10 Things Every Rational Couple Should Do Before They Have Kids

Kids are great, but so is having fun.

man and woman on beach Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

Having kids changes everything. Suddenly, your life is no longer your own and everything you knew before gets thrown out the window.

This isn’t a bad thing; it's just a different thing. Those who really want to have a family welcome the change with open arms, but even they can admit the truth — after the baby comes home with them, their lives will never be the same again.

Because that's the case, it's important to live in the here and now. While having children won't totally kill all the fun things you either used to do or would still like to do, they put a damper on things.


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My sister says, "I'll come and see you in Europe in fourteen years. By then, my youngest will be in college and won't feel guilty for leaving them." I realize her thinking might be a bit extreme (I mean, it is, right?), but I do know she's probably not alone.


10 Things Every Rational Couple Should Do Before They Have Kids

So, before you have those mini versions of yourself, and completely devote every waking hour working toward being a mom of the year, you and your partner should do a few things before you have kids.

1. Travel the world.

Traveling is one of the most exciting things you can do... and something that becomes nearly impossible once you have a kid.

Sure, you can schlep your kid from Morocco to Thailand, staying in hostels, but do you really want to? Probably not. Traveling is best when it's done solo, or with your partner-in-crime.

2. Sleep late.

Take advantage of those lazy Saturdays and Sundays. Sleep until 3 PM if you want to, and then take a nap after dinner just because you can.


You're not only indulging in something you can virtually kiss goodbye once you have a kid; you're also building up on sleep in preparation for when you don't have any at all.

3. Have sex on the kitchen floor.

Actually, have sex all over your home. Do it now, everywhere. Do it before you have to worry about a toddler wandering in, giving you and your partner 30 questions about why you're naked on the floor.

4. Be spontaneous.

From sex on the floor to booking a last-minute flight to Paris, just do it.

Relish in the fact that you don't have to plan things months in advance, and you don't have to feel guilty about wanting to do things sans your little bundle of joy.


5. Enjoy alone time as a couple.

Before you have a baby, you really want to take advantage of it just being you and your husband or partner.

You really want to explore your relationship, sexually and otherwise, and really focus on your love for each other. You want to make sure you have one hell of an unbreakable bond before you bring someone else into the picture.

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6. Enjoy your 'me' time.

Not only do you want to focus on your love for each other, but your love for yourself. Go away for a weekend alone, spend time with your friends, or just cuddle up in bed with a book, completely undisturbed from the outside world.


This is your moment to commit to yourself and the relationship you have with yourself before your days and nights are full of interruptions.

7. Spoil yourselves.

Spoil yourselves rotten. Get an expensive bottle of wine. Go to the fancy restaurants with the month-long wait. Buy the designer clothes now; eventually, you'll only want to wear stuff from the Gap because it will be covered in spit-up 90 percent of the time.

8. Spend time with other people's kids.

Even if you know for a fact that you absolutely, positively, want to have a kid, you might want to spend some time with the kids of your friends and family first.

This isn't to suggest that watching your nephew throwing a fit over having to share his lightsaber with his brother will dissuade you in any way from having a little monster of your own, but it's a good idea to give yourself a heads up as to what to expect. Even the most angelic babies can have their jerky moments.


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9. Open a savings account specifically for your child.

In between all that traveling and spoiling yourself, it's also important to financially prepare for your baby. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will cost a middle-income couple just over $245,000 to raise a child to the age of 18.

And that's before they get into Harvard, which is projected to cost an undergrad student $64,000 to $69,000 per school year. Yes, that's per year. Although, maybe you'll get lucky and have a super-smart kid who gets a full ride.


10. Enjoy being a kid.

Once you have a kid, you no longer get to be a kid yourself. So, before you hand over the reins to someone else in your family, as far as the kid thing goes, live it up while you can.

Enjoy that your responsibilities are minimal, that you don't need to be home at a certain time, and that you can drink the milk directly out of the bottle without your partner freaking out about "germs that will kill the baby."

Hold onto your childlike ways as long as you can... and then grow up.

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Amanda Chatel is a writer who divides her time between NYC and Paris. She's a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post, and others. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook for more.