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Things you are glad you did before you started a family

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#1 Cirrus

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

Hi Everyone,
Hoping you're willing to share some reflections to shape my new years resolutions for what might be the last year before we start a family.
When you look back at the few years before you started a family, maybe you're glad now that you took the time to travel or save money or just party, instead of doing other things. With the perspective you have now, what are you glad about having done in those child-free years (or wish you had done!) and why?
Happy NY!

#2 Isolabella

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

Travel, go to the movies.
Save Money.

#3 wizzbef

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

Pay off debt

#4 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

Travelled with my DH....America, England, France, Italy, Ireland, Skiing in Switzerland, Tahiti.....we could eat out, visit museums, galleries, walk around and take in the sights without having to worry about whether the kids are getting bored/tired/hungry/whingey for no reason....we travel now with kids, but we tend to go to beaches, resort with pools and amusement parks, so a different vibe all together ...

I'm glad I got my law degree pre kids and worked for ten years or so so I could establish my career....I can't study with young children and getting my foot in the door meant I could negotiate good maternity leave arrangements and good return to work arrangements

I'm glad we bought our house pre kids.

Edited by Lucretia Borgia, 02 January 2013 - 02:54 PM.

#5 SplashingRainbows

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

Complete all my professional qualifications
Purchase our home
Build up our savings

Whilst I am glad I have done some travel I feel more secure with day to day housing and savings. If all goes to plan we will travel with children when they are older, and after they leave home. We are holidaying at the moment and there are so many wonderful things we have at home that I miss. I am so grateful for the things we do have to make our lives at home easier.

#6 IVL

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Travel and work/study hard. Also pay as much of our house as possible. I would hate to be juggling new parent hood with study comittments or financial stress. We are thankfully in position where we have been able to negotiate fleixable and favourable working conditions because of our ealrier loyality and aquired knowledge in our professions.

#7 (feral)epg

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

I should absolutely NOT be reading a thread like this when due in 5 weeks!
I'm glad I
- held out long enough to meet the right partner!
- found an interesting and financially rewarding career - and proved that I am more than capable of supporting myself financially (makes me a little more comfortable about choosing to be a SAHM for at least the next 6 months)
- did the crazy youth stuff - all night raves, backpacking with little to no money, drinking far too much - I've done it and I'm over it and won't regret not being able to do it again.
- was in really good shape physically before getting pregnant - means I trust my body to be able to get rid of the baby weight and get back to something approaching normal again.
- developed good relationships with family and friends because I know I'll need their support in the coming years.

#8 noi'mnot

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

Running away on holidays, overseas and local, at the drop of a hat (doing anything at the drop of a hat, really...).

Finishing the gazillion years of uni study that I did (can you tell from my grammar how qualified I am?).

Spending lots of lovely time with my partner - lazy days in bed, evenings walking on the beach, weekends away, snuggling on the couch, etc.

We bought a house before having kids but that's not such a big issue for me. The others are much more important.

#9 elle-M

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

Definitely glad my DH and I owned our own home (with a mortgage of course) before we had kids. We stretched ourselves financially to sell our two and upgrade to a bigger house and if we hadn't done it then, we could never have done it. We find ways to make it work on only one income, and it's really important to me that I teach our children financial responsiblity and independence.

Also I'm glad my DH and I had a good education and went to uni, however you can still study with kids (we're both doing our Masters at the moment so it's possible... but challenging!).

The rest pales in comparison to how wonderful it is to have children wub.gif Good luck, it's such an exciting time you have ahead!

Edited by elle-M, 02 January 2013 - 02:57 PM.

#10 Banana Pancakes

Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:59 PM

But I am grateful that I owned a car outright, had some qualifications, a steady job and I had no debt.

Edited by Banana Pancakes, 15 June 2014 - 02:27 PM.

#11 Isolabella

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

Should add had finished studying, firmly in our careers, purchased our house too.

We have also gone travelling os since kids, but it is different.... 90 mins at the louvre rather then 8 hrs wink.gif

#12 Lagom

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

I'm glad we bought a house, got married and traveled the world.   We are starting to travel more again but it's so different doing it with kids.  And more expensive!  2-4 times the airfares/accommodation/food/entry fees etc and no staying in dodgy backpackers in the red light district.  wink.gif

#13 SophieBear

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

I'm glad I found the right guy to have children with.

I'm glad I travelled, bought a house and I'm glad I enjoyed childless married life for a while. I'm also glad I trained my dog well enough for children and established her house rules before little feet arrive.

I wish I had studied/established a career but I wish I had done that before buying a house and having to commit to a mortgage anyway.

#14 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

I'm glad we managed to travel a little (including Europe which is hard to do with kids) and had bought our own home.   I'm also glad we had a fair few years to cement our relationship before kids came along.

#15 Cirrus

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE (lsolaBella @ 02/01/2013, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have also gone travelling os since kids, but it is different.... 90 mins at the louvre rather then 8 hrs wink.gif

Arg! OK that's the scariest notion so far besides the prospect of juggling financial stress with new motherhood mentioned in a few replies. Which are sort of contradictory in terms of do I blow savings on travel or tuck as much as possible away...

All these replies are really interesting and much more useful that the nebulous advice from older generation not to rush into having babies. Thank you

#16 Natttmumm

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

Spent 8 weeks in Europe, bought a house, established my career.

#17 bambiigrrl

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:13 PM

if i were you i would enjoy alone time with your husband, as its hard to come by once you have kids! Thats something my dh and i miss, being able to do stuff together on the spur of the moment, like fishing, camping, parties etc, plus just laying in bed all day making love on a sunday...thats something we often fantasise about which will probaly never happen again lol!

I am glad i didnt have kids too young and got all my partying out of my system and was ready to settle down.

#18 ms flib

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

I wish I'd done more before I had kids but I'm also glad I had them when I did!

Whenever you do it there will not be time to do the things you used to do!!

I would - go to the movies, sleep in, read the paper, go out to dinner, have friends over. Enjoy for now walking out of the house without a baby sitter, a nappy bag, a sipper cup, a school bag, a swimming bag etc etc. Talk to each other!!!!

#19 Jekaho

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

So glad we travelled (even if some of it was because of work - we worked together). Although we've still been able to travel a fair bit with bub, it's different. Not as leisurely.

We weren't in a position to (and still aren't) but if we could have, I'd like to have bought a house, so that we have a decent yard.

#20 livvie7586

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

QUOTE (ms flib @ 02/01/2013, 04:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wish I'd done more before I had kids but I'm also glad I had them when I did!

Whenever you do it there will not be time to do the things you used to do!!

I would - go to the movies, sleep in, read the paper, go out to dinner, have friends over. Enjoy for now walking out of the house without a baby sitter, a nappy bag, a sipper cup, a school bag, a swimming bag etc etc. Talk to each other!!!!

All this OP.  I was 19 when i fell pregnant with DS1, so the only thing i really got to do before having him was finish high school (DH and i had been together 2.5 years when i fell pregnant, so i was very happy it hadn't happened a year or so earlier), but the things i missed (or miss, i've had a bit of freedom the last year or so, but with DS2 due in 12 weeks things will be changing again) were the basic enjoying life things (not that you don't enjoy life with kids, it just changes)

#21 liveworkplay

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:37 PM

Lived overseas and also backpacked around the world. I know a lot of people say they will travel after kids but it's not the same. I am looking forward to traveling extensively again when the kids move out but I will never travel the same, do the same things and take the same risks now. Also this was pre sept 11, so travel is just not the same nowdays.

#22 Beancat

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:37 PM

Found the right partner (got divorved from the man I thought I would have kids with and met the love of my life)

Ran my own business

Went to uni

Got a good job/career and achieved within it

Bought and sold several houses


Good expensive holidays in Australia

Biggest regret - not travelling OS

#23 baddmammajamma

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

I met my husband at 35 and had my first baby at 37 -- would have loved to have done both earlier -- but looking back, there were some benefits.

I'm actually glad that I had time to:

* Date a bunch of unworthy guys before settling down with one who was a keeper -- I think the experiences helped me realize what qualities were truly "must haves" and which were not

* Finish my education and establish my career (and build enduring professional network and skills). It's a lot easier to do both when you only have yourself to focus on!

* Establish good financial habits (though these came later in the game for me -- I credit my husband with helping me in this department) and have good savings

* Travel, travel, travel -- both when I was single and when I was first married

* Run my first, last & only marathon -- my body is shot now, and I doubt I could do it again. In the same vein, I'm glad I did a lot of scuba diving and daring stuff -- I am much more risk averse now that I am a mother!

* Build a diverse friendship network, including people who don't have kids themselves. Once I started having kids, I found it more challenging to bust out of the mommy circles (as nice as my fellow moms/mums are)

#24 gemgirl

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

Was with the right partner. Two previous partners wanted kids and I am so pleased i said no.

Studied and completed every degree I ever wanted

Became financially secure and in a point in my career where I am well respected, so time off hasn't been an issue

Own our own home (well, mortgaged)

Travelled alone in my 20s and together as a couple

Lots of movies and parties sitting chatting til 4am

Read lots of books

I am thrilled I did all these things and feel very set up now. But I am in my late 30s and had fertility issues. Pregnancy hasn't been easy. In contrast I know people in Givernment housing, pregnant and happy in their 20s. Handling pregnancy much easier than me and had no need for IVF. You do what you do. I was happy to not have kids, til I was in a really happy relationship. Others desperately want kids, regardless

Edited by gemgirl, 02 January 2013 - 03:46 PM.

#25 Isolabella

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:46 PM

QUOTE (Cirrus @ 02/01/2013, 04:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Arg! OK that's the scariest notion so far besides the prospect of juggling financial stress with new motherhood mentioned in a few replies. Which are sort of contradictory in terms of do I blow savings on travel or tuck as much as possible away...

All these replies are really interesting and much more useful that the nebulous advice from older generation not to rush into having babies. Thank you

90 mins was with nearly 2yo, 4 yo and 6 yo plus MIL who had painful gout in her feet. DH and I had done Paris previously, so I had already spent days in the Louvre pre kids. It is just a different type if travel.

DH and I did 10 days in Paris in 1999, very different to 10 days with the troupe outlines above.... But enjoyable still. I love how my kids a year on can see the Eiffel Tower or Monarch Lisa and connect it to their Paris trip..

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