From that milky baby smell, the nightly crying, and the first smile to toddler tantrums, the first friend dramas, and that time they tell you they don't want to hold your hand any longer, everything about raising kids adds something to your life.
Though raising kids is the most adventurous adventure most of us will ever embark on, parenting also takes the opportunity to have many other adventures away from you. My kids are eight and nearly six now. The more they grow up, the more intrigued I am with their personalities and the more I enjoy their company. (Though, yeah, those baby snuggles were also wonderful.) I have not, however, been able to do some of the things I most enjoyed before having kids. We're talking about things I took for granted while I was still childless, and that I can only nostalgically think about now. What should you do before you have kids, because you won't be able to once you're a mom?
Doing it anywhere
OK, I admit that this is petty, but it's something that bugs me sometimes. When my husband came home from a fairly extended business trip last week, in the middle of the afternoon, the kids and I were happy to see him. We talked. The kids told him all about the stuff they'd been doing and learning. We ordered a pizza. We had a few beers. Guess what we didn't do? Yeah, that had to wait. For a long time, until after the kids were both in bed and asleep. They were excited to see dad, so it was past 11 by the time they finally nodded off. If you're trying to conceive at the moment, you have the perfect excuse to enjoy doing the deed anywhere in your house (or outside of it), at any time of the day. If you're pregnant, make a special point of enjoying this privilege while you still can. It will be a looooooong while before you'll have that chance again.
Last minute trips
We used to take cheap last minute flights all the time, spontaneously, and saw most of Europe and some other places this way. Now? If we want to fly somewhere, we have to prepare months in advance and when we do go on holiday or to visit relatives, it looks like we're moving house. When you have kids, you can mostly kiss spontaneous travel goodbye. Really. It might be doable with babies, as long as you love using baby carriers and will have access to a washer and drier at your destination, but spontaneously traveling with multiple older kids, especially once they're school aged, is next to impossible. If you do it anyway, you may be sorry. "This is boring, mom. I feel sick. I don't like spicy food...." Get the travel bug out of you while you're still childless!
Same story here, really. I've been attempting to read the same novel for about a month now, and I'm still only five chapters in. Meanwhile, I did manage to read several kids' novels aloud and have listened to my five-year old son's beginning reading every night, as well as my daughter reading the encyclopedias she is into. If you want to hide in a book, you may have to do it while you are pregnant or have a baby.
Pretty much anything else
Fine dining will cost you a ton more if you also have to get a babysitter in, plus you'll have baby vomit or paint hands on you. Or otherwise, complaining elementary-aged kids will make you feel guilty by saying they want to come along. Perhaps you'll decide nothing much of sophisticated than McDonalds will be in your life for the time being. Getting your hair and nails done might be impossible if you are a stay-at-home mom, or you might feel guilty about not spending that "extra" time with the kids if you're a working mom. Going to the gym for that weight loss after pregnancy? (YES, bet that that will still be on the agenda five or more years later!) Nah, you're more likely to be cheering your kids on at their soccer matches while in dire need to lose 20 pounds yourself.