Why Didn’t I Achieve My Life Goals Before I Had Kids?

We all have bucket lists, right? You know, that laundry list of places you want to visit and accomplishments you want to check off. Me? I have a semi-long list, and it’s no joke. It’s a paper list, a mental list – hell, there’s probably even a file on my computer with a list on it.

You’d think with my determination to state my goals I’d be a little better at achieving them. No … because kids. Yes, kids. Nothing can hamper travel plans, meal plans, renovation plans, learning plans, reading plans, life goal achieving plans, and even quiet time plans quite like a kid or two.

(Don’t get me wrong … I love my kids and am very happy we decided to have kids when we did.)

It’s just that I really wish someone had told me Before Kids (B.K.) that my life After Kids (A.K.) would preclude me doing so many of my hobbies and and activities. Why didn’t B.K. me know that I would never again (well, not for 18+ years) have that stretch of 5pm to 8pm interruption free? Why didn’t B.K. me know that A.K. me would be magnitudes more tired (physically, mentally) after 8pm to do creative things like writing or painting or even to exercise?

I’ll just put this right out there … I wrote a novel before I gave birth to Toddler – except that I didn’t quite finish it. I had it 75% complete, and once Toddler started sleeping through the night I used my free evenings (and newly increased mental faculty) to finish the remaining 25%.

And holy cow, that A.K. 25% was frighteningly more difficult to squeeze out than the B.K. 75%. Why the hell didn’t I finish it B.K.?! I had so many more hours in the day to do so. I could’ve woken up a bit earlier. I could’ve started writing right when I got home from work. And you know what? I could’ve even started pitching it for publication right then, too – in the B.K. era.

But nooooo, I had to make life hard on myself and wait until A.K. to try and achieve this most lofty of my life goals.

To say that I feel like I missed an opportunity would be putting it lightly and a gross understatement.

There are some stereotypical things you “should do” before you have kids (“travel the world” etc. etc.) and some really practical lists (The Sicilian Mama wrote this list of 7 essentials that hit the mark) … but I have just one piece of advice for B.K. prospective parents: identify your dreams and try like heck to achieve them before your baby arrives.

And if you can’t achieve them, settle with your heart that those dreams will have to be put on the shelf for a little while. You may have time to tackle them A.K., but it will take a bit longer. Fair warning!


21 thoughts on “Why Didn’t I Achieve My Life Goals Before I Had Kids?

  1. Maybe this sounds like a wildly naive question, but why do you have to stop promoting your novel just because you have kids? You have the perfect platform right here and I’m sure you could ask multiple fellow bloggers to read it and review it. I am not a reviewer myself since I can barely keep up on blog posts, but I see tons of readers. People promote their books all the time on WP. You don’t have to lose that person.

    I’m not minimizing what you are saying. Not at all. I have three little kids. I struggle to even find blogging time along with the ten zillion other things we mamas have to do. I’m suggesting that maybe you also put YOU on the “stuff to take care of today” list, too. Just a thought. Hugs! 🙂 Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that is absolutely true! I appreciate your input here. I have terrible time management skills, I guess, and can’t seem to do everything at once. I too have trouble keeping up with blog posts!!! I have been working on getting it published – querying agents, etc. – yet I only seem to be able to do that in fits and spurts. I love blogging, but I’m finding it hard to do it with everything else….

      But your comments are very motivating – I do (don’t we all?) need to put ME nearer the top of the to-do list… Thanks. 🙂


  2. You’ll be surprised at how soon you can get back to some of those goals, it flies so quickly. Also some of your bench-marks you set while younger and freer will morph into something else that is much more satisfying. Other dreams loose their aura and you’ll see them differently as well. Writing and painting and who knows what will charm it’s way into your dreams! And you will not be able to resist!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know what you mean! I didn’t plan to have kids until 28-30 when mapping out my life, but it happened at age 24 instead. I didn’t achieve any of my goals, but because of the circumstances, I did get into freelance writing and editing, which probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Silver lining! (And getting to be with the kids full-time is sweet, too.)


  4. Pingback: A Day In The Life – Before Kids and After Kids | welcometothenursery

  5. Well…kids happen! 😉 But don’t you worry, you’ll get in the swing of things soon enough. They grow up too soon and then you’ll be left fiddling with your thumbs. Give and take 10 years from now though it’s never too late to start! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everyone says they grow up fast… I mean, I do see that now (my first baby is nearly 4!), yet other times my former life feels like it was a decade ago. I suppose I’ll be at my leisure soon enough – but for the moment it’s tough! Do you feel like you have too much time on your hands now?

      Liked by 1 person

        • Oh! Okay – I thought from your previous reply that you were twiddling your thumbs. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll be feeling the same way you do in a few years. Why is it that we’re never content in the stage we’re in?! Sigh… (Here I am wishing mine were a bit older…)


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