I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom. Now that I’m in my late twenties, “settled down” with my hubby of over 18 months, and seeing some of my best friends as mommas, it’s been a reflective year for me. I totally believe that if we wait for the “right time”, a baby will never be in the picture. After all, we will always be chasing dreams, making bigger financial goals, and craving those extra hours of sleep on the weekends.
But after so many conversations, it feels like the reality of a family is closer than ever before. To help us mentally prepare for a life with a baby one day, my husband and I created a list of things to do before having a baby. This isn’t the list of things to stock up on before we have a baby, it’s the ultimate bucket list of things we want to do before venturing into the world of being parents.
If you’re in the same phase of life as us, take this time to make your own list by getting ideas from this one! If you’re already a momma, tell me which one thing you think is most important!
Our Bucket List of Things to Do Before Having a Baby:
Sleep In as Often as Possible
Ever since I left my 9-5 job, we have not set daily alarms unless we have appointments. We allow the sun to slowly wake us up as it shines through our bedroom window, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to not wake up to an alarm. Getting up between 7:00am – 7:30am every day is a routine our bodies have become accustomed to. On the weekends, we close the blackout shade and still wake up around 8:00am. It’s my goal to just listen to my body. If I need extra sleep, I allow it. I never feel guilty for sleeping in because it’s one thing that will completely change when we have a little one.
Stay Up Late & Drink All the Wine
Adulting can get hard. Work, routines, fitness, and everything in between can make us totally drained by the end of the day. However, when we have a little babe to take care of one day, we will totally miss the irresponsible late nights. I cherish our fun nights where we sip on too much wine, binge-watch Netflix, or stay out late with friends. Being able to sleep in on the weekends makes the late nights that much more fun.
Go to the Movies
During the first half of 2018, we saw 24 movies together. It’s one of our absolute favorite date-nights and because we have Movie Passes, we go as often as we want. I know that this will be something I miss when I’m a momma. However, I totally can’t wait to have a kid with me at all the Disney movies.
We typically just love a good date night, any day of the week. Whether it’s concerts, shows, dinner, or something out of the ordinary, we plan to do it as much as possible before having a baby.
Hawaii has been on my travel list since I was a little kid. Luckily, we got to indulge in 10 days of Maui sunshine for our honeymoon. It was the kind of vacation that we got to be completely selfish. Every day revolved around what we wanted to do, see, eat, drink, and enjoy. It was 10 days of complete bliss where we didn’t stress about bills, work, daily routines, or chores. Hawaii is the kind of vacation that every couple needs to experience before entering a world where a baby comes first. I can’t say that I don’t want to go back before baby, but I’m confident that I’ll bring a child with me one day.
Ok, ok. This one was on Marc-André’s bucket list and I jumped on board. After all, joining the biggest beer fest in the world should be on almost everyone’s bucket list (I mean, if ya like beer 🍺). Marc-André requested this for his 30th birthday present years ago, and we’re actually going to make it happen! While we’ll be visiting about a month before his birthday, it’s going to be one epic party for the two of us. Once again, we’ll get to completely cater to our own needs and desires, doing whatever we want. I think checking off a huge event like Oktoberfest is one of the best things to do before having a baby.
What’s your “Oktoberfest“?! Maybe it’s attending a big music festival, diving into the culture of Amsterdam, or going off the grid on an African Safari. Check that one big thing off your life bucket-list.
THIS. I crave this more than anything, but work and a budget just happen to come into play, too. While we don’t get to jet off to a new destination every weekend, we are certainly saying ‘yes’ to more travel than ever. Just this past May, we randomly switched our vacation plans from Rosemary Beach, Florida, to Iceland. Any trip that’s booked less than 2 months in advance is a thrill to me (like our trip to NYC last December). We love weekend getaways to Disney World Resorts and we’ve learned to really stretch our vacation time. I still get butterflies when I see an open weekend on our calendar and I book a hotel just days in advance. The spontaneous side of me will probably give in to the type A side of my personality once we have a baby.
Side note: less than 24 hours after writing this post, we randomly booked a weekend getaway in Islamorada, Florida. 😉
Be Adults at Disney
We’re basically pros at this. We’ve been annual passholders for more than 5 years and we are probably the happiest people on Earth when we visit Disney World. I’ll admit it, seeing the families at Disney gives me intense baby fever. I get all the feels for bringing a little one with me to experience the characters, rides, and fairytale settings. However, I also see miserable families and screaming kids. I think part of the reason we love Disney so much is that we get to go as adults. So, as much as I can’t wait to bring a baby to Disney, I’m going to soak in the moments of it being just the two of us at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Selfishly Splurge on Something
There’s a theme with our before baby bucket list – be selfish. You could say our new plunge pool was the splurge of the year, but I also mean splurging on pedicures, massages, a cute pair of shoes, or eating out when we should be cooking. It’s no secret that taking care of ourselves and our desires will come second once we have a family. I want to let it sink in and appreciate every purchase of a subscription box, nail polish, or expensive bottle of wine.
Make Budget Plans
Ohhhhh, that. Of all the things to do before baby, this is the least exciting, but most important. Every other item on this list completely contradicts a budget, but we can’t just ignore it. We’ve been wrapped up in a world of spending and saving for two. Every meal, shopping spree, trip, and doctor appointment is for just the two of us. Pretty soon, we’ll have to turn down more weekend trips, more double dates, and plenty of happy-hours so we can save up for the expenses of a newborn. (And college fund, car, insurance, etc.💰💰💰) 😳. Kids are expensive and I’m a planner. A spreadsheet dedicated to our budget for this next chapter of our life will be a mandatory task on our list of things to do before having a baby.
As much as we love our wine, we love a good sweat sesh. When our daily routines allow it, we love to go for a jog (or walk) around the neighborhood or do some kind of workout together. It’s a little bit of bonding time for us and one of the best ways to stay motivated. I feel like so many parents end up working out separately once the little babe arrives because, well, the baby can’t take care of him/herself. I know I’ll cherish the little bit of fitness time alone after having a baby, but Marc is my favorite workout partner. I’ll squeeze in as much time together as we can get.
Volunteer to Babysit
Confession: Marc and I don’t have to take care of any other living thing, other than ourselves. We don’t even have a pet goldfish. And it’s absolutely glorious. It allows us to live the lifestyle we love (and do all of those things listed above). But we know that taking care of something involves a responsibility we aren’t familiar with. We volunteered to babysit our neighbor’s young lab a few years back and it was an eye-opener. One of the things that shocked me the most was that I constantly worried about the dog! With all the babies in our lives, I think we should spend more time babysitting little ones so that we can mentally prepare for that lifestyle. And the best part? We’ll let other parents get out for a date night! I know that no baby will ever be exactly like our own but babysitting, will hopefully, ease us into the parenting mindset.
Savor the Small Things
For us, movie dates, sleeping in, and going out for Taco Tuesday are small things we appreciate. But I want to dig a little deeper. Every long shower, every hour spent with a good book, every relaxing minute in the pool, needs to be cherished. Those simple things have been a part of our lives for so long that we need to take a step back and truly appreciate them. I want to savor the random intimate moments or cuddling on the couch on a rainy day. I love being Marc-André’s wife and just spending time with him so I don’t want to forget to hold onto those sweet moments.
With all that said, we’re totally willing to give up our “carefree” lifestyle for a baby.
As crazy as it seems, we’ve already checked off so many of those items! I guess you could say we’ve been sub-consciously crossing things off a list we didn’t know existed. As a couple, we work hard to put our marriage first and appreciate everything we are able to do. Making this list of things to do before having a baby has helped us recognize the little things that we cherish every day. Instead of feeling like a baby will change our [selfish] lifestyle, we’re feeling like it will make it that much more fulfilling. Those feelings are enough to make me realize we’re going to be ready whenever it happens. After all, one day it will be just the two of us again, and I’ll be missing all the moments we had with kids.
Tell me – what’s one thing on your “before baby” bucket-list or if you’re a momma, what do you suggest?!