In a few months’ time Mr T and I will be welcoming our son into the world. We are happy with way our relationship has progressed and are ready to take on the awesome challenge of parenthood. It is the right time for us to have a baby. We have been together for three and a half years and are not spring chickens anymore! Having a baby is sure to change the dynamics of our relationship, while also heralding in a new era of joy and love as we experience the fulfilment and wonder of becoming parents. Soon our carefree, pack up and go days will be over as our responsibilities focus around our baby.
For many, this may seem like a daunting step to take. They are unsure about when or if they should start a family. Many people will say that you are never truly ready to have a child and you should go ahead and take the plunge. Others will tell you to make the most of your time as a couple because adding a child into the mix will put extra stress and strain on your relationship. And having a child is final, you can’t go back and undo that decision! That is why I believe it is so important to have a solid relationship with your partner. And to feel like you have done enough living, experimenting, seen enough of the world and are ready to move into the next phase of your life.
The below is my list of 15 things you should do before you have a baby. So, tick off this list with your partner, before you become a group of three.
1. Travel to exotic places
Travel to those exotic places you have always dreamed of. Those destinations that make perfect picture postcards. Go for long trips, relax, explore and take plenty of photos.
2. Travel locally
You don’t always need to head far away for a travel adventure. Explore all those small towns within a few hours of your home. Getaway and enjoy plenty of cheeky weekend breaks.
Do those all-nighter fun parties, music festivals, and rock concerts. Enjoy those escapist trysts while you can.
4. do a big Sporting event
Enter a sporting event and push yourself to the limit to achieve your goal. Train hard for a marathon or triathlon or trail run or whichever activity you like! Set yourself a fabulous goal such as climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. You’ll be so proud you did this!
5. Fight and make up
Have a big fight or disagreement with your beloved and then work through it. Now I know this sounds strange and you can’t actually plan when you will disagree on something, but you need to be able to work through disagreements amicably. Once a baby is in the mix, you will need to draw on those problem-solving skills and easily navigate through your hiccups. You don’t want to be dealing with a pesky fight with your partner while your little one is also screaming his head off!
6. Eat out
Eat out often, dress up and enjoy those fancy restaurants. Because once you have a baby you won’t get time to enjoy eating out, let alone at the fancy restaurants!
7. Enjoy the hipster scene
Visit all the new bars, clubs, markets and events that pop up in your area. Order the expensive whiskey and champagne! Work that social circuit till you are so over it! Be spontaneous and keep busy discovering fun things to do in your city!
8. Double date
Spend time with other couples who are in your vibe. Build your friendships and broaden your horizons. Once you become parents spending aimless hours gallivanting with friends is one of the first things that is cut from your schedule.
In your home with your friends, cook a meal or host a themed party.
10. Sleep in
On the weekends. Late. Often.
11. Go Camping
Find those beautiful campsites, where you can enjoy activities like hiking, supping, surfing, swimming, and trail running. Enjoy the great outdoors!
12. Take Couple Selfies
Take plenty of these as you will look back on them later on and marvel at how young and care-free you looked!
13. Spoil each other
Cherish and appreciate your partner. Plan surprises for each other, like thoughtful gifts or special dinners. Make the most of your coupledom status!
14. Discuss your parenting approach
It is better to start talking about becoming parents early on in your relationship as you will then get a sense if your partner is indeed the right person you want to make babies with. If you are poles apart on this topic you may need to evaluate the longevity of your relationship. Get an understanding of your partner’s philosophy towards parenthood and children. For instance, what values will you instill in your children? How will you discipline them? Visualise how you will work together as a team? It’s best you both have a common goal in this regard.
15. Save money
Be financially secure before adding a third wheel to your twosome! Have at least a year’s worth of your living expenses saved up. Also save up for additional emergencies like car repairs, or laptop repairs or household repairs. You never know when an emergency will strike and its best to have a nice cushion saved up. Babies add an extra financial burden ranging from the little things like nappies and baby food every month to the larger purchases like a cot, baby carrier or pram. You will be glad you have that extra financial slush fund once your baby arrives!
These are the 15 things I think you should do before you have a baby. But it’s easier to make lists such as these in hindsight! Some couples take the plunge when they are young and inexperienced and manage to maneuver through parenthood successfully and with no regrets! Everyone is unique so there are no hard or set rules. However, having a supportive environment in whichever shape or form will help you as you embark on this exciting journey. Only you will know when the time is right to have a baby!