This is a topic that DH and I have talked extensively about. We found out the month before our wedding that I was deploying the month AFTER our wedding and then he deployed two months BEFORE I came home. He wants children right away, but once I set out my personal list of what I want to achieve before we bring a child into the world, he started his own list and they have merged together into this:
-Make decision of who will be staying in the military - him, me, or both of us and our personal goals for advancement (if he stays in, he wants to become an NCO while I would go the Officer track)
-Complete RN degree for me (May 2014!) and start online MSN program. As my eventual goal is to earn my PhD, we want a good head start on schooling before we actually start TTC
-Connect with my biological Father's birth parents - as it was a closed adoption, I do not know if this is possible. I am close with my grandparents, though my Father is a rather taboo subject after his suicide. There are a lot of medical questions that would be cleared up and hopefully give us a heads up for our children. DH's grandparents adopted him, so it is a little easier for us to get his family history :-)
-Buy a house - min. 3 bdrms, 2 baths, fenced in yard, basement, & garage - working on the down payment (thank you deployments!) but still unsure as to where we truly want to settle down
-Have time to reconnect as a couple - our military careers have afforded us very little time together and we have both grown as individuals. Now, it is time to focus on our marriage and who we are as a couple.
-Furbabies graduated from obedience training - currently researching and working around my school & work schedule. As DH is deployed until April, we will wait until he returns so that we may both participate.
-Go on a cruise (in planning phase, as it will be our honeymoon/anniversary trip)
-Have emergency fund in place and building (check!) -Life insurance for both of us (check!)
-Decision on health insurance (in research phase)
-Graduate from a parenting class - I grew up in a minimum-rules household and he where there were bars on the windows to prevent escape (I am being completely serious...) so we are working on melding our parenting style together
-Publish my novel (in progress)
-DH advance in civilian career to staff sergeant -Both vehicles paid off (his, check! mine, 6 months left!)
-A spontaneous weekend with just the two of us (researching phase)
Our family has been pressuring us for children since our wedding day, but they will simply have to wait! Luckily, we are both on the same page and tell our family to back off - afterall, we are only 23 & 21!