After my list of 10 things I’m glad I did before kids, I could only think of five things for this list, so I think I did pretty well in making the most of my pre-baby life and not having regrets. The only thing on this list that I beat myself up over is #2, because that should have been easy to accomplish, so I really have no excuse for not having done it.
1. Live in a foreign country
I love the feeling of getting to know a new place and seeing it slowly become home. I’ve always wanted to live somewhere completely different and be immersed in a new language or accent, surroundings, culture, and way of life, to see the foreign become familiar. This is something I wish I had done when I was single, with nothing to keep me from attaching fully to a new place.
2. Go skinny dipping
My husband and I had this on our To Do list for two years and it never happened. I don’t know why, but skinny dipping symbolized freedom to me. Also, it seemed like something that could only be properly done in Alaska, where beautiful lakes are often secluded. But it turns out that Alaska is a hard place to go skinny dipping, with hypothermia and mosquitos, etc. Now we’re parents and I don’t know when we’ll ever be able to get away by ourselves to a place where it’s possible.
3. Do a long wilderness expedition with my husband
We’ve done plenty of long trips on our own and short trips together, but never a long trip together. To spend a month or more living and traveling with someone in the wilderness is an accelerated form of intimacy that would beat any honeymoon hands down. And living in the wilderness forces you to confront every personal deficiency and interpersonal conflict in ways that are much better than therapy. It would have been great to do this as a prelude to having kids—but who has the time? Hubby and I have dreams of thru-hiking the CDT someday after we’re retired.
4. Make lasting friendships
As an INTP, finding people to be friends with and forming fulfilling relationships is probably the hardest thing for me to do. Also, I suck at keeping in touch and maintaining friends, and I really regret not doing more to hold onto the good friendships I’ve made over the years. It’s exponentially harder to make friends as an INTP mom. I’ve met and socialized with a lot of moms, but none yet who I have much more in common with besides being a mom. I’ve never met another INTP mom or even another NT mom. On the other hand, it’s also hard to meet childless friends when I’m always toting around a baby.
5. Finish graduate school
Because obviously that proved to be impossible after I became a mom.