By the time that you read this with any hope, I will have become a father to a happy, healthy baby girl.
This is the first in a series of blog posts to cover important but non urgent topics that are on my mind or part of my internal monologue. Excuse the picture – it’s very pink but that’s what you get when you search for a “new baby image”, either that or baby blue but since we are getting a girl, pink it seems to be.
There’s no knowing if all those things will happen and it’s at times like this that you need to put your trust in others. The birth of our first child 2 years ago was not straightforward and if it was not for the wonders of modern medicine, I would be a widower by now. So again, I hope that by now I will have become a father to a happy, healthy baby girl to round off the Gentleman’s Family.
Going from 0 to 1 kid was quite a change. It brought with it a lot of preparation, a lot of new things and a lot of anticipation. I’d always wanted children and it was a surprise when we got pregnant so quickly and easily. We know a few friends who either can’t get pregnant, are spending a lot of money (and emotional energy) on IVF or those that have had miscarriages. We have not had those troubles.
Getting pregnant seems to be something you avoid for the first 20 years of your sexual life and then the next 20 years you are desperate!
On many areas of life my wife and I are lucky or blessed. We can’t really claim to have suffered handicaps in life – even though we could portray our lives that way – and we’ve managed to cope well with the ill winds of the credit crunch, the crash, perennial millennial problems and the scourge of high house prices. We’ve made a good life for ourselves and we are very happy. Our Son (the Master) is a wonder and by objective measures of development he is doing great. This might be due to having no TV, the Nanny or good genes – the fact remains that there are people who have children with problems and life for them is difficult.
We are now at a point in our lives where we can afford to take risks and make decisions based on hope not fear for the future. It has become harder and harder for me to travel for work – usually 2-3 nights, 2-3 times a month. Travel like that is either a young man’s or divorcees game. I am not young and I don’t want to be divorced. J So, for the good of me and my family, I need to find an alternative.
With a new child brings a lot of new challenges. The Master didn’t cry much, never threw up and was an easy baby to raise. The latest baby or Little Lady – LL (which we are informed will be a girl) will round off our family. The dynamics of the family will change and we’ll have to manage things differently from now on. For example, we didn’t want the Master to year terribly gender specific clothes but looking at his baby clothes now, they are mostly blue in colour. Now, we did buy almost all of them second hand but it does call into question our own biases and makes me wonder how we’ll raise LL.
At the moment, the most realistic problem that we’ll run into is that the Master gets jealous of LL – particularly if he’s booted off to nursery in a few weeks/months if the Nanny leaves. He’ll end up associating the new baby with his neglect and our loss of love for him in favour of the new, better baby. So we need to be mindful of that. He may start to act up for attention or losing his confidence or even slowing down his development or acting more like a baby to get us to mother (or father him). It’s a bit of a psychological minefield!
Looking ahead as a family, I would like to see how we can spend more time together. There is something wonderful about interacting with your child. It’s something that money can’t buy and at the same time, I can see that getting a big smile from your kid and making them happy is something that you’ll go to the ends of the earth to get. From an FI point of view, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend £10k taking them to Disneyland – but people do it, and they probably work bloody long and hard to make that money.
I feel that if all goes well, I’ll be back home this evening with my wonder wife and two wonderful children. It’s the next step on our family adventure together. One which will have ups and downs, good times and teenage years and if we do it right, then we’ll raise two intelligent, kind, hardworking children who will go on to make the world a better place. As a parent, that will make me happier than anything that I achieve in my work or personal life.
From now in it’s all about the Gentleman’s Family.