5 Things I wish I’d done before having Kids

5 Things I wish I’d done before having Kids

I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a Mum – I just always knew.

Like many little kids, I played with dolls and cooed over every baby I saw, begging my parents to have another baby purleeeeeease – to no avail.  Very selfish of them.

The cooing continued as I grew up and I still go weak at the knees every time I see a baby so when my husband and I decided that we’d try for one of our own, I was beyond excited.

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MY very own little baby to cuddle and to dress up and to play with and to take everywhere and you know, stuff like that.  I naively thought I would get pregnant instantly.  Like the day after we made the decision or, at the very most, that month.  No, it took a bit longer than that.  Not a lot longer but a good few months but as you can imagine, when the 2 pink lines appeared, we were over the moon.

Now as I said earlier, I’ve always known I wanted to get pregnant.  Always.  Do you think that made me get my act together before I got pregnant?  No, of course it didn’t!

I’ve been thinking recently, as my pregnancy with baby #2 flies by, about the things I wish I’d done before having Kids.  Bearing in mind I’m in my mid 30s, I had a lot of time to accomplish these first but I didn’t.

This is not a bucket list of the things I wish I’d done before I was tied down with kids but the things that would have helped me during my pregnancy and as a new parent.  You know, practical things.

So I’m laying them out for you, in case you have time before you get pregnant, so you can think about what you might want or need to do first.  Unlike me, I hope you can motivate yourself to do them!

1.  Get Fit

Yes yes yes, I know this is on most people’s To Do lists, pregnant or not.  I just really under-estimated the impact pregnancy would have on my super-unfit body.  I’m not in the worst shape but pregnancy has really highlighted to me how unfit I am – I can’t always blame the expanding bump for being out of breath!

I really wish I’d gotten fitter, just a little bit fit would have done.  And I wish I’d done squats or cycled or something to strengthen my knees/legs because as the bump grows it’s a little harder to lug it around.

I promised myself after the first pregnancy that I would do this before the next one.  I failed.

2.  Made Childcare Arrangements

We lived in Sydney, Australia when our first baby was born and it wasn’t until I was a good few months pregnant that I starting thinking about what we would do for childcare arrangements.  Little did I know about childcare waiting lists!  I just assumed that there would be room but NO – in some areas of Sydney your child might sit on a waiting list for 2 years before there’s a space for them.  2 years!!  So basically, I should have been putting my potential baby on a childcare wait before we’d even gotten married, let alone gotten pregnant.

In the UK, where we live now, this doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue but I’d definitely recommend that if you’re considering trying for a baby, do some research in your area so you’re as prepared as possible because having to travel 30 minutes away from your workplace every day to put your child in daycare is no fun.

3.  Started a Maternity Leave Savings Account

Or I suppose, any savings account.  We didn’t start saving for my maternity leave until I was pregnant – why would I before?  Well I wish I had as I might have been able to afford more time off on maternity leave.  Again, it didn’t cross my mind before as we were enjoying just being a couple – going out, going on holidays etc.  The last thing we would have thought of doing was save up for a potential baby when we didn’t know the potential of our relationship at that point.

In hindsight I should have been saving anyway – for a rainy day or an emergency fund, if not a baby.  It might have made all the difference.

4.   Found out more about Newborn Babies

Ok, I’m undecided on this one.  Despite my obsession with bambinos, I literally knew nothing about them.  I had never had a younger sibling, never baby sat, never really been around babies.  I had heard of their potential to not sleep at night.  I didn’t bargain for them not sleeping in the day time either!  I didn’t realise they some (mine) might cry a LOT.  I didn’t know even how to change a nappy.

Perhaps I should have paid more attention to my friends who already had kids.  I might have been a better friend to them if I had too!

That said though, perhaps it was better to be blissfully unaware of how challenging newborns can be or Mr M might have changed his mind about us having one!

5.  Started this Blog

I’d had baby #1 when I first started writing this blog but I wish I’d had the inclination to start it sooner – perhaps during my first pregnancy.  Although I write weekly pregnancy updates now, I would have loved to keep a record of the thoughts and feelings I had during my first pregnancy – just for my own memories.

This blog is a wonderfully therapeutic outlet for me now as a mother and being pregnant again and like a lot of new mums, I did sometimes feel like I’d lost myself a bit when I became a mum for the first time.  I think starting the blog earlier would have helped me retain a sense of myself.

Apart from that, I’ve also had the opportunity to meet so many other parents and expectant parents and that network would have been lovely to have first time around too!

What about you – what do you wish you’d done before you got pregnant or became a parent?  What advice would you have for others considering starting a family?

5 Things I Wish I'd Done Before Having Kids - lovefrommim.com Preparing for Parenthood Preparing for Motherhood What to do before being a Mum Parenthood Preparation Things to do Before Children

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97 Comments

  1. El and Baby A
    5th March 2015 / 12:22 am

    I wish I had started my blog when I was pregnant with Aidan too! I was really fit before I got pregnant and it definitely helped in the later weeks but I got the raw deal when it came to stretch marks so there are pros and cons haha x

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Ah there really are pros and cons aren’t there! I really wish I’d blogged last pregnancy boo :)

  2. EmmaH
    5th March 2015 / 9:52 am

    It was having kids that made me unfit :( I was fit but I think I just used being pregnant an excuse to eat a box of milk tray for breakfast and not do any exercise for a year. Whoops.

    I kind of wish I’d travelled more – I wasn’t really that interested when everyone else was doing it but now I wish I did. Maybe when I’m in my 40s and they’ve flown the nest!

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:16 pm

      Ah I know what you mean – mmmm, milk tray for breakfast ha ha!

  3. 5th March 2015 / 12:31 am

    So many things we only know after our children are born, at least it prepares you for your second and onwards :)

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:11 pm

      That’s so true :) Although, that said, I will forget everything again ha! :)

  4. 5th March 2015 / 2:01 am

    All very good tips- especially fitness! I wish I’d been fitter last time!

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:11 pm

      Thanks so much Amy! :)

  5. 5th March 2015 / 2:58 am

    I created a website timeline of my first pregnancy (www.kaye.at/baby) but so wish I’d started my blog instead so I could go back and recall every detail as I’ve forgotten already! Also agree with the saving, I saved a small amount before going on maternity and I’m glad I even had that otherwise I would’ve had to have gone back to work alot sooner.

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:12 pm

      Oh that’s awesome, I’m going to check it out! :)

  6. Emz
    5th March 2015 / 5:02 pm

    YES to 3 & 5! I didn’t even consider putting money aside when I was still working, ready for when I was on Mat leave, it didn’t cross my mind but now Im not working anymore I wish I had! I also wish I’d started my blog sooner, so I could document everything that happened as its hard remembering back now. Hey ho.. :) x

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:27 pm

      Me too – I don’t know where I imagined the money would come from :)

  7. 5th March 2015 / 9:19 am

    Excellent tips! Unfortunately all but 1# too late for me :D You should market this post to the expecting mums!

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:12 pm

      Thanks so much! Ah yes, I wish I could go back in time sometimes :)

  8. 5th March 2015 / 11:20 am

    great tips! Far too late for me though! Really wished I kept memories of my first pregnancy, and subsequent ones too. They’re so important to me but time continues to escape me!

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:17 pm

      Thanks Laney!

  9. 5th March 2015 / 11:39 am

    Some very good points- I agree about the blog especially! #brilliantblogposts

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:17 pm

      I so wish I’d blogged last pregnancy!

  10. 5th March 2015 / 11:43 am

    I wish I’d started my blog too. I didn’t until about a year after Isaac was born, so although I have catalogued Toby and Kara’s lives from their first days I’m missing the early months of Isaac’s life, which is such a shame. I remember starting to draft a whole load of posts – the original aim was for both my wife and I to create a record of our thoughts leading up to and beyond Isaac’s birth, but life got in the way and we never made the time to devote to it. A shame.

    • 14th March 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Ah if we could go back in time! At least you have so many memories recorded still though – it’s a wonderful collection :)

  11. 5th March 2015 / 7:02 pm

    Ha! Plan ahead? My 2 were lucky that I didn’t get the option to decide if I was ready, they would probably still be waiting for me to decide. And they are 22 and 15!

    I love the point you made about things you wish that you had done, but that you hadn’t made the time before kids…I didn’t either, but at this point I am content with life, and I could not have imagined how full children could make life. Thanks for the reminder!

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:27 pm

      Ha ha! Oh yes you’re so right – life is busy with kids but it’s a fuller life than I could ever imagine – brilliant :)

  12. 5th March 2015 / 8:13 pm

    Oh I wish I had gotten fit too before hand.Oh wow, I can’t believe the list is two years wait for childcare! That’s crazy

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:28 pm

      I know, so crazy! And they seems to close down centres rather than open up new ones :(

  13. 6th March 2015 / 6:40 am

    I absolutely wish I had started this blog before Lamb came along. He was almost 1 when I started so I missed the whole ‘baby’ section and jumped in at the ‘toddler’ phase. I hate exercising so would haste never got fit, and I’m the worst saver so that wouldn’t have happened either. Although we saved in our joint account so does that count?! Alex xx #brilliantblogposts

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:28 pm

      Aww if only we could go back and start them earlier!

  14. 6th March 2015 / 6:41 am

    Mine would probably travel a little more. I had done lots before but not with my hubby. We got married and within a year were pregnant with 2nd child (lost the first) and by then I desperate to start a family. Now 4 kids later, I would have liked more time with just him.

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:29 pm

      I know what you mean – I would have liked another 5 years as a couple ideally but then I felt the biological clock ticking a bit! :)

  15. 6th March 2015 / 8:07 am

    The savings one is definitely something I wish I had done too so I could have a bit more time off. Hindsight is such a wonderful things isn’t it? Oh and I think blissful unawareness is sometimes best, especially when they don’t sleep etc. although I’m sure even when you know you don’t really know until it happens. X

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:30 pm

      Hindsight really is a wonderful thing! :)

  16. 6th March 2015 / 8:17 am

    Sounds a good list, but I can’t help but wondering if knowing more in advance would be a good thing – it may have made you a better friend as you say, but sometimes you only really learn when you have to!

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:30 pm

      That’s very true – and sometimes you can know too much! :)

  17. stephanie Siviter
    6th March 2015 / 4:57 pm

    I completely agree with the ‘getting fit’ one. It is the first thing on my list when I am done being pregnant with number 2 – however, I don’t wish I’d learned more about new born babies because I think there aren’t any books that can possibly prepare you for it…and every baby is different … and we all learn on the way. So I wouldn’t worry about that. Great post!

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:31 pm

      Mine too – I really want to get fitter and be a stronger mummy physically :)

  18. 8th March 2015 / 7:59 am

    Great tips! Especially the one about finding out more about newborns! I went to a class and I still had a massive shock. xx #sundaystars

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:31 pm

      Ha thank you! Oh yes, nothing can quite prepare you! :)

  19. 8th March 2015 / 8:06 am

    great tips for any expectant mum to think about, i wish i started my blog alot earlier as well so i could of documented all my pregnancies and the early days! x

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:32 pm

      I really wish I could go back and start it before Miss M – we have our memories though of course :)

  20. 8th March 2015 / 8:43 am

    What a lovely post, I hope to get pregnant soon. In the meantime, I’m trying to get fitter.
    #SundayStar.
    Amanda.

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:32 pm

      Oh thank you! And the best of luck to you – in fitness and TTC! :)

  21. 8th March 2015 / 3:11 pm

    This was such a good read, some great tips there. I wish I had started my blog a lot sooner too.

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:33 pm

      Thanks so much! :) :)

  22. 8th March 2015 / 3:36 pm

    This tickled me so much lovely! Fab post and yes I agree – I so wish I had started my blog to document the pregnancy of my twins and have a savings account! Fortunately I have done most things I felt adequate by the time I reached 30 so happy days! Superb post – as always! Thank you so much for sharing and linking to #SundayStars :) xxxx

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:33 pm

      Thanks lady! Ah if I could go back in time I’d be rich and thin ha ha! :)

  23. Seychellesmama
    9th March 2015 / 8:53 am

    Wow this is such a fab list!!!
    Some really great ideas here and something I wish I had seen before my first pregnancy!!
    Xx

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:36 pm

      Oh thank you! :)

  24. 9th March 2015 / 8:52 am

    I too wish I started my blog earlier and documented my first pregnancy (it’s so different to this one haha). I also wish I’d travelled a bit more, I’d love to go to more places around the world, but I suppose being a younger mum, I’ll just go when they’re older! Xx

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:34 pm

      I sometimes read through my old text messages to see how I felt during my last pregnancy ha! :) Yes, we can do so much when they’re older too :)

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:35 pm

      I sometimes read through my old text messages to see how I felt during my last pregnancy ha! :) Yes, we can do so much when they’re older too! :)

  25. 9th March 2015 / 8:57 am

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it. There are so many things I wish I’d have done before getting pregnant. Even though at the time we were more than ready to try for a baby.

    I wish I’d have taken full advantage of each and every lie in I could have had before the little man came along.

    Lovely post.

    Kate.xxx
    http://www.mydaywithjack.wordpress.com

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:36 pm

      It really is! Ahh remember lie ins? They’re definitely a thing of the past! :)

  26. 9th March 2015 / 9:07 am

    Hello! A great post. I didn’t start my blog until Joseph had arrived and was 12 weeks old but I kinda wish I’d started whilst pregnant too. And the newborn baby thing…. I barely thought past labour when I was pregnant but because Joseph was high-risk I found it hard to really think about what it’d be like to have a baby as I was so worried something bad would happen. Thankfully all was fine in the end… apart from breastfeeding. I wasn’t prepared for that pain and the associated guilt-fest!
    Nicki x

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:37 pm

      Thanks so much! I wasn’t prepared for how emotionally difficult breast feeding would be, that was a bit shock :)

  27. 9th March 2015 / 9:16 am

    Great post! Sometimes I wish I’d finished uni before having my daughter – it’s been tough going and would have been a lot less stressful if I wasn’t doing them both at the same time! – and also getting fit is my big one, both fitness wise and health wise.

    #mummymonday

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:38 pm

      I’m determined to get fitter too once this baby is out! :)

  28. 9th March 2015 / 9:34 am

    I do wish I had started my blog before I had children, as it was my youngest now coming up 11 were already 6 when I started to blog. That’s a lot of missed years and I really don’t remember a lot about those early years now. #MagicMoments

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:39 pm

      So true – my memory doesn’t hold much any more unfortunately :(

  29. 9th March 2015 / 9:59 am

    Great post – we’re TTC and I must admit the “Baby Savings” is quickly becoming “Holiday/Night Out/New Trainers Savings”…Time to get back on track I think!!

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you so much! :)

  30. 9th March 2015 / 11:09 am

    I definitely agree with starting some savings! I really tried hard to put some aside each month but we always ended up spending it on other things! I properly started saving when I got pregnant but 9 months is not long enough as we kept having to dip into the money to buy cots, prams etc! This is all good advice for people that are trying for a baby :) xx

    #mummymonday

    Tarryns recently posted https://maternallove.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/things-i-am-grateful-for-3/

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:39 pm

      Thanks so much Tarryn! :)

  31. 9th March 2015 / 11:22 am

    You and I share similar wishes. Your sentiments about getting fit and learning more about newborns is something that rings true to me as well. I wish I had known more of what to expect, and taken care of my body in preparation for the pregnancy as well post pregnancy. I would have also liked to relax more before baby. Perhaps taken a longer vacation with my husband, and not worry so much about work or the little things. Had I known just how hard motherhood could be (and how taxing it can be–mind, body, and soul), I would’ve relished the quiet and the tranquility of it all more. Thanks for sharing :)

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:41 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly :) it will have to be addressed after pregnancy instead perhaps! :)

  32. 9th March 2015 / 2:15 pm

    Great list and some of them are definitely on my list for things I wish I had done before having kids too! Being fitter is definitely on it, I was a lot fitter 2nd time round and it made that pregnancy much easier than my first. I wish i had been blogging earlier too, like you say for the memories! There is so much I have forgotten about with Monkey but at least I have a good record with LM. Great post thanks for linking with #MaternityMondays! xx

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:41 pm

      Thanks so much Caroline!

  33. 9th March 2015 / 3:55 pm

    Such good tips, especially the saving for Maternity Leave and spending time with friends who have children although I don’t think anything really prepares you for having one of your own. I’m from a big family and there have been new babies pretty much every year since I was about 5 and having been a midwife before I had my own children, I thought I was pretty clued up but there was still a lot that I hadn’t been prepared for.

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:42 pm

      Thanks Louise! Ah if only we could go backwards :)

  34. 9th March 2015 / 5:04 pm

    2 years for a waiting list! Wow! I wish I’d started blogging during my pregnancy. The support would have been greatly appreciated. #maternitymondays

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:43 pm

      I know – crazy that it’s 2 years for some! :)

  35. 9th March 2015 / 9:58 pm

    Some really great tips here. A couple I wish I had done, saving money definitely!! And totally wish I had started my blog during my pregnancy at least as now I love it so much and would love to have been able to look back on my pregnancy through it. Thanks so much for linking up, #MummyMonday xx

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:44 pm

      Thank you so much, Alice! :)

  36. 9th March 2015 / 10:18 pm

    Great post, I agree with Get fit and start the blog. I was so knackered during pregnancy with chronic SPD, being lighter and fitter would have helped. Thanks for linking up to #TheLIst x

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:45 pm

      Thanks Aby! Ah I wish I could have gotten fitter before this baby – the pelvis pain is just awful, isn’t it and it might have helped a bit :(

  37. 10th March 2015 / 9:04 pm

    A maternity savings account is such a good idea. Fab post! x x

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:45 pm

      Thank you so much! :)

  38. 11th March 2015 / 8:53 am

    I knew I always wanted children from an early age too. Great tips, especially the savings and starting a blog…wish I’d done those too! #mmwbh

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:45 pm

      Thank you so much! :)

  39. 11th March 2015 / 9:56 pm

    This is a great post. I wish I had got fit before I got pregnant too; I am getting fit now for my wedding so hopefully if I am lucky enough to have another child I will be fit! I especially wish I had started my blog when I was pregnant. There are so many things I just can’t remember about my pregnancy and when Ava was a baby and I really wish I could xx #MMWBH

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:46 pm

      Thank you so much! Ah if only we could turn back time sometimes :)

  40. 11th March 2015 / 11:05 pm

    Great post, lovely. I would agree with so many of these. especially the keep fit one. I wish that we had gone travelling more before having Little Miss H and I wish we’d been a bit more impulsive. It isn’t possible to be impulsive when you have a bambino as it takes at least 30 minutes to get out the door. Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:46 pm

      Thanks lady! Ooh I would have loved to travel more too :)

  41. Wicked World of Lucas
    12th March 2015 / 1:37 pm

    This is such a great list. I really wished I’d thought about a savings account. I’m used to being financially dependent and when my maternity pay went down to the absolute basics, I hated having to ask my OH for money before he went to work. I also wished I listened to friends/family advice. One friend said to always let people help you when baby comes along. Whether it be laundry, hovering, etc…. I thought I could do it all myself and prove that I was Supermum. Listening to others experiences would definitely be on my list :) #MMWBH #brillblogposts

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:48 pm

      Thank you! I really REALLY wish we had saved more :)

  42. 12th March 2015 / 1:34 pm

    The Mothers say – Brilliant tips. You think you’ve got ages when you first find out but it’s scary how quickly the time goes. The savings account is an excellent idea. Maternity pay doesn’t last forever……….. #MMWBH #brillblogposts

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:47 pm

      Thank you so much! :) :)

  43. Heather
    15th March 2015 / 10:08 am

    Great post I feel the same about the blogging, I started my blog and YouTube channel when Martha was 6 months old it’s great to look back on and see how much she has changed but I wish I had done it straight from the start to remember those first months x

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:48 pm

      Thanks so much Heather! :)

  44. Heledd
    18th March 2015 / 9:59 pm

    hmmm… I wish I’d travelled more, saved more money, joined NCT, learnt to drive and started my blog. So similar list really, with a few differences. #sundaystars xxx

    • 30th March 2015 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks Heledd – ah if we could go backwards it would be good sometimes! :)

  45. 30th July 2015 / 3:39 pm

    I wish I’d started a blog sooner as well – starting one when the boy is 4 just seems a bit late…but I am planning to do lots of #throwbackthursdays to try and recall and record things!

    • 30th July 2015 / 6:47 pm

      That’s a really good idea – I might do that too :)

  46. Alison at Home
    16th August 2015 / 6:30 pm

    I completely agree with starting a savings account, it didn’t even cross my mind until my maternity leave was getting closer. Next time I’ll be more organised :-)

    Alison At Home!

    • 16th August 2015 / 6:37 pm

      It’s one of the biggest things I regret not doing – and I didn’t learn second time around argh :)

  47. 14th October 2015 / 8:45 am

    i did manage to make a blog before my baby was born, but now that he’s here, I’ve updated it once in 2 months :(

    • 15th October 2015 / 9:10 pm

      Ahh family life takes over doesn’t it :) But even the occasional post or photo is brilliant for the memory box :)

  48. 23rd May 2016 / 9:59 pm

    I was pretty well organised with N but I do wish I’d done a blog back then. Purely because I have no photos when I was pregnant (well apart from a couple) so no showing him cool bump photos, and nowhere to record what I thought/did at the time.

    • 24th May 2016 / 1:20 pm

      Same for me – I wish I’d thought of it then :) x

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