THE ONE THING… ‘I Wish I’d Done Before Having Kids’ – 25 Women Tell What They’d Do Differently

If there’s one thing you could have done differently before having kids, what would it be? We spoke to 25 women who all have something they would do a bit differently – maybe you’ll be able to relate, or, maybe you’re thinking about having children and would like to learn from others!

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‘When is the best time to have kids?’ is a question that is asked so commonly – often alongside the doozy of a question: ‘How do you know when you’re ready to have kids?’. Is anyone ever ready? Is there ever a ‘right’ time?! So often, it is just a case of taking the plunge – or, going with the flow when they turn up by surprise!

But, if these 25 women could have timed it perfectly and done one thing differently before they had children, here’s what they said they would have changed:

“Saved more money.”

“I wish I’d read and learned more about it. Why don’t they teach this in school? Even learning more about fertility and getting pregnant would have been helpful. We planned that we’d start trying a year after our wedding (aka when we might have recovered financially from the wedding). Then I found out about you supposed to be taking prenatals for three months. So then we started trying and it took two years. I did not have that in my planning! It was very stressful!”

“Saved a lot more money. I thought that on paid parental leave you got your whole salary for six months. You do not. It’s hard. I had to go back after six months and would desperately have loved to spent more time at home.”

“Found a career that would allow me to be more flexible”

“Listened to my parents more”

“Gone out and been silly more. My girlfriends all were quite wild partiers in their 20s and I didn’t join them – I’d always go home early. There is no way I could function with a hangover now, so maybe I missed my chance to party?”

“I wish I’d finished my degree. I thought I’d go back and do the papers to finish it at some point, but now that I have kids I have no time!”


“I wish I’d appreciated my sleep more. Why didn’t I just sleep in every single Saturday and Sunday and just enjoy it?!?”

“I wish we’d moved closer to our parents. We did when our first baby was four and I was pregnant with our second and it changed everything. You really need that support with a new baby. We finally had a night alone, just me and my husband, four whole years since the last time we had!”

“Appreciated alone time. Appreciated just being able to pop out and go do something. Not worry!”

“I wish we’d gone on our honeymoon. We said we’d to it after we’d saved some more money after the wedding, but we missed our chance!”

“This might sound silly, but I wish I’d gotten my driver’s license! I grew up in New York and so I never really needed one. You need to be able to drive in New Zealand, especially if you have a baby!”  

“Appreciated my stretch-mark-free boobs and belly more.”

“We needed to have saved a lot more money. We unfortunately didn’t bank on our mortgage interest rate going up so much, so I had to go back to work early. I’d planned on taking a year – but even 6 months on paid parental leave, plus all the expenses of a newborn, left us barely able to make ends meet. We are one and done now for sure.”

“Travelled more! We have done loads of good travel with our two kids and it’s so much fun. But there’s a lot of places we can’t take them, or are too scared to. I’d love to go to Morocco or Egypt or Jordan or somewhere in the Middle East, but I’ll have to wait until they’re old enough to stay home without us!”

“Saved a lot more money.”

“I wish I’d established my career more before having a baby. I had my first when I had just retrained and was two years into working in a new industry. It was so hard returning after my kids because I didn’t have enough experience and had been out of the industry for three years (longer than I’d been in it!)”

“Done more research on sleep to save stressing!’

“I wish I’d done therapy with my husband. I think a lot of people say this, that when you have kids lots of issues come up. There are a lot of conversations I wish we’d had beforehand. And when we had more time/money to do it. Trying to make time to go to therapy now is impossible.”

“Done more international travel”

“I wish I’d taken nudes of myself. I can’t even remember what my body used to look like.”

“Mine is something I wish I DIDN’T do. I got my AMH level tested when I was 30. My husband and I had just got married and there was so much we wanted to do – travel, buy a house etc, but before we put off having a baby, I wanted to check if that was a bad idea. My AMH level came back fantastic. My GP even joked about how high it was that I should review my contraception. Well. When we were both 35 we started trying. It has now been four years, including a failed round of IVF and we are no closer to having a baby. We’ve had every test imaginable and it’s just unexplained. I’d give up those five years of travel/fun/spending in a heartbeat to perhaps have a baby.”

“Done some more dangerous stuff. I have never bungy-jumped, sky-dived, or even taken drugs. Now I can’t! Now I’m terrified of orphaning our kids. I should have done those things when I could!”

“Frozen my eggs years ago”

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