After blogging for more than 5 years, I suddenly realized that I have written very few articles on my experiences as a young Daddy. On looking back, one of the motivations of starting this blog was to document my thoughts and insights of my life experiences so that my children can benefit from my wealth journey. I guess 20 years down the road, it will be interesting for my children to know what I have been through and how they have been integral in shaping the person I am. So starting from today, I will make it a point to blog about my parenting experiences.
2015 has been an incredible year for me as my boy, Jovan, was born. We were very excited about his arrival because my wife and I had always wanted another child so that my daughter, Jovita, will have a playmate at home and not feel so lonely. Our plan was also to stop at two kids, so having a boy is perfect!
We did not, however, take the decision to have the second kid lightly. Prior to his arrival, my wife and I were worried whether we can cope without domestic helper’s aid. In the end, we chose to give it a go and decided not to hire a maid given the recent spate of maid abuse cases and horror stories of maid mistreating babies. We thought that perhaps my mother or mother-in-law can sometimes help out a bit.
Whilst it is true that my wife is a full-time housewife, taking care of two kids is not an easy task as what many people may perceive. A weekend would go like this:
- Baby woke up from sleep. Feed him milk and change diapers.
- Make milk for elder daughter. Change and shower daughter.
- Play with the two kids.
- Go to market for breakfast. Buy groceries and do marketing for lunch and dinner.
- Wife plays with daughter while I bath the boy and prepare milk to make him sleep.
- Wife prepare and cook lunch.
- Wife, me and daughter take lunch while son sleep.
- I wash the dishes.
- Whole family nap for 1 to 2 hours.
- Family outing/enrichment classes/library
- Bath my son and prepare him milk for sleep.
- Bath daughter and prepare her milk.
- Read her bedtime stories.
- Sleep (often interrupted by son’s cries)
After the birth of my daughter, my wife wanted me to be more hands-on for our son. Thus, every night I will do “night shift” and sleep with him in another room. Like every new father, the first few months were always very challenging due to the lack of sleep looking after him.
My son would wake up every two hours screaming for milk and caused me to suffer from severe sleep deprivation for several months. Furthermore, he often cried for various reasons like soiling his diaper, hungry, over-stimulated, heat, etc. Thus, it was really a very frustrating period for me as I am the type of person who needs sufficient sleep to function in the daytime. Thankfully that period was over (finger crossed)!
My son gives me the opportunity to relive the experience of being a father again and of course we have many joyous moments as a family, though at times, it can be quite tiring. If I could turn back the clock, I would start a family in my late twenties instead of mid-thirties. At my age, I already feel the strain in my body. So my advice to all wealth builders – start early if you have the desire to have children.
Many Singaporeans hope to establish their careers first before settling down. In my view, there is nothing wrong with this mentality because financial stability is an important foundation for starting a family, at least for the male. However, in the midst of wealth building, singles must not neglect the pursuit of a suitable life partner. It is possible to do both concurrently.
Of course having kids entail sacrifices. For my wife and I, the arrival of my two kids meant that we don’t have any “me time” for dating. In fact, it has been 4 years since we had a movie date. Do we have any regrets? I have to admit that at times, we did regret not spending a few more years together before having children. But then again, we also fear that the more we procrastinate, the more difficult my wife would conceive.
Compared to 4 years ago when my daughter was born, my financial strength is much better this time round. This is in part because of my job progression and a change in my portfolio strategy. Since 2010, I have drastically reduced my bank loans, sold off all my stocks and diversified into bullion and building funds for second property. Thus, the recent stock market corrections had nil impact for me.
Unlike many investors who are feeling anxious and fearful about their stock investments, life goes on as per normal for me. I would rather spend time bonding with my family than worrying over the stock market movements, which I feel is not worth it. I have been through this stage before in my bachelor days and its like a death spiral trapping your soul and zapping your energy.
For stock investors who are wondering whether to cut losses and bite the bullet, all I can say is that you live to fight another day. Instead of stocks, start to think about how you should diversify your investment portfolio and allocate monies across different assets like bullion. You would soon have a peaceful state of mind like me.
SG Wealth Builder