baby

The five things every woman needs to do before she settles down.

I’m a 36 year old married woman with two kids aged two and eight months. So my life is pretty much over haha…kidding.

When I was younger I always thought I’d have kids around the age of 30. However, life took another course for me.

I didn’t meet my husband until I was 33, while I was mid-panic about ending up a single and childless 40-something – not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just wanted a family.

So, I had my first baby at 34, my second at 35 and we’re now considering whether or not we go again.

Siobhan's two kids. Image supplied.

It turns out that the fact it took a little longer that I originally planned (as much as you can plan these things!) to find ‘the one’ and settle down was a blessing because it means that now I am completely content and overwhelmingly happy.

I am so grateful for all of the life experience I had before getting married and having kids, because it’s made me a better person and means there’s no way I’ll ever get itchy feet.

I’m not saying that it’s this way or the highway. To each her own, and all of that. Many are utterly content at a young age to get hitched and raise little ones, without having seen the world much first. But, from my experience, before you settle down and have kids you should do the following.

Explore. A lot.

I can thank my multiple trips overseas for broadening my horizons, changing the way I see the world, and giving me experiences you only get while backpacking at the age of 21 (like finding unmentionable things on the shower floor in a budget backpackers, running out of money in London thus having to telemarket Hula Hoops - the chip, not the toy - just to get by, and eating plain 60pence pasta every night with just a little bit of rationed cheese on top).

This also means that my feet aren’t ‘itchy’ now. I’ve still well and truly got the travel bug though, and am determined to pass that onto our kids.

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See the world and expand your horizons. Image via iStock.

Date. More than a few.

When I met my husband, I knew what I did and didn’t want in a partner. Having had a few long term relationships previously, and a few *ahem let’s not go there* situations, when I found my husband, ‘the one’, I just knew it was right. And I knew I wouldn’t ever be tempted by anyone else.

Date. More than a few. Image via iStock.

Try different things on for size.

By the time I was 30 I had tried a few different careers. This meant that I'd achieved a lot and now have a damn good idea of who I am. I also know what I want to do now and into the future. It also helps that I got a lot of my corporate ladder climbing done pre-kids - because, having worked in media and public relations which notoriously require long hours, the juggle of trying to do that now with two kids two and under would be ridiculous (a huge hats off to anyone who's doing that sort of thing, you are superwoman).

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Be frivolous.

With your money, that is! I was pretty shit with money pre kids. Yes, it would have been nice to have had savings before starting a family, but the life experience I got instead is more than worth it and something I’m so grateful for.

What's the point in having loads of money in the bank and no life experience? Image via iStock.

Fail. A lot.
My relationships failed. I tried one career and one business that were both epic fails. I was defeated and got back up, more than once. I learned how strong I am.

I'm not saying that you can't do some of these things when you're married and have kids - it's just a damn lot harder! Try attempting an overseas holiday with two bubs under two and see how much of a logistical problem that can be.

I firmly believe that all of this makes sure I am SO grateful for what I have now, and has made me the person I am today.

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