The Baby Bucket List

I never dedicated a post to this topic, and now that I’m mentally going back and forth on timing, and with pressure more than ever from my best friend–who first wanted me to wait to have a baby when she did… Then said I could go ahead and she’d catch-up on the second… Now knocked up herself and pressuring me to hurry up and do the same (love you girl)–I’ve decided to really think about what I want–And what I think is possible FOR ME to handle before and after a baby.

First, the would likes. These are things that aren’t absolutely necessary, but I would like to have them done before I even get pregnant.
Shape up: I really hope I can do this, I kind of feel like it’s now or never. I’m trying to get into a habit of running with Snoop every day but it’s really hard for me to get motivated!
Take a dance class with my hubby: The reason I say before I’m pregnant is because I doubt I’ll have time to do after we have a baby and I think I’ll have a lot on my mind when I am, and less energy to talk him into it.
Swim with dolphins: I’m not sure they allow pregnant women to do this so I’d like to do it either before, or way later when my kids can do it too.
Take the GRE: I think if I don’t do it now I won’t do it for a long time, and I’d rather attempt to study cram now and possibly go to grad school cause I know I’ll be more distracted once babies come along.
Visit New York City: I could do this while I’m pregnant but I’d rather not be on the phat end of my pregnancy. I’m actually hoping to go this fall, so I can cross it off my list.
Start grad school: I’m not sure how I’ll do this as fast as I’d like but I’d love to get a Master’s Degree just so I have more options later in life.

Some things that I would like to have done before I have a child, but I could complete them while I’m pregnant, or possibly even after having a baby.
Feel comfortable in the kitchen: I’m there for the most part. I like cooking now, and I only hope to get better before and after pregnancy and kids.
Have a 3-month food supply: I’m getting there as well. I have been busing water jugs and pasta every time I’m at the store, and I have a lot of MREs so hopefully we’re almost there.
-Learn Yoga: I really want to do this because I hear it’s helpful during pregnancy for stretching, and it’s relaxing. I think it’ll be a nice activity for a stressed mind.
Visit Trinidad: My hubby lived there for a year on his mission, and apparently my ancestors are from that country. I’d love to take an exotic vacation there, but I also wouldn’t mind bringing our kids along one day if we could afford it.

Some things that I would absolutely like to have done before having a child and possibly even before I get pregnant.
Get REALLY good with God: I’m good with God. He and I, we have a good relationship. But I’d really like to have a plan down of visiting the temple more, reading my scriptures daily… All that good stuff.
Eat better: I’m already starting to do this, but I’d really like to be in a habit of eating well so it’s easy to continue while I’m pregnant. I worry if I can’t do it now, I won’t be able to later.
Get my dental work done: Nothing too drastic, just figure out how many cavities I really have and get them filled before it’s too late.

A few other things I’d like to have done ASAP just to make my life easier would be:
Complete grad school: Like stated above
Out of debt: We don’t have student loans or credit card debt but I’d like to pay off our only “real debt”…our second car.
Sell my condo: If I wait until this happens it’ll be at least another year and a half. Luckily we have a wonderful renter to help with the mortgage but I’d feel even better if I DIDN’T OWN IT!
Buy another house: I don’t want to do it until our condo now is sold but I’d REALLY like to have a house of our own again before we have a kid, preferably my dream house, in a place we’d like to call home forever, because I hate moving.
Have my own company (or lots of freelance work) on the side, or something to that effect that I could eventually solely do from home.

As I look at this overwhelming list I wonder how long it will take and when it’ll be possible. I actually hoped next month at one point, then maybe December, but now, dwelling over this… Who knows!

I’m really discouraged and wondering how long I should wait. Maybe another 5 years wouldn’t be so bad… Jeez. I wonder if I could suppress the urge that long. Some days the urge overpowers everything, but then there are days when I dwell on these things and it squashes my baby dreams for awhile. I know having (most of) these things first isn’t more important than having a family but sometimes I wonder how specific the order needs to be. I’ll be better off for sure if I complete some of these tasks first. I could focus more on my family when the time comes, and probably have less struggles and frustrations, but would my internal frustrations until then be stronger?

To make myself feel better I’m going to list what I feel like I’ve accomplished and blessings I’ve recieved in nearly 5 years that’s prepared me for a child.
-Earned enough scholarships to pay for college and then some
-Graduated from college (with a 3.3 and I’m very proud of that)
-Bought and paid off my (crappy) car a year later
-Bought a another reliable, safe (possibly family) car that we hope to drive FOREVER!
-After 3 years finally convinced my husband we should get a dog (good practice)
-Bought a condo
-Got several jobs building up my career
-Have several months worth of savings
-Practiced babysitting lots of cute kiddos
-Gone on two cruises as a couple and several vacations (couple time important)
-Signed a contract at a news station in a city with warm weather
-Got TIVO (yes, this was actually on our baby bucket list)
-Signed up for premuim health insurance which is for the most part da bomb dot com!
-Began to like to cook
-Started collecting food storage
-Eating less french fries (hey, it’s hard, it’s my favorite food)
-Found a church ward we LOVE and started a calling I adore
-Searched pondered and prayed A LOT about expanding our family

Ok I’m depressed now. Were/are your baby bucket lists this long? How did you decided to proceed?

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  1. Wow you got a lot on your list(s) there. I think we all have lists of what we want to do, what we need to do and what we have to do. I would just do what I could. Really that’s all you can do.

    My daughter loves Yoga. She hardly gained any weight from her first child and is heading the same way with this one (she’s 5 months). She did Yoga while she was pregnant with the first. Afterwards she only had like 15 lbs. to lose but she did belly dancing. Loved them both so I think the Yog would be a good idea.

    Have a blessed day!!

  2. Jennifer- you have done more in 24 years than many people do in a lifetime. I feel like a turtle going at a slow pace. you go girlfriend!

    And I cannot wait to plan our trip! Just let me get finals over/graduation, and I’ll call you and we can discuss dates etc… : )

  3. We were married almost 9 years before we had our first child. It was intentional. I was 18 (he was 24) when we got married and I, like you, knew I wanted to do a lot of things. I know people at church who didn’t know us well thought we were infertile. We also had people criticize our decision. We now have two beautiful kiddos. I have NO REGRETS about waiting. I have a master’s degree, a home that’s almost payed off, no debt and I am able to stay home with my kids (which was what I wanted). We also had time to travel and really KNOW each other as a couple. You sound like you’re really doing well. Wait, don’t wait, it’s your decision (obviously). But remember, you can’t go back once you have that baby.

  4. You really are quite ambitious! I think that there were always be things you think would be better to accomplish before having children. Your list will never get smaller. There are things I wanted to knock out before I got pregnant but now that my kiddo is here I’m more motivated to get things done than I was before.

    All I can say is that I wish more people would plan their pregnancies like you are and have fewer unplanned ones. But that’s just my opinion!

  5. I didn’t have a baby bucket list. Honestly the idea had never occurred to me until I saw yours…and I confess I’m not sure if I want to laugh or just shake my head… On the one hand, yes, it makes sense to have a certain physical health before conceiving, but some of the other things (travel, financial, spiritual…) I dunno, I guess I just figure that we should have children when we feel the prompting to do so, and not as the final checkbox on a list, you know?

  6. Oh, and I took up yoga WHILE pregnant (I got a great prenatal yoga DVD)…yes, it is good for pregnancy, but I had a dance background too so balance/flexibility wasn’t anything new for me. I do love yoga for pregnancy though!

    One thing you should work on–even if you don’t put it on your list–do your kegel exercises every day lady! It will help avoid all sorts of postpartum issue. 🙂

  7. I never thought about a baby bucket list. I just knew that I wanted to be a mom. I had already done a lot (i.e., school was almost done, good health, good spiritually). I knew that I was supposed to have kids right away. I never questioned it, and I never thought about postponing it for any reasons. I think that having children is so important to our Heavenly Father, that he will make sure that we are blessed if we raise a righteous family. We shouldn’t be selfish about it (not saying you are being selfish, but I do think starting a family is more important than a lot of things on your list.)

  8. This kind of stuff never occurred to me. I just figured we’d have the babies when we needed to have the babies. I do plan on going back to school when my last is in school. I think I work more on what I can do today. I’m not really a planner in that way. I do plan our future and am planning our next vacation before this one in 3 weeks has even happened. I think I like to get away though. I try to just take life as it comes and hope for the best.

    I didn’t used to be this way, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do. I figured if I planned too much and it didn’t happen, I’d be really mad at myself.

  9. I am such a planner like you! I have seen through my own family how hard it is to do somethings after being a mom, such a college. I feel being prepared to have a baby is the best thing I can do. I don’t plan on being the provider for my family, but if for some reason I need to be… I can be ready… right away. I have always felt that way because I have seen how hard it is the other way around. My mother has drilled into us “get married whenever… have babies after school”. Everyone is different. I def have a baby bucket list…I am going to try and get done what I can… and somethings may or may not happen. I try to be flexible that helps me feel calm, knowing nothing is set in stone. Good luck! I hope you can finish what you feel needs to be done!

  10. I think you might just be thinking too much!!! The fact that you are thinking so hard about it, probably means it is time. There are always reasons to not do it. So dive in and join the club, nothing could more difficult, or more rewarding!!!

  11. I love your blog! My husband and I married in our late twenties and tried to have children immediately but it took a lot of practice before the plumbing kicked in. I love being a mom now and including my children in the passions that I once did alone. For example: I am a ardent Mormon Democrat. I have been involved in political campaigns since I was in my early teens. Most recently I helped with the Nevada Obama campaigning and I absolutely loved taking my girls out canvassing with me. They still talk about the election night party we hosted and all the fun during the campaign. This was something made even sweeter when I involved those I love. This is just one area that having children has not stopped me from fulfilling dreams. I wish you luck. And know that with careful balance you can do it all!

  12. Jenn, you are so amazing to even be thinking of HALF the things that you are scrutinizing. It’s so true that you can’t go back – once baby is here, it’s forever! Not for 18 or 21 years – you will FOREVER worry about them in a way that you just don’t fathom until you are a mom. So, I love that you are trying to be sure on your timing so you have no regrets!

    Another thought…..a deadline is a good thing, too! I think everyone grows up a lot during their first pregnancy and you will cross off the absolutely essential things before that due date. Like said earlier – you can take yoga while preggers, travel, and cut back on those fries! I would get the dental work done before getting pregnant, though.

    I know that whether you are child-less or whether you have 4 kids, you will still be seriously Type A, critically thinking, list writing, over-achieving and … fabulous! Having a child or two (whenever you choose) will just bring more meaning and love to your full life – the life that you will always choose to keep full because that’s just “you”. You are someone who WILL get the important things crossed off your list whether it’s before or after you are a mom. And you have to realize that as life moves on, your list is always evolving. Things that were of utmost importance 5 years ago are often meaningless now. And your life goals of today may be completely different than what they will be 10 years down the road.

    Listen to your promptings, whatever they may be, and have faith! (I know that’s hard for us list-followers!!!)

    ps-I was pregnant at the same time as one of my BFFs with 3 of our 4 kids and it really was fun to be going through it at the same time!


  13. Damnit I feel inferior reading your list now! lol

    I didn’t think of a single thing before we jumped into the baby making. We just dove in and 6 kiddos later I adore our crazy out of control life. You have to do what makes YOU happy though.

    I had to lol at the tivo one though. 🙂

  14. i think you’d find this song interesting. thanks for being so open with your deep feelings, but just so you know, i’d love to be married and have the option of getting pregnant. i’ve been to new york city a ton and i’m in grad school. and i’d trade it to be in your position. i guess the grass is always greener.


  15. I was a big old dork who graduated from high school and was ready to have kids? Not really. I mean I was going to college and wanted to do that first but I always knew my life was heading in the direction of children. There really wasn’t anything I wanted to do before having kids.
    Now that I have them? Do I wish I had done anything before I had them? Maybe I would have gone to Vegas? I don’t know. Gone to the movies more? No, you know what if I had it to do over I would have moved to live closer to family!

  16. Stopping by from SITS. Nice to meet you. I got married when I was 20 so hubby and I wanted to wait. He didnt want a baby until we were 30. Around 28 or so my clcok was calling but it just wasnt for hubby so i could not convince him. At 29 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and told that I would never have a baby. I found a marvelous doctor who operated and got rid of all the cancer and left me with the ‘tools’ to get pregnant. Then, he said it would be a miracle. two years and the miracle happened. We lost her and it took two more before our wonderful daughter was born. My point is, life doesnt always turn out as you planned/think it will. In hindsight both of us wish that we had started earlier so we could have lots of children but our one daughter has made our life the most joyous ever. I am 9 years clear by the way! I hope that you come and visit.

  17. Okay, it is just never going to be perfect. I think having kids is a leap of faith. When you get an answer, you have to close your eyes and jump. The Lord will take care of the rest.

  18. Hon, it’s just a baby. You’re life isn’t over. There are a lot of women whose lives come to a screeching halt when they have babies. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s good to keep evolving once you have children. That’s what babysitters are for.

    I learned to play the harp after I had my fourth child. I also went back to college. I’ve become a prize-winning baker. I’ve taken pottery classes, writing classes, drawing classes, and gotten way more into exercise than I ever was before I had kids.

    If anything, motherhood made me realize how precious my time was and how I didn’t want to squander it. I get a lot more accomplished now than I ever did before kids.

    Your life will totally change when you have children, but don’t buy into the idea that it will be worse. Will it be the same? Not at all. But that’s not necessarily bad. I look back at who I was B.K. (before kids) and I’m pretty embarrassed. Having children has taught me so many wonderful things.

    I had my first of six babies at age 24. I think I’m a really accomplished person and it’s all happened since I had kids. I wouldn’t go back to my life B.K. for any amount of money!

  19. Hi Jenn – You are definitely thorough in your baby planning. I never even thought of having a baby bucket list before. I seriously was so young (17) when I had my 1st daughter and wasn’t ready at all. Now that I am 28 and my hubby and I are working towards our 2nd, there are definitely things that I want to accomplish prior to baby arriving (we’re not preggos yet, still trying). I think my hubby was more of the “I have to accomplish x before..” type of person. After a few years though, his mind changed and he’s now ready even though he hasn’t accomplished everything that was originally on his unofficial “baby bucket list”.

    An absolute must for me is to prepare myself to be able to stay home after baby is born. I absolutely do not want to put baby in daycare. My daughter has been in daycare her entire 0-8 years and by obtaining my B.S. and Masters degrees, I have really missed a lot of her childhood. So, I have been in the process of starting a business to enable me to work from home. See My Business Adventures.

    You’re definitely on the right track of prioritizing your “baby bucket list” and identifying what are like-to-haves and what is an absolute must complete prior to having children. Staying flexible is important and realizing that even with children, we can still accomplish much and continue to grow. Life is not over, you’re simply opening a new chapter with a little one :-).

  20. Wow you are so accomplished and it’s no wonder because you are very focused and have all of your goals laid out.

    I live in NYC so come and visit me. I’ll go with you to Trinidad.

  21. I feel ya!

    Some huge tasks, but seems you have a great attitude so sure you will be sucessful!

    Can I ask why you need a 3 month supply of food?

    NYC is great, I went on a girly trip to NYC & Miami last year. Loved them both.

    You’ve inspired me. I am off to write a bucket list too….

  22. We already each had our own children coming into the marriage, so my experience is different from yours…but they were older.

    A good friend asked us what we were waiting for? We couldnt think of a good reason…how much money did we need, or space, or time? So we just did it.

    And here we are with our 3rd child, with each other…number 6.

  23. I would think about drawing up a list like this, but I think if I did, then I might never have kids! There’ll never be a perfect time when I’ve got everything else out of the way — there are so many countries I’d like to visit, so many things I want to do, I still want a Master’s, but I might be 40 by the time I did everything I want to do. And having kids is more of a priority for me.

    Fiancé and I are waiting until after the wedding (a year from now), but I think we’ll start trying pretty soon after that. If there are other things we want to do, we’ll make it work somehow, but right now we want to be parents!

  24. My babies (twins) we not planned, so I had no time to do a list. But I tell you, there is nothing that I could have put on a list that would be better than being a mother.
    Stopping by from SITS!

  25. I’m going to write my very own bucketlist too. One major one is to purchase our own home, then I’m going to do a baby bucket list. Thank you so much for being so inspiring.

    I have a few questions regarding your blog, but I will email you those.


  26. I never thought about a baby bucket list, but this is a fantastic idea.. thanks for the inspiration! You have accomplished a lot in your short life, so I hope you feel incredibly proud of yourself. It sounds like you’re going to make wonderful parents. <3

  27. OK, too much pressure on yourself does not make for an easy start. I think babies make these things just fall into place some how. It all works out the way it is meant to. A baby will change everything, including how you think about your Must dos, and it’s a fabulous ride.

  28. Getting good with God is a decision. I admire it is on your list. Of course it’s easy to miss reading your scriptures one day, or FHE one Monday. But I really think when you plan your month, day, and week, and include those spiritual things in your plan it helps a lot. Try planning when you are going to go to the temple for the month, at the beginning of the month. Decide who is going to plan the lesson for Family Home Evening each Monday at the beginning of the month too. It helps a lot. I’m still struggling with consistent daily scripture study myself. As long as you are trying and keeping that open communication with God I think you can cross that off of your list. We’re not expected to be perfect 🙂

  29. I just have to say that the thought of this kind of list never occured to me and we’ve been battling with fertility issues for a while now. I’m the type who always needs a goal or project and have been going nuts with all of the WAITING… I think I may start my own “Baby Bucket List” worst case scenario I’ll have done some things and learned some things that will lower my stress level and make ME happier – can’t go wrong with that!!!

  30. My bucket list would look more like your blessings list. I dunno, I always wanted a family and wanted to do whatever (something legit) to get us in a comfortable financial situation so that we could hurry up and have kids. Nothing fancy, just wanted the $$$$ to pay off debts, to purchase the dream home, premium health insurance (lol), and an SUV.

    I’d say you’re set, you are definitely ready to have a baby!

  31. So the last time I visited your site, which I admit was a while ago, you had way fewer followers. Holy crap, what have you been up to? This blog is really happening!!!

    Unfortunately, as I found out the hard way, pregnant women are forbidden to swim with dolphins. Dolphins get “aggressive” with pregnant women. I found this out on a trip to the Bahamas where I was going to fulfill my lifelong dream of frolicking with my favorite underwater mammal. Alas, bribery would not even sway the Dolphin Encounter people into letting me in the ocean with said creatures.

    You’ll have to schedule that one in between pregnancies.

    Best of luck to you!

  32. I know you wrote this a long while ago, but I was looking around online for thoughts for my own baby-bucket list and found this really helpful! Thanks 🙂

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