11 Things You Should Do Before You Have Kids

BY: - 16 Aug '13 | Marriage

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As I begin to navigate this thing called parenthood, I am finding that there definitely are some things I should have done before the kids came along.  As wonderful as it is to raise children, it comes with its challenges and it honestly changes so much.  Once I had children, my priorities changed, my perspective changed and a number of my expectations changed.  And, although change is good, it also has this way of making you reflect on the steps you took to get to where you are.

I am so grateful for the life I’ve created with my husband.  It makes my heart smile.  But, if I could go back in time, there are definitely a few things I would have done before we had children.  Sure, some of these things can still happen today, but I think they could have happened without a lot more ease before my kids made their appearance.  Here are a few things I wish did before having kids. Let me know if you can relate?

Start my own business.

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I am doing this now, but once you add kids to the mix, functioning off of 4 hours of sleep becomes increasingly difficult. I still have that “hustler’s spirit” but I’ll tell you – this hustler is crazy tired.

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 422 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a lifestyle consultant who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create lives they love. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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13 WordPress comments on “11 Things You Should Do Before You Have Kids

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  2. Lolo

    I loved this article. Not only has it affirmed the things I’m doing right (travel, read, lose weight), but also the issues that really hit a nerve.
    My mother and I have some serious issues that should I deal with before I have kids. I’m in my 30’s but I don’t think she really understands that I am grown, so it has resulted with me avoiding calls at times or keeping conversations brief to avoid getting angry.
    The very few times I’ve tried talking about our issues she tells me that I think the worst of her or I’m ungrateful…(sobs on both side). Its tough

    1. Martine

      Your comment definitely resonates with me because my mom and I have worked through a lot and we are still a work in progress. I am glad you enjoyed the article. I wish you the best with working things out with your mom. I hope you are able to start down that path now because from my experience it takes time.

  3. Breastmilkmusings

    I always tell people to live alone before marriage and kids. You can move your family Abroad for a year. I’d do it for 6 months. It will not take away from their lives but enhance it. You can still travel solo. I Ditched my family on Thanksgiving and went to Paris.

  4. Gabrielle

    Loved your article funny things is I do everything opposite of the article lol. I travel as much with my three years old son (I’m a single mother) we have been to Europe America and in the near future we will do Africa the West Indies and Asia. I decided to live abroad (I’m from Paris France and I now live in miami Florida getting my doctorate ) it’s only me and him here. I am planning to do my dissertation in africa and of course bring my son along. After i get my doctorate sky is the limit as to where i will be living lolhad that boom I was unable to finish for years and since he growing up and I want him to get the right example I find myself reading wayyyyy more than before at night I sit near his bed read him a story then pick up my own book and he read his book and was finally able to finish my book lol.
    I wish I could have get into a better shape before but now I’m getting in shape with him best coach ever he even does interval training without knowing it thinking its a game. Ahahahah he tells me to run then walk then run with him then walk lol. I definitely spend week ends with my girlfriends take the car and drive 500miles with the kiddo to go see my girls who live outside of town. Lol I also splurge myself to spas shopping and nice restaurant and I sometimes take my son especially to nice restaurant by the time he is grown he will probably be a good connoisseur lol. I know I’m an exception and funnily I think I will be more limited to do those things by my husbands than by my kid I don’t know why but I have this feeling ???? but right now my baby and me we enjoying life

  5. J. Hines

    Great article, Martine. I know of couples on both sides of the spectrum – those who waited to have children and those who started their families right away. Although I think each approach has its merits, in my opinion taking some time to get to know yourself and your spouse is a a great choice, if you have the option. I would echo the tips you gave on starting your own business and traveling. Also, I agree on the paying down debt suggestion too – bringing children into the world debt-free is a great feeling!

  6. Nikki

    I am a 26 year old single mom, and I wish I would have traveled more and read more. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. Do be able to enjoy my vacations without having the random thoughts of “is my baby okay?” “Let me call and check on my little one” and half way worrying during my vacations kind of keeps me from actually ENJOYING my vacations lol. Also, So many different bookes I have piled up. I’ve only finished 1 or 2 books completely since having my son who is almost 4. There are also a few things that I need to work out with my mom, because it’s like she not only wants to run my life and be in my business about everything, but with what I have going on with my son as well. Makes me not even want to answer her calls at times. Of course I love my mom, I Only have 1 parent left, so I try to just remain quiet to keep drama at bay.

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5 Reasons Why I Think “Going Dutch” in a Marriage is a Bad Idea

BY: - 16 Aug '13 | Lifestyle

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If you read this title and had no idea what the term “dutch” means in this context, no worries because I only first heard of this terminology a few days ago, while getting my hair done.  “Going Dutch” means that each person will pay for themselves when they go out on a date – that’s right, as in split the bill in half. The guy in the shop was expressing his frustration about girls these days that he was dating, and how they expected him to always pay for everything (and never offer to share the expense). So to avoid all of that, he and his dates choose to split the bill down the middle when they go out.

I’m not against women paying for dates (full or partial), but I can’t see any good coming out of getting into the habit of “you pay your way, I’ll pay mine”. When my husband and I first started dating many, many years ago, I offered to pay for a lot of things because I was making more money and I didn’t have the bills he had (only thing I paid for was car insurance and food). But even then, I would’ve never considered telling him “you pay for your own food”, nor would he have asked me to do it either (and never has). When I go out with my girlfriends or even some family members, we’ll split the bill and pay for our respective meals. But in a serious relationship? And then in marriage? Uh, no thank you. But apparently, it’s commonplace nowadays for couples to practice this both in dating and in marriage.  To each their own, but I can’t think of any good to come out of a practice like this.

Now, hubby and I do each have a separate bank account, but just about all of our money goes into our joint account. All bills and leisure activities are paid with our joint account. Even though he is the breadwinner, I’ve never had to ask permission to use money from our account. And he’s never made me feel like I had to.

Here are 5 reasons why “going dutch” in marriage is a bad idea:

  1. In this case, practice does not make perfect. If the habit forms during your courtship, it will most likely continue into your marriage. If you’re dating someone and the relationship is serious, why not just take turns footing the bill? Stop all this stuff about “you pay for your portion and I’ll pay for mine”. And if money is tight, there are so many cheaper (and free) dating options you can take advantage of. So be creative. But in my opinion, the habit of splitting the bill is a bit selfish.
  2. Dutch and marriage don’t mix. If you do it while you’re dating, chances are, the practice will remain even after marriage. It always amazes me when I hear couples talking about, “I pay the electric bill and he pays the mortgage”, etc.  If you all are married, isn’t his money your money and vice versa? Often times, I also hear about this leading to “secret” bank accounts which (in my opinion) is also a bad idea. Financial infidelity is real.
  3.  It’s not sexy. It leads to frustration, arguments and jealousies. I’ve now heard a few times of instances where couples have argued over whose turn it is to pay the bill (whether it be dinner, household bills, or groceries). I think it’s ridiculous and totally unromantic.
  4. It warrants trust issues.  If you decide to keep separate accounts (or in some cases, have control over how much money you give to your spouse monthly), I can imagine that the trust level would be anything less than great. I would think it would only create more unnecessary challenges in a marriage. I have heard several stories of the spouse (generally the husband) deciding how much of an “allowance” to give his wife. I’ve also heard instances where spouses will use it as a controlling factor. So not cute.
  5. Two cannot fully be one with completely separate bank accounts. I strongly believe there are some things that should be kept separate in a marriage – like a toothbrush, perhaps – but a bank account is not one. Some might argue that they don’t want to mix their spouses debt with their impeccable credit score. Or perhaps their spouse is not “good with money”. These are all things that need to be worked out before marriage. And if the problem is still there, then is marriage really a good idea?

I understand every marriage is different, and everyone needs to do what works for them.  But all that I’ve seen and heard in marriages that do decide to “go dutch”, has not been positive. And maybe you have one of the unique marriages that this does work for. I just know that it would never be an idea that I entertained in our marriage. But we also didn’t entertain it before we got married either. I think that if there are financial issues regarding money before marriage (trust, debt, secret accounts, etc.), “going dutch” after marriage is not going to solve these problems. If anything, it will only allow them to escalate.

BMWK: I’m really interested in hearing your perspective. What are your thoughts on “going dutch” in a marriage? What about from a dating perspective?

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 144 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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