5 Things You Should Do Before Having Your Own Family
Having my own family is a mix of rewarding and challenging experiences, especially now that I have two kids. There are days where things almost seem unbearable, and I miss being on my own. I don't regret getting married and having children, but there are just times that I can't help but think about things I did or could have done more when I was still single. So I would like to share a few things with you, and hopefully, these will help you get prepared when you enter this chapter of your life.
1. Build Your Savings
When you are single, it is most likely that your salary is just for your own disposal. This is the best time to start building your savings. I know it is so easy to give in to your wants like that new iPhone or that new dress or new shoes when you already have a dozen in your closet. But it is important to keep a portion of your money for the long-term.
When you enter married life and have children, your money is the whole family's money. And there are times that you would struggle to make ends meet and even allocate a portion of your household income for yourself. So, having your own savings would be a huge help in times of crunch time. You'll have a backup in case of emergency.
Cut down your Starbucks and fast food spending and avoid going to shopping malls when you're not buying something you need. Plus, instead of taking a cab, use the public transportation or take a walk. It is also the time to invest your hard-earned money in stocks or a small business. Trust me, when you have a family to feed, every cent counts.
While I say that you should build your savings, it doesn't mean that you should deprive yourself of some luxury. You work hard and you need to treat yourself once in a while. That said, one of the things you can do is to travel out of town. It doesn't have to be an expensive trip because for sure there are cheaper ways to have a vacation.
When you have kids, especially little ones, it is so difficult to plan an out of town trip. First, there's the budget you need to consider. Second, it can be difficult to enjoy the trip while having to take care of your toddler. You'll probably get more stressed than relaxed. So while you're still single, take the opportunity to visit some of the places you want to see.
3. Work on Your Dream Job or Career
I was in a supervisory role already when I resigned from my work so I can take care of my baby. I was planning to work from home, and I thought it would be easy to continue building my career. So I applied for job positions at the same level, some even higher. You know what happened? Yes, I got rejected a couple of times. At that time it was disheartening. But today, I am grateful for it.
My current job is more of a quality assurance and I don't handle a team. It works well for me because I only have to think of myself and my deliverables for the day and that's it. I can then spend the rest of my time feeding my kids, playing with them, putting them to sleep, etc. Unlike before when I was working hard at getting promoted to the next rank, I had to spend more than eight hours to get things done, to finish that process improvement experiment I was working on, to think about my teammates and how I can motivate them or discipline them, to learn about Excel macros and so on.
If you have the opportunity, take that dream job or career you want to build. Because when you have your own family, they become your priority. When you have kids, your dream would have to take a back seat. But if you have at least done what you wanted in your career, you would not mind giving it up once you choose to be with your spouse and children.
4. Learn New Skills
Being single is also the best time to learn a new skill or level-up what you already know. Learn to drive or code or cook or speak a new language. When you enter the family chapter, it is really challenging to allow time for yourself. With two kids to look after and a nine-hour online work, sometimes I can't even find a time to take a bath until after I finish work and put the kids to sleep. Our sink is often full of dishes, and our laundry piles up. Because again, the little ones are the priority.
5. Store up a Lot of Patience
Seriously. You need a lot of this, especially when you have a toddler. It's like dealing with the little version of the hot-tempered, impatient you. And you also need a lot of patience for your spouse. When you're married, it is the time that you learn about everything about them, even the little habits they have that you probably weren't aware of when you were just dating. They may seem little and harmless, but they can be annoying at times and can cause unnecessary arguments. Just because. Sometimes even your personality would have to change. Love having the last word? You'll learn to yield and just rest your case.
How do you store a lot of patience? It boils down to being prepared emotionally, mentally, even physically. When you get married, you have to accept and set your mind that your life is going to turn 360 degrees, most likely. It is no longer about you. Everything is going to be about your spouse and your children. Your family.
There you go. I hope you'll find something helpful in these five things you should do before jumping on the next train of your life. Married life is a beautiful thing, and having children is also one of life's most valuable gifts you can receive. You just have to be prepared so you don't get caught off-guard when drastic changes come.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.