Sunday, July 30, 2006

Goals for Baby

When most people plan to have a baby, they do not consider what all they should do. I understand the feeling. You want to have a little one to put in your arms. You start thinking more and more about a baby and how it would feel to have one again. Then you and your partner agree that now is the time. At that point, you are ready to begin trying and do not want to wait to try for another baby.

My husband and I are at that point now, but we are committed to waiting. When we agreed that the time may be right to have a baby, we began to think about our lives. We want to be able to provide a wonderful home for our child, but we want to nurture ourselves as well. We sat down this week and made a list of three things that we want to complete before we begin trying for a baby.

The first item on the list is weight loss. I have to lose weight, per instructions from my doctor, to help make sure that I will have a healthy pregnancy. That is because of massive medical problems and medications from my first son. So I have set a goal of losing 32 pounds, which would put me at the same place I was before I got pregnant with my son.

Thirty-two pounds at times seems like little but at times seems overwhelming. So far I have lost two pounds, which means I am one-sixteenth of the way there. On the other hand, I am only on Day 2 of the Sonoma Diet. I have given up soft drinks, which were making me retain water.

Beginning this week, I will go to the gym to get on the treadmill three days a week. That should help speed the weight loss. I am hoping to lose five more pounds during the first wave of the Sonoma Diet, which lasts for ten days. I think that will be mostly water weight, but if I can lose it and then keep at a steady rate of about 2 pounds per week, then I will be able to lose the weight in about 13 weeks.

The second condition is that I finish the first draft of the manuscript for my book. I sat down yesterday and worked out a deadline for all of the materials for the book. My deadline is August 8, which is 14 weeks away. I want to finish the draft because my work is very important to me. I know that another baby will mean slowing the pace, so I want to be sure that I have at least one book completed.

The third of our goals is to pay off three bills that we have. They total about $3000. We are hoping that we will be able to pay them off quickly. Once we pay them off, we will have one credit card and student loans left. That will put us in a much better position financially. We will be able to pay off the remaining debt within one to two years so that we can save for college for the kids and retirement for ourselves.

We are happy that we sat down and talked about these goals. Now that we have specific benchmarks in mind, I believe it will make it much easier to meet our goals. A baby is strong motivation for completing a set of goals. Instead of working toward paying off the debt just because or losing weight to look better, we are making the commitment to do it for our new baby.

I wish more people could be disciplined enough to make significant changes for the sake of having a baby instead of just deciding that they want another baby and going about it without a plan. I believe that it is vitally important for the sake of our children to help make sure that we are able to provide for them and that we are otherwise at peace with our lives. Having a baby is only part of having a healthy, happy family, and by making these goals we are helping to ensure that the other parts of our lives are happy as well.

By Julia Mercer

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