5 things I wish I did before kids

5 things I wish I did before kids


  1. Travelled more. I actually traveled quite a bit. My dirty little secret: I used student loans to subsidize short-term study abroad programs through my graduate school so I got to go to South Africa and China, checking two more continents off my bucket list (hello low interest rate!). I also took advantage of a really cheap (and sketchy) bus service that ran between DC and NYC for 1-2 trips to the Big Apple every year. I have a college friend who made fun of me and all of the goals I wanted to achieve before having kids. "You act as if your life will end when you have kids!" No, I was just being realistic about the demands on my time and small childrens' needs for a predictable schedule. Even though I thought I was being realistic, I HAD NO IDEA how becoming a mom would change me. When I lived in DC, I LOVED going out with friends for drinks, attending a free lecture, doing dinner with other friends, and then going over to someone's house to watch a movie. I scheduled a night like this at least once a week. I'm an extrovert! Now that I have children, I love being at home because my favorite people already live with me! I don't have to go out to meet up with them anymore.

  2. Saved more $. Let's be real, I wasted a lot of money on clothes, food, and drinks in my 20s. I saved $100/month in a retirement account but I could have done a helluva lot more.

  3. Read more books and watched less stupid tv. I think every list like this I've ever read says something along these lines. I still struggle with this so I'm giving up watching tv by myself during Lent! I'm making exceptions for communal/social viewings of tv shows.

  4. Babysat more. Once I graduated college, I think I thought it didn't pay enough and was beneath me. Nonsense! I think I would have been a less neurotic first-time mama if I had spent more time around babies in my 20s.

  5. Cultivated more mentor relationships. I actually did this a little bit but I could have done so much more. I wish I had reached out to people I admired that were 10 years, 20 years, and 30 years older than me. Knowing more about their successes and pitfalls would have been encouraging. Especially since losing my mama, I've tried to cultivate relationships with older women but I have less time and energy for that time of networking and relationship development now. It would have been easier to do before kids!