Being a parent is the greatest privilege in the world. There’s no life experience more rewarding.

But as the saying goes, with great reward comes great responsibility. And that’s why it’s time to ‘adult’ and make sure all the important things for your family are in place.

Some of the details parents need to handle are joyous, wonderful tasks. But some of the matters are harder to talk about and thus often ignored. Sure, nobody likes to think doom and gloom, but if you’re committed to safeguarding your family, there’s probably a few uncomfortable conversations ahead.

Here’s the list of important ways to ‘adult’ now you’ve got kids. Tick them off as you go!

1. Have a legal will

Studies show at least 45% of Australians don’t have a valid will. Preparing a will is crucial because it will ensure that in the event of your death your assets are awarded as you wish. If you don’t have a will, state law will determine how your property and possessions are divided. This could be contrary to how you would have wanted. Further, having a will can also deter people who you wouldn’t have benefited, making claim on your estate.

2. Make a guardianship plan for your children

The thought of not seeing your children grow-up is confronting. The thought of them being raised by people you wouldn’t have approved of is worse. Making a guardianship plan now means that should the unthinkable happen, your children will be raised by the people you deem fit. Of course, it’s important to check with those who you wish to nominate before legally documenting it, then you can be confident everyone’s wholly committed to your children’s wellbeing.

3. Realise not to sweat the small stuff

Once you’ve got kids they turn your whole world upside down. Being tired, busy and deliriously-in-love with a tiny baby can make you feel a bit (or a lot!) out of control. As you find your new normal it’s valuable to remember the mantra don’t sweat the small stuff. If the big things are covered that’s what’s important right now! There’s plenty of serious things that need your attention once you’re a parent, so don’t get bogged down in what doesn’t really matter. If the big stuff is covered, take comfort in the peace of mind.

4. Decide on a financial trustee for your assets

If you were to die, your children would need to be cared for. Your money also needs to be managed until the children are legally old enough to do it themselves. A trustee will oversee the money until the children are of age. The benefit of appointing a trustee is that they can, if you wish, be independent of the guardians you have selected, so the children’s future inheritance is protected.

5. Research your family’s health history

No more than now is your family’s health history more important. Sure, your mum might have gone on and on about some relative’s degenerative disease but, what actually was it they suffered from? And could it impact your kids? It need not be a huge project but spend time with your immediate parents and siblings and get across any health problems in the lineage. Write them down for reference. This knowledge could be invaluable in the future. When it comes to health, information is power!

6. Get mum and dad life insurance 

Over 5.7 million Australian households have an average debt of $128,000. What would happen if you suddenly passed away and couldn’t take care of your family? What situation would your partner and children be left in? Could they afford to stay in the family home? Could your partner get the childcare help they need? Life insurance is your guarantee of, should anything happen, your family being financially protected when you are no longer there to provide. Having a life insurance policy is assurance that everything else can continue as normally as possible even if a tragedy has occurred. Peace of mind is priceless!

7. Document your beautiful family – including being in the pictures mum!

This might seem like a funny adult responsibility but sometimes we need a little reminder to take those family photos. Children change rapidly and having photos to remember every ‘age and stage’ is a real gift later on. It’s also super important that you mum get out from behind the camera and into the pictures! Your family think you’re gorgeous just as you are, be sure to be part of the capture. Why not make it a tradition to have a family photo shoot once every year or two – kids grow up too quickly and it’s important to capture your family (together) as something to look back on down the track. You’ll be glad you did.

8. Put some money away for a rainy day

If you’ve got a means to tighten your belt, now’s the time! Being a parent can be expensive and let’s not even mention all those life expenses that can crop up when you’re least expecting them. From health to home, pets to preschool there’s endless sources of ‘surprise bills’. A little extra saved cash in the coffers can be a real godsend. How very grown up of you!

9. Enrol your children in private schools

Sure, private school is not for everyone. But if you’ve got your heart set on your little one attending a certain school, now’s the time to get their name on the list. Some institutions are booked out well before the kinder year. If it’s a priority, do it now –  you don’t want to miss out!

10. Create Family Traditions big and small

One of the most wonderful things about being a parent is creating or continuing family traditions. Traditions are the glue that binds our families. They ensure our sense of identity and belonging. From cultural celebrations to birthdays and everything in between find what works for you and yours, and make some cherished memories.

11. Make a plan for your debt

If you’ve got debt hanging over you from your pre-kid days now’s the time to ‘adult.’ That means doing something about it! Pesky small debts should be cleared as quickly as possible. Bigger debts or problematic ones might be worth bringing in the experts for and making yourself a formal plan. Whichever way you choose to deal with debt your future debt-free-self will thank you.

12. Book a date night

A happy mum and dad makes for a happy home. That’s why adulting should include doing what you can to keep your relationship strong. So, book yourselves a date night! Showing your children positive relationships is powerful. Being together without the kids means a little bit of time to re-connect, wouldn’t that be nice? Do we need to tell you twice? Go on, get it sorted!

Being a parent can mean a lot of responsibilities. How many did you say ‘yes’ to when you reviewed the list?

We can’t take the photos or fill in those enrolment forms but we can definitely recommend Savvy. They’re the very best place to arrange your own life insurance with tailorable packages, affordable pricing, no medical tests and expert advice to help you through the process. Savvy work with all the major, reputable brands, have a 4.8 customer satisfaction rating with feefo and provide free quotes!

Tell them you’re ready for ‘adulting’ and Mum Central sent you!

Author

Mother-of-two. Tea lover. Lego Ninja. Expert in carpet Play Dough extraction. Victoria Louis is a 30-something writer based in Sydney, NSW. A former marketing manager who loves to laugh there’s no topic she won’t explore. Victoria is full of opinion, big on kindness and believes the day is always better with a dash of lipstick.

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