Pre-baby bucket list

by Ashley on June 9, 2011

{You can certainly sneak away for bike rides while someone watches the baby, but he or she can’t ride along like this until at least the age of 1}

I don’t want to be one of those people who assume that nothing from your previous life carries over into your new one (as parents); the opposite in fact! I fully expect us to find ways to share nearly all of our favorite pastimes with our baby (and get a babysitter for those pastimes he might not be so suited for). In fact, we just bought tickets to an Andrew Bird concert in October, and are already planning road trips and plane flights as a family. But I know some things will be a bit more challenging (like spontaneous, late-night dinners or loose plans for a popular spot that doesn’t take reservations).

Aron and I decided the other day that we should make a little goal list for the next two months: a list of the things that we want to do this summer with an emphasis on the things that might be more challenging after the baby arrives–at least without the help of a sitter. Maybe see a Broadway show? Try to get into that wait-list-only Italian spot downtown for dinner? Ride bikes along the shore? Our trip to India was actually on our list of travels that would be ideally made pre-baby (and pre-pregnancy, even)–Check!

What do you think should be on the list? Are there things you want to do (or wish you had done) before the baby’s debut?

[Photo by Seth Smoot via Cup of Jo]


sarah June 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

I am not pregnant (yet!) but I know what I really want to do before I have kids is get lots and lots of SLEEP! 🙂 Other than that, I would like to take a few more weekend trips and stay in bed-and-breakfasts, enjoy quiet time to myself, and take lots of walks to keep in shape. I really enjoy your blog!

Ashley June 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I really need to work on the more-sleep bit… there’s so much to do, but I know I’ll miss it…

Melanie June 9, 2011 at 10:02 am

I’ve been thinking about the same thing. My husband is away for the week and that alone is something i am relishing—my last full week alone in the house for maybe 10 years? seriously. will be posting about it tomorrow morning:) we started a list—hollywood bowl, plenty of dinners at 10pm–and I’m going to insist we finish it when he gets back, What day in july are you due? we’re the 24th….you look great.

Ashley June 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

OOooh! I miss the Hollywood Bowl–one of my favorite things about LA and one of those “there’s no substitute” things. Thanks Melanie, I’m due the 30th–just after you! Enjoy… and good luck with your list!

Alli June 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

Late night movie dates! And if you can still stay up past midnight (I know I’m struggling already in my 4th month), Landmark Sunshine Cinema on Houston has their midnight classics on the weekends. This weekend is the director’s cut of Alien, showing at midnight on Friday and Saturday. Ed and I went to see the midnight showing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail a few months ago (but I slept through most of it).

Definitely not a baby activity, or even a get-a-babysitter activity, since you likely won’t be home until at least 2:30am.

Ashley June 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Such a good one! I didn’t know about those! (True, however, about the staying up late bit. We went to dinner at 9:30pm the other night and got home at 1–I was unreasonably proud.) With Alien, I probably wouldn’t fall asleep… even once I got home! Eeek!

Clare June 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm

This is a great idea. I would say the best thing to do would be to take a moment during any of these bucket-list plans you undertake to appreciate each other, the quiet and calm that you currently have and to be able to just sit and enjoy the simplicity of life pre-children.

As you said, life definitely does not end post-baby, in fact, your baby will enrichen your lives in more ways than you can imagine right now. However, your life will change in many unavoidable ways and you will never again be so carefree as there will always be another person to think about/worry/care for – which is incredible but also tiring and sometimes overwhelming.

Enjoy your last months of pregnancy!

Ashley June 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Thank you so much, Clare! I can’t believe how soon we become three…

summer June 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

We were only two for 10 years before our son was born, and much like you we did a lot of traveling and non-family type activities. I always thought that our son would fit into our lives and we would continue doing the things we loved with him in tow. And that was true while he was an infant. Now that he is a toddler with very definite interests, we find ourselves doing more and more family type activities. I laugh now thinking about how sure I was that life with a baby wasn’t so different than what we were used to – and now we have a great time tracking down train exhibits and going to the zoo because he loves it so much. Everything changes, but don’t worry, you will LOVE IT! And when you all are rolling laughing at elephant poop you will look back and say “I had NO IDEA!”. Have fun. Little boys are a blast!

Hannah June 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Your bucket list is a great idea!

Traveling is still totally doable with a babe in tow. It was a little daunting the first few trips and I was nervous about our Stella screaming or fussing on long plane flights, but you figure it out fast and get through it. We just got back from a trip to Baja and New York. While in New York we didn’t go to a Broadway show, but we did (all with Stella) try restaurants I’d never been to (Souvlaki GR, Dessert Truck, and Schillers to name a few), caught the Sonia Delaunay show at the Cooper Hewitt, had dinner and drinks with friends at The Standard, and made endless trips up and down the subway stairs with babe in the Bjorn and the stroller on my back. It’s very doable.

Things I miss: sleeping in, movies on any night of the week (we have a movie theater here that has baby night, and we try to go when we can), the luxury of reading a book from cover to cover in one sitting…

Good luck getting through your list before the babe arrives!!

Laura June 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Our baby isn’t due until December but it’s really starting to hit me how different things will be (not in a bad way just different). We are going to go away for a week this summer just the two of us realizing it may be a long time until we go away that long alone:) We also have a lot of house/yard projects we hope to get done over the summer realizing things like that will be much harder with a little one crawling around next summer!

andrea June 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I’d say the biggest luxury pre-baby is being able to control your own schedule. Go visit a few places that aren’t as easy to do with a stroller, etc. That said, take advantage of the first 6 weeks or so when the baby arrives to go out and do things with baby. My two girls did very well in the first month or two sleeping away in all the noise and activity of the outside world. Better in fact than they did at home in a quiet bedroom! You can actually take them to nice restaurants and movies cause about all they want to do is nurse and sleep and he ambient noise is somehow soothing. Of course, that is provided you are not too tired from all the feeding that goes on at night as well! Good luck to you on your new adventure. It is a blessing!

She Used To Walk Fast June 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I will echo others and say enjoy the silence of your home. You will not have it again for awhile. Enjoy little things like going to the grocery store, the bank, the library and other errands you might run now with relative ease. Take the bus without hauling along 10 pounds of baby crap or even having to worry about getting your kiddo on the bus. Once you have the little one, even if you just have to strap him or her to you, it’s still a major undertaking. This should not, of course, stop you from going out. As soon as I was allowed to drive after my c-section I would go to the grocery store every single day because it got me out of the house; I also ended up doing a lot of nursing in the car. 🙂

You are right. You can transfer much of your pre-baby life into your post-baby infant life but as Summer said, once they become toddlers life gets a little more complicated and a lot more fun – toddlers say hilarious things and cute whereas babies are just cute.

Everyone told me that my life would change completely once I had a baby and I thought, “Oh, it cannot be that different,” but it is completely life changing, completely terrific and completely exhausting all at the same time.

Ashley June 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Thanks for the nice note–just all very exciting! I think, however, I need to start sleeping in more…

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