Our daughter just turned 3 years old last week, and life with her can only be described as an amazing journey. It seems like yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital on Thanksgiving weekend in a snowstorm. Yet, it feels like she’s been with us forever. How is that dichotomy possible?
For so long, we craved the feelings of simplicity and freedom so much that we weren’t sure we wanted to have children at all. Sometimes I wake up at 4 or 5 AM to a loud but high-pitched voice yelling, “Mama! Mama! I wanna get up!”, followed by hectic mini scenes of eating, cleaning, bathroom, playing, cleaning, etc… and I try to remember what it was like to have a quiet morning of slowly sipping coffee and reading articles in silence on the couch next to my hubby.
At some point, the idea of “complicating” our lives for the sake of a unique family relationship and a type of love we’d never experienced before became something we wanted so badly. We knew lots of couples who had kids, both young and old, in addition to lots of couples who chose to keep their families at the count of two. I think deciding to have a kid, and correspondingly when to do it, is something that can’t just be argued logically. Even though we had talked about it off and on for years, the desire finally just… came.
I never really thought of myself as being very motherly. Yet now, it’s my most important identity. More important to me than being a doctor or a climber (two identities that are very often tied strongly to ego). She’s changed the way I think about work, about money, about education… and I’m sure she’ll be the driving force behind many more things that I change my mind on. In addition to my new interview series, I’m going to be starting a series of posts on things I was “wrong” about. These are not necessarily all related to parenting; watch for them to come on this blog in the future!
Today I’d like to share a guest post I wrote for my friend Miss Bonnie MD’s awesome site, which aims to empower women (particularly women physicians) to take control of their finances and find financial freedom. She’s a dermatologist with a previous career in finance who also woke up to the ideas of simplicity, balance and financial independence when she had her son (who just turned one). In the post, I talk about wanting to teach our daughter the ways of financial responsibility and value-ism. Check out the post here!
Here’s an excerpt from the first paragraph:
The other day, my 2 year old daughter asked, “Who gave us this house?” We both paused and looked at each other. “Um… No one. We bought it with our own money that we made ourselves.” This is the first time we had talked to her about anything related to money, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
When and how did you decide to have children (or not have them)? How have they changed you if you do have kids?