-baby bucket list. Once your little one arrives, you’ll be glad you did.
1. Travel together
If you’ve always dreamed of traveling to far-off destinations, now is your time. Talk to your partner about where you’d both like to go if you could visit anywhere in the world, and then see if you can make it happen. Obviously, you don’t want to bankrupt yourself, but you should consider this time as an opportunity to realize a life-long fantasy.
Traveling with children is a lot tamer—not to mention more boring—than traveling alone or with your partner. Be sure to do as much traveling as you can before having kids, because by the time they’re old enough to join you on travel adventures, you may just be too old to enjoy it.
2. Make love everywhere
On the kitchen counter, on the living room floor, on the guest bed, under the guest bed, you take your pick. Once you have children, sex will probably be restricted to your bedroom. Even then, good luck finding the time and energy to get it on.
3. Get fit
Meeting your fitness goals will fill you with a sense of accomplishment and whip your butt into shape. Being fit before baby will help you bounce back more quickly after baby.
Ladies, let’s not forget the massive pregnancy weight that you have to deal with. It is best to slim down now to make room for the excess weight that’s bound to come.
4. If you smoke – STOP!
If you smoke it’s best to quit before you get pregnant. If you and your partner both smoke, this is a good time to quit together. Men who smoke tend to have a lower sperm count and risk damaging their sperm. Women who smoke tend to take longer to conceive. It’s best to wait 3-4 months after quitting smoking before trying for a baby. Fertility improves for both men and women after quitting. You will feel the benefits straightaway and have a healthier pregnancy with less risk of pregnancy-related illness and complications such as miscarriage, premature birth and having a low birthweight baby.
5. Hang out with some kids
If you have nieces or nephews, or friends with children, take some time to hang out with them, as a couple. Doing so might give you a better sense of how both you and your partner relate to children.
6. Have a financial plan
If everyone waits to get financially settled before they have a baby, there would be no babies in the world. So while you will never feel like you have enough money, be sure you and your partner have a financial plan that includes baby costs.
7. Be more spontaneous.
Once you have kids, anything to do with spontaneity will have to be shelved. Keeping your kids alive will require a strict schedule, one that you can’t stray too far from. Missing a single mealtime can cause utter devastation. Take time to be spontaneous now, before your life is ruled by schedules.
8. Prepare to play second fiddle:
Having a child roughly translates into putting someone else’s needs before your own. Make sure that you and your partner are aware of this reality before you decide to bring a new person into the family.