12 Things Every Woman Should Do Before Having Kids

12 Things Every Woman Should Do Before Having Kids

There are some things women will always be glad they accomplished before becoming moms.

By Judy Koutsky

As moms, we love our kids and we don’t for a second regret having them. Having said that, we are glad we did a number of things before our little ones arrived. Here, the top things moms are happy they did before kids in their pre-baby days.

1. Travel. “I traveled all over the world in my 20s and 30s and was so glad I did. When I had my kids at 35 and 37, I didn’t mind putting travel on hold in the early years, because I did so much already.” -- Diane, Chicago, Illinois

2. Have a career. “I was an 80-hour-a-week lawyer. I took on the biggest cases, worked insane hours, made a lot of money, and really moved up the ladder. Then when I had kids, I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. I felt like I was ready for a new phase in my life.” -- Shauna, New York

3. See lots of movies. “I know it sounds strange, but I’m a huge movie junkie and I saw everything that came out before I had kids. Now, I’m lucky if I don’t fall asleep within the first 20 minutes of our [movie rental] pick.” -- Leanne, Tallahassee, Florida

4. Spend time with my mom. “Once I became a mom myself, I felt like all my free time got zapped, and as much as I love spending time with my own mom, I just don’t see her very much now. I’m glad we had a lot of quality time together pre-kids.” -- Lisa, Maplewood, New Jersey

5. Had “just us time” with my husband. “A lot of my friends got married and had babies right away. I’m glad we had three great years together – dates, concerts, romantic weekend getaways – before my kids took over.” -- Denise, Atlanta, Georgia

6. Developed great friendships with other women. “Once you become a mom, you tend to be friends with your kids’ friends’ mothers. But before I had kids, I developed great in-depth relationships with other women based on our shared interests and mindsets. I still value those friendships today.” -- Melissa, Larchmont, New York

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7. Live in the city. “Everyone has their own idea of the perfect single person life a la Mary Tyler Moore. For me, it was living in New York City. There I had a ton of roommates, went to great parties, met really interesting people, and subsisted on mac and cheese. Now I’m a mom in the suburbs – I like my life, but I’m also glad I had my fun, living single life to look back on.” -- Rachel, Greenwich, Connecticut

8. Live alone. “My grandmother told me she went from her mom’s house to her husband’s. My mom went from her mom’s house to her college sorority house to her husband’s house. They both told me they regretted not living alone. When I graduated, I lived alone for two years before meeting my husband. I’m glad I had that time to really get to know myself.” -- Julie, Aurora, Illinois


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9. Get a super expensive haircut. “Before kids, I blew $200 or more on a cut and felt fabulous. Now I spend $40 and wear it in a ponytail. I like looking at pictures of my chic old self.” -- Tina, San Francisco, California

10. Get manis and pedis regularly. “I can’t even remember the last time I got my nails done. Pre-kids I did it every Friday. It was the best treat.” -- Cheryl, El Paso, Texas

11. Create a hope chest. “I know this sounds old-fashioned, but my mom started it when I was a little girl. I put various things in it over the years – a beautiful, handmade blanket, a collection of Beatrice Potter kids’ books, a little knitted baby’s hat with flowers – and now I use these items with my kids. I remember exactly where I got each one and I love the memories I now share with my little ones.” -- Yasminka, Baltimore, Maryland

12. Go to the gym. “I was in the best shape of my life in my 20s. I worked out every day and felt great. Now my workouts consist of running after the kids. But I know I looked fabulous once – and it gives me hope that I can get back to that place when the kids get a bit older. -- Danielle, Portland, Maine

What are you glad you did before kids?

Judy Koutsky is the former Editorial Director of KIWI magazine, a green parenting publication. She was also Executive Editor of Parenting.com, AOL Parent and BabyTalk.com. Follow her on Twitter @JudyKoutsky.

Image ©iStock.com/ChamilleWhite

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