10 Things I Wish I Did Before Babies

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profile picture of Jessica Collins Grimes
July 23, 2018
Woman traveling in dessert landscape
Image: Ivana Cajina

As a mom of a 6-year-old and a soon-to-be 2-year-old, it’s easy to forget what my life was like before having kids – you know, back when I could sleep until noon or spend an entire Saturday afternoon leisurely window shopping. Of course, I love my children and cannot image my life without them (that goes without saying) but I think it’s only natural to sometimes miss the freedoms of your kid-free days. And it’s okay. Simply recognizing how some things were just easier back then doesn’t mean you don’t fully relish and embrace your current role as mom.

I admit, I sometimes reminisce about my pre-kid days and think, I wish I had appreciated that more back when I was able to enjoy it! Or I’ll read an article about a woman who went on a solo adventure around the world and think, I wish I had done that when I had the chance! That’s not to say that I’ll never be able to do some of these things, but let’s face it: It wouldn’t be easy. Or perhaps even as fun now. And because my little ones are small, I may need to wait a good 10+ years before I could even consider some of them. But a girl can still dream, right?

So, mamas-to-be, here are the 10 things I wish I had done – or appreciated – before I had kids. Any of these look familiar?

  1. Of course, there’s the obvious: Sleep in late. Now, sleeping until 7am seems like a luxury.
  2. Live by myself. Okay, I realize this is not so feasible anymore, but it’s true: I’ve always lived with someone, be it my parents, roommates or my now-husband and I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to have my own apartment. Of course, nowadays, I’d be happy just be able to go to the bathroom by myself.
  3. Travel more , especially to exotic places that are logistically tricky when there’s a 12-hour plane ride and you have to lug a car seat and a Pack & Play. You know, like India, Mt. Kilimanjaro or an island in the South Pacific.
  4. Spend an entire Sunday lounging on my couch in my PJs, watching a Beverly Hills, 90210 or Lifetime TV movie marathon.
  5. Relax at the beach. Once upon a time, going to the beach meant hours laying in the warm sun, catching up on my favorite magazines. Now, I usually feel like a Sherpa when we hit the shore, my arms laden with sand toys and umbrellas and coolers and chairs. And with two little ones who like to wander off, sunscreen to re-apply, sandcastles to build and sandwiches to de-sand, there is no downtime.
  6. Decide on whim to take off on a weekend adventure or meet my girlfriends for an impromptu happy hour. It’s nearly impossible to be spontaneous when you have nap times and daycare pick-ups and baseball practice and karate lessons to deal with.
  7. Go on more dates with my husband. It used to be so easy. Now simply going out to dinner, just the two of us, or catching a movie has become such a production that we now typically wait for everything to come out on Redbox or order in take-out.
  8. Pursue a master’s degree and/or make a career switch.
  9. Have sex whenever – and wherever – we want.
  10. Drive cross-country.

Did you have a pre-baby checklist?

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