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20 Things You HAVE To Do Before You Have Kids

Carla Cain Walther Published by Carla Cain Walther
Published on October 7, 2014

Believe me - you'll be happy you got all of these things out of the way before you start making babies!

1. Pursue your biggest career goal

You want to write a book? Develop an app? Train as a spy for the CIA? Don't wait until you have a Baby Bjorn strapped on you to realize that you should've applied for grad school or written at least 400 pages of the next Harry Potter before getting pregnant. Frankly, paving the path towards the loftiest career goals on your bucket list requires your FULL attention, which will be hard to give once you have little ones running around.

2. See your favorite artist live

Woman, you better get your dance (and drink!) on to Beyoncé, Katy, or Rihanna before you start poppin' out kids. Before you know it, birthday parties, Parent-Teacher nights, and weekends at your in-laws will somehow always pop up when your favorite act is in town!

3. Stock up on classic staple pieces

Updating your wardrobe with the perfect blazer, jeans, and little black dress that never go out of style is an investment so don't fret about the cost. Just remember that you'll be passing those pieces onto your future daughter!

4. Buy your dream furniture

You've been wanting to buy that classic Eames lounge chair for years now. Well, you better do it before saving for your kid's first car or college tuition becomes Priority #1!

5. Travel as much as you can!

Late nights strolling along the Seine, sharing hookah with your best girlfriends in Morocco, and downing strong beers in Prague with your husband. All of that will be difficult and twice as expensive with children in tow. No, you won't stop traveling once your family starts expanding but it'll be a lot more stressful and not as romantic so start using those frequent flyer miles now!

6. Work on your mental health

Tragic, unfortunate, and downright shitty things happen to so many of us as children and young adults. Figuring out how to deal with the emotional fallout from those events is crucial for creating healthy bonds with your baby.

Sift through the bad stuff with a therapist or close friend. Understand how those tragedies affected you and your response to certain events. Get angry, get sad, and then make peace with yourself. A healthy mind makes for a healthy family.

7. Talk about parenting with your parents

Find out what worked for them as parents and decide on your own if there are some things that you suspect won't fly in your future family. Then tell them how you envision yourself as a mother. You'll cut down on a lot less friction between you and your parents once they understand your parenting objectives.

8. Have a massive girls weekend!

Get your besties together and tap into your sloppy college days. Go all out on a Vegas vacation or reserve a ski lodge with all-inclusive everything! And don't forget to take a loads of pictures! It'll be a really beautiful, fun memory that you and your ladies will hold on well into your new lives as mothers.

9. Find out what your partner wants out of life

Relationships are about supporting each other's dreams but you can't do that unless you know exactly what he wants. Have a long conversation about what life and happiness mean to both of you. Be clear about what you won't compromise on and then make every effort to protect each other's desires and life goals as you walk into your future together.

10. Take a death-defying risk

Sky diving, base jumping, ziplining across bridges. The thrill seeker in you will quiet down when you have children because you'll think about how devastating it'd be for them if something happened to you. However, you don't want to be in your 50s wishing you'd jumped out of plane so get it out of the way now!

11. Save $$

This is a give in. Even if kids aren't on the horizon just yet, start adding to your savings account every pay day! Ten years from now when you're off the birth control, you'll be SO HAPPY that you'll have the funds to support impending motherhood.

12. Upgrade your sex toy collection

Who's got time to run out and buy the best new vibrator between work and school pick ups? Get your sex toys in order before baby comes along!

13. Get a pet

Dog or cat. Whatever your prefer, head down to the shelter and pick out the one that makes you go "Awww" every time you look at it. Caring for kids and pets is not the same thing but pets will give you a better understanding of what "totally dependent on you" actually means!

14. Exercise

Kids require parents to be fit and healthy so find out what fitness routine - yoga, PureBarre, Soul Cycle, whatever - gets you motivated to get sweaty!

15. Eat healthy

Why? Because how will you instill healthy eating habits in your children but if you're not doing the same?

16. Find out your grandparents' life and love stories

There's a chance your grandparents won't be around to share their history with your children. It's up to you to get all the wonderful facts of their lives and how they met each other so you can pass those memories onto your kids.

17. Make a list of your favorite books

You know, the books you read as a kid and teen that moved you. You'll want to share those same literary experiences with your kids too! It'll bring you closer to them, and they'll gain a deeper understanding of what you were like when you were young.

18. Live in your dream home

Buy or rent - who cares! As long as you feel comfortable, happy, and safe in your home then your future kids will too!

19. Go on a road trip

Honestly, road trips will not be amazing, spontaneous adventures with young children. They'll be borderline torturous. Please just do the cross country trip when you only have a few suitcases to carry and not a 30 pound toddler!

20. Embrace your fear of motherhood

Accept that you won't know everything and don't dismiss good advice from other parents. Your unconditional love for your children will guarantee that even after you fail and fail and fail, eventually you will succeed!

What were you grateful you did pre-baby? Tweet us @wewomenUSA!

This article was written by Carla Cain-Walther. Follow her @karlawitha_c.

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