While I’m glad that the list is short, some of these are really big and really HARD to do now that the little love bunnies are here.
Get organized/Have established routines
Prior to kids I was pretty efficient. The things that I wanted to do got done, and I didn’t need a lot of lists or organizational tools to accomplish them. Lazy? Maybe. I just had more room in my brain for keeping track of all the odds and ends. Now with kids, especially more than one, I feel the most disorganized I ever felt. I consistently forget things I wanted to do or remember and often find it difficult to complete tasks or get out of the house on time (hard for a previously punctual person!)
Save more money
I did save quite a bit before kids, having spent 14 years working prior to having them but I also took on considerable debt to buy a house and do my MBA. Having better funded retirement accounts and general savings would have helped me not to worry so much about taking time off of work to be with the kids or paying for help/daycare when I did need to work. For me, money in the bank equals freedom.
More defined career path
This one has is mixed. I wish I’d invested more time in cultivating a specific career path during my undergrad degree. Then while working, I wish I’d maintained that path instead of letting the available jobs and companies dictate the path for me (think more purposeful career path). On the flip side, looking back, I am not sure that I was capable of making those decisions at that time due to being unsure of my talents/preferences/skills. I also got tons of difference types of work experience that I would not have if I had had a more direct work experience.
I knew kids would limit our ability to travel, but it was hard for me to understand exactly how long we’d be held back. First of all, traveling with the kids is hard to call a vacation. Secondly, with our limited support network, we haven’t even been able to travel as a couple alone. Several of the years prior to getting married our vacations were mostly in the Caribbean, and while I love the beach, going abroad to places like Europe are much more stimulating for me (and more expensive, see money above).
Do you have a wild regret like this one? I’m serious about skydiving. I wish I’d taken the plunge before kids because it is just not a risk that I am willing to take now that they are here. Originally, I thought that I’d only feel this way because they are young but I think it would be hard for me to do anything to risk my life even when they are adults. Because I love them more than anything and I will always feel even somewhat responsible for them. And while I have read the statistics on driving in the car is more dangerous, I’d rather limit the risks that I can control so no skydiving for me.
What about you? Do you have a similar list, or are your regrets completely different?