15 Fun Things To Do Before Having Kids

Thinking about having kids? Here's some fun things to do before having a baby.

Let’s face it: We love our little ones and we don’t for a second regret having them. Having said that, there's no question it limits your life a bit—it suddenly gets a lot harder to travel, go out to dinner at a moment's notice or put in long hours at the office.

We talked to moms about the things they are happy they did before kids took front and center—these are their bucket list items before pregnancy.

Bucket list: Things to do before having a baby

1. Travel

Diane, a mom in Chicago, Illinois traveled all over the world in her 20s and 30s and was so glad she 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.”

Related: 50 Best Jobs You Can Do While Traveling

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,” says Shauna, a mom in New York City.

3. See lots of movies

Sometimes it’s not just about having the time to cross things off of your bucket list after getting pregnant, but whether you have the energy. Leanne, a mom in Tallahassee, Florida notes, “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 Netflix pick.”

4. Spend time with your mom

You’ll appreciate having put in a lot of quality time with mom before having kids. “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,” says Lisa, a mom in Maplewood, New Jersey

5. Have “just us time” with your 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,” says Denise, a mom in Atlanta, Georgia.

Related: 50 Cute Summer Date Ideas to Keep the Romance Alive

6. Develop 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,” says Melissa, a mom in Larchmont, New York. Consider using a friendship app if you find making friends as an adult difficult.

7. Live in a city

Rachel, a mom in Greenwich, Connecticut thinks every woman should live in a city at least once before having kids.“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.”

8. Live alone

On the other hand, you might want to plan some solo time to get to know yourself before committing to a pregnancy and kids, according to Julie, a mom in Aurora, Illinois. “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.”

9. Get a super expensive haircut

Sometimes your pre-pregnancy bucket list should include some of those expensive, high-ticket items everyone enjoys at least once in their life. “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,” says Tina, a mom in San Francisco, California.

10. Enjoy regular manis and pedis

While you have the time before kids, keep your fingers and toes looking their best. “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,” says Cheryl, a mom in El Paso, Texas.

11. Create a hope chest

Starting a meaningful tradition before pregnancy can make your life with kids that much richer, says Yasminka, a mom in Baltimore, Maryland. “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, hand-made 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.”

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,” says Danielle, a mom in Portland, Maine.

Related: 10 Tips to Help You Stay Sane in the Morning

13. Date a ton

“Before I got married and had kids, I went on a ton of dates. I was out every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Now, I’m in my PJs by 9 pm. I’m glad I have those memories of wild nights,” says Lauren, a mom from Madison, Wisconsin.

14. Eat lots of sushi

“I subsist on kid food—chicken nuggets, pasta and mac n cheese because my kids are all under five. I remember the days of sushi and other ‘exotic’ cuisine choices,” says Cheryl, a mom based in Austin, Texas.

15. Read books

“My life now is full of kids’ books—picture books, chapter books, toilet joke books. At night I’m so tired, I can’t get through a chapter of an adult book. I’m glad I read all the great novels before my brain turned to mush,” says Poppy, a mom based in Portland, Oregon.

Up next: Mindy Kaling on Almost Putting off Having Kids "Indefinitely"

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