20 Things Every Person Should Do Before They Have Kids

  1. Vacation to hard to get to, take three planes kind of places with adventuresome, peaceful and adult-only type activities. Yes, you can attempt to take a baby and small children with you on multiple flights, hike with them in backpacks to remote mountains, find a babysitter while you zip line, rock climb, white water raft down a busy river, but can you really call it “relaxing?”
  2. Use a bathroom whenever you need one. You never knew what a luxury it was to go #1 or #2 in peace until a baby enters the picture. Before you know it, you have an audience. Someone who thinks it’s really funny or a reason to cry hysterically when you use that bathroom. You either have to plan your bathroom breaks when the baby is napping, tolerate some screaming or put an extra baby holding device in the bathroom with you so they can watch the action.
  3. Do irresponsible, lavish group trips with friends for things like bachelor and bachelorette parties, someone’s birthday or just because. These types of party weekends will be few and far between once the kids arrive.
  4. Figure out your finances, because kids are EXPENSIVE.
  5. Get into a few big fights with your significant other, if it’s been all roses up until this point. You’ll better learn how to resolve differences effectively. A new baby creates a whole new set of rules that can often leave a couple with self-doubt, worry and exhaustion. The first few weeks will involve a true team effort and learning how to get through it involves major communication.
  6. Be spontaneous. A friend calls you up to invite you to a last minute party where you don’t know a soul – go! You’re offered an extra ticket to a show, a movie, a last spot in a golf foursome – take them up on it and don’t look back. Spontaneity doesn’t exist as a parent without very flexible childcare and an understanding partner.
  7. Get from Point A to Point B without serious logistical planning. This usually involves figuring out which stroller to use, whether to bring a car seat, what to pack, how many diapers to bring, what’s considered an excessive number of outfit changes and that’s just the baby’s stuff.
  8. Spend the day somewhere without carrying 5 bags. The result of #7. You can’t get out of your home without thinking that everything in that home must travel with you for the sake of the baby.
  9. Take a relaxing flight where your biggest decision is whether to watch a movie, take a nap or listen to music. Once you fly with kids, you’ll have to figure out how to avoid the stink eye your neighbor is giving you for having a screaming child on your lap who is kicking the back of his seat.
  10. Have an uninterrupted conversation. Babies and kids love to interfere with your ability to finish sentences, type emails or make a decent phone call. They’ll do anything to get and keep your attention including trying to kill themselves at any given moment.
  11. Appreciate your sanity and full use of brainpower for non-child related things. Once the kids come, you will lose your train of thought about 30 times a day. Plus the majority of your mind and heart will be thinking and worrying about that child no matter how busy you get.
  12. Send an email or text message without feeling guilty that your child feels unimportant, neglected or will have psychological feelings of resentment towards technology.
  13. Sleep in. And I mean, sleep like it’s your job. Like you’re attending a Division I university and are the captain of the Sleeping Team.
  14. Hear a baby crying and be able to do anything else until baby has stopped crying. I’m sure that before we had kids, I heard plenty of babies cry and didn’t think anything of it. Now, it makes me physically uncomfortable to hear any baby cry.
  15. Watch any sort of baby product commercial without crying. Because once you know what it is to be a parent, especially a new parent, any advertisement featuring a baby with his or her family, or any sort of military parent reuniting with the kids will set off the waterworks instantly.
  16. Freely spend money on yourself without feeling like that money should go for something the kids need. Buy those insanely expensive shoes you’ve always wanted or the new down coat you needed even though you’ve got two other perfectly nice down coats in your closet.
  17. Take an extra long time getting ready for the day. Once the kids come, you will prepare for the day like a hurricane running through a car wash. There’s no time for primping. 
  18. Go to the movies. This forms of leisure will be few and far between once you have children unless you’re willing to shell out money for a babysitter or convince a relative to sit in your home until the wee hours so you can eat popcorn and try to stay up in a dark theater on little sleep.
  19. Enjoy your perfectly groomed, exercised self. Your haircut. Your manicure / pedicure. Your regularly waxed body. Your regular workouts. These activities are put on the back burner for things like showering and a decent nap. Plus you’ll need to get someone to watch your kid so you can do these activities. Enjoy the freedom to be a polished citizen of the world while you can.
  20. Get bored with all your free time. There will be no free time soon enough. Thought Catalog Logo Mark 
image – sabianmaggy

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