There is no doubt that life changes when you have children. Your priorities in life shift entirely and what once seemed really important, pales in comparison to caring for another human being that is pretty dependent on you for the first few years of their life. Assuming timing is on your side, we’ve compiled a list of things you may want to do before you start to reproduce. However, it’s not to say that by having children, your life ends. Far from it. You’re still a personal with their own set of needs, emotions and dreams, and will probably still be able to do most of the things on this list, but these are things that can help enrich your experience as a parent and ensure some uninterrupted fun.
Splurge on a ridiculously luxurious holiday
Maldives, Bali, Hawaii, Mauritius, anywhere in the Caribbean – any of these on your bucket list destinations? Being romantic destinations, you’ll be able to enjoy them so much more if you do it without children. Although, yes you find family friendly resorts in all of these destinations, a child at any age will not appreciate the expense or experience of visiting somewhere so magical. So splurge on something truly amazing for the two of you.
When you travel with children there is so much more to consider; the extra luggage, the entertainment (will there be enough), dining becomes a little more complex, you may need to work around their schedules more etc. Although family resorts can cater for all of these things, relish in the opportunity to just wonder, jump into a restaurant that takes your fancy, go on adventurous excursions, enjoy the culture, and generally get more from your holidays. Plus, you have the freedom to dash away whenever you like; nothing planned for your week off? You can just jump on a plane.
Part of being a parent is to educate and prepare your children for the world. If there is something you’ve always wanted to learn, or you’ve always wanted to get your degree, there is no better time to do it. As once a child comes, you’ll likely be cramming it in and working into the early hours, or forgo it altogether. Plus, the skills and experience through your education are all things you can pass on to your offspring. That’s pretty cool.
Allow yourself to gorge on no-go pregnancy foods
This is one for just before you start trying. There are a lot of food items and drinks you can’t have once pregnant, and 9 months will feel like a really long time if there is something you really love on the no-go list. So, allow yourself nights where you can gorge on the stuff and savour every moment of it.
Savour your privacy
Take this time to enjoy going to the toilet, taking a shower, or having a bath uninterrupted. When cooking, really savour the process. Even getting dressed in the mornings or before bed. In these moments take a breath and just enjoy it as once your little one comes along, you’ll suddenly miss it.
Relish in your lie ins
If you’re someone who can sleep in (I envy you), be sure you enjoy them as much as possible. Even if you can’t lie in, allow yourself to lounge in bed for a few hours without any reason to get up; pop a film on you want to watch, enjoy breakfast in bed and enjoy snuggling under the duvet uninterrupted.
When children do come along, you may not sleep in, but on occasion you can bring them into bed with you; you’ll just have to pop something on for them to keep them nice and quiet (and maybe share some of that duvet too).
Move home or complete your renovations beforehand
Having a baby is a big change so avoid doing any renovations during pregnancy or trying to move to a new house- though we appreciate this isn’t always possible to avoid. Moving or renovating can be incredibly stressful for you and can be un-setting for your new arrival if you’re not feeling quite at home- they can sense unease and disturbance in you and this can really affect their sleep and behaviour. You also want to be able to enjoy your home as you envision before having to share it.
Stay out late
To do anything independently or as a couple will require a sitter once children come along. So, make the most of your freedom while you can. Stay out late with friends, after work, cram in as many dates for the two of you as you can. However, be sure to regularly schedule a date with your partner when your baby does arrive, it is really important for all of you.
Go to a festival
If getting a sitter for a night will be hard, having one for several nights to go to a festival will seem impossible. If you love live music, give yourself one more blowout experience. When they’re old enough, take them along with you.
If you’re not happy in your career right now, you have the flexibility and freedom to start something new. You’ll find it a lot harder when a baby comes along to make such a massive adjustment, particularly if you feel loyal to your company. Have a job that works for you and your future family. Something to bear in mind if you are thinking of changing a career, to qualify for statuary maternity pay, you must work for the company for 41 weeks before your due date.
Have a ‘yes’ day
Enjoy your freedom and lack of responsibility with a ‘yes’ day. It could be to go to a theme park, a gallery, shopping, get a new tattoo, a pub crawl… it could be a list of totally random things or things you’ve always wanted to do. Whatever it is, go out and do it.
Make the most of your quality time
When a little one comes along, your focus turns to them, so take the time to really savour the quality time together. Put your phones down when out on a date or dining at home, snuggle up on the sofa and watch your favourite movie or start a show you want to see. Get out and about and do a class, learn new skills, stay in a luxury hotel, eat at fancy restaurants.
Also, be sure to take some time just for you. Escape to the spa, get a massage, enjoy a book you’ve always wanted to read. This is your time.
What would be on your list? Let us know in the comments below!