My husband and I had our first child when we were 24. We didn't feel young at the time but when I look back I realize that we were still just kids. That didn't stop us from crossing off an entire pre-baby bucket list of things we wanted to do though! Whether you're having a baby or are simply thinking about eventually having one, now is a good time to contemplate what you'd like to accomplish. Time flies and when you have a tiny person to take care of, it flies by even faster.
Here are 17 things you should do before having a baby.
1. Buy the Car of Your Dreams
Let's be honest about vehicles for a moment here. A sports car may get you to and from work but where does the car seat fit? What about the stroller? If you've always wanted a Mustang (and you can afford it), get it now!
2. Get Yourself Out of Debt
You can pray for a safe delivery and a healthy baby but you can't totally avoid unexpected expenses. They will come up and if you're already in debt, they'll just pile on top of that.
Start your journey in parenthood on the right foot by getting out of debt and even building a nice emergency fund.
3. Wear Silk and Cashmere
Sticky fingers and spit up will ruin your favorite pieces of clothing if you're not careful. And even though I wouldn't trade my son's sticky fingers for all of the cashmere in the world, it was nice wearing it when I had the chance.
4. Travel the World
I'm serious about this one. Get your bum out there and experience different cultures. A baby takes up more luggage than you and your spouse put together. Take advantage of less-stressful travel by going places today.
Sleep as much as you can! I used to take weekend naps before my son was born. At least I think I did. It was so long ago that I can barely remember.
6. Do Something Dangerous
Nothing too dangerous! But try skydiving, car racing, or whatever hobby you'd like to do that's a bit on the edge. The responsibility of having a tiny human will make you think twice about putting yourself in danger.
7. Print & Organize All of Your Photos
I really regret not doing this before we had children. I have tons of old photos from college that I'd love to print and put in an album, but right now I can barely keep up with the baby book.
8. Date Your Spouse
My husband and I have gone on two dates since our son was born...16 months ago. We're not complaining, trust me. We're mostly homebodies to begin with. But if you like to go out on the weekends, it's going to be much harder when your child is born.
Believe it or not, finding a babysitter is the easy part! The hard part is finding the energy or money to actually want to go out. I also encourage visiting the movie theaters often. It's such a basic date but I miss those outings a lot!
9. Enjoy the Dressing Room
It's so easy to overlook this kind of detail but I miss the ability to try on clothes in a dressing room without dragging a stroller and a baby along with me. Now I shop online or grab something at Wal-Mart while I get the groceries (yes, you read that correctly).
10. Eat at a Fancy Restaurant
My husband and I have left a restaurant before our meals arrived because the baby got too fussy. Meh, life happens. So enjoy having a server refill your overpriced beverages as much as you can.
11. Savor a Hot Beverage
There's an unwritten rule about parenthood that says you can't drink an entire cup of hot coffee without having to reheat it at least once. Ask anyone with children under the age of 5.
12. Throw a Huge Party
Related Post: How to Throw a Dinner Party in a Small Space
Have all of your friends over, cook tons of food, and play loud music. Parties with children underfoot typically end when there are no more Daniel Tiger episodes left to play.
13. Stay Out Past Midnight
Go out dancing, bar hopping, or catch a late show. The goal is to stay out having a good time until the clock strikes midnight. I don't even remember the last time I was awake beyond 11pm but it was definitely before my son was born.
14. Be Kind to Parents
One day your child will be fussy in public and you'll have to deal with a less-than-understanding fellow shopper. It stinks. It really does. So please be kind and patient with all those other parents out there. Because at some point in the future, that flustered parent will be you and you'll appreciate a kind smile from a stranger.
15. Buy Something Breakable and Put It On Display
...because you'll never be able to do that again with a child in the house.
16. Read and Learn
I still read plenty of books as a mom but it's much harder to find the time than it used to be.
And taking a cooking class or getting that college degree you really want? It's possible to do it with children but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Go to school before you have children while you have the chance.
17. Treat Yourself
Manicures, spa dates, and all other forms of relaxation will be harder to come by (though not impossible!) when you're a parent.
Spend all the time you want on hair and makeup when you go out. Pre-baby, I had an entire routine that took me almost 30 minutes. Nowadays, I rock a 5 minute face and ponytail like nobody's business.
Having a baby does not mean the end of a good life (quite the opposite, if you ask me). But there are limitations on things you will feel comfortable doing or will have the time to do once children arrive. Take advantage while you have the chance!
What's on your pre-baby bucket list?