Up until a couple years ago, I worked and Mrs. 1500 didn’t. Mrs. 1500 and I had agreed that she would leave her job when the first child arrived and wouldn’t go back.
We quickly found our rhythm when child one arrived on the scene. I worked 40-50 hours per week while the Mrs. cooked, cleaned and looked after our child. We were in the middle of a fix-and-flip, so I did most of the construction work. This all seemed like a fair division of labor that we were both happy with. Life was good.
A couple of years later, child number two showed up.
Shortly after, we moved to Colorado and began work on another fix-and-flip.
We maintained the same routine, but it wasn’t always easy. Try fixing up a home with two children and a full-time job. Sometimes this would happen:
- <gets tools out of garage to do something on the house>
- Child: “Daddy, can you do this puzzle with me?”
- <put tools back in garage and begins work on the puzzle>
The 1 year flip turned into 6 years. And counting…
Life Takes A Couple Of Unexpected Turns
Unexpected Turn #1: In October of 2012, a bad day at work led to my discovery of the FIRE movement. I set a goal of accumulating $1,000,000 which would allow us to live on $40,000/year. Yey, 4% Rule! In about 1500 days, I would leave my job and bike into the Colorado sunset.
Unexpected Turn #2: Mrs. 1500 hadn’t really thought of going back to work. She probably would have done something when both girls were in school, but neither of us had thought much about it. Then, she was offered her dream job. While my FIRE experiment was now out the window (am I really retired or am I a stay-at-home dad?), Mrs. 1500 was now Mindy at BiggerPockets. At the same time I was leaving work, Mindy was going back.
Now that I wasn’t working and Mindy was, it was time to trade places. I get up with the girls. I make sure they eat breakfast and make their lunches. I walk them to school:
I do most of the volunteering:
After school, I help with homework:
After that I make dinner and do the dishes:
When school isn’t in session, I’m hanging out at a park:
New adventures: I’ve always liked Thai food. The eating part. Preparing meals has never been my thing. However, now I find myself checking out cookbooks from the library (shout out to America’s Test Kitchen) and conducting daily food experiments with the air fryer. It’s amazing when you figure out how to make something at home that tastes just as good as the restaurant.
On some days, I wish I was at work: Our girls love each other, but they don’t like each other. They are competitive and get into about 938 fights every day. And that’s on a good day.
WARNING!!!: DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN CLOSE TOGETHER IN AGE!
Parenting is by far the hardest gig I've ever had. 1 out of 7 days I think to myself, "Wow, I'm way out of my depth here!"— Jillian (@mtmoneyadventur) March 20, 2019
On a recent morning, the girls were going after each other mercilessly and Mrs. 1500 was like:
OK, I’m going up the office to start work.
I didn’t blame her at all. At least one parent needs to maintain sanity.
Parenting isn’t always easy. When the children:
- Can’t find their underwear and have to be at school in 5 minutes.
- Are throwing hard/ sharp objects at each other.
- Don’t get enough sleep, which transforms them into demons.
- Refuse to eat anything but chicken nuggets.
- Can’t remember what 9 * 3 is, despite having reviewed it with them 27 times in the past 27 minutes.
- Declare their intentions to move out after telling you they have “the worst lives ever.”
Sometimes you briefly consider relocating to a country with a non-extradition agreement, changing your name and subsiding on gummy bears and beer.
I’m so thankful: Despite the rough parts, the good times are great and make up for the bad stuff 1,000 times over. I get to see my daughters compete in spelling bees, hang out with them in exotic places and ride bikes all over town when on break. How great is it that I get to do this stuff?
However, I didn’t do it perfect either. Those who figure out FIRE before children have it made. You may not be able to quit work, but perhaps you’ll figure out a way to cut back. If I could do it differently, I would have gone part-time sooner. I wouldn’t have signed on for another home rehab. I also worked too long.
After you have your level of Enough, selling your time for more money is silly; it’s a diminishing return. More money won’t bring more happiness. The opposite is true with children. All they want it is your time and it never feels like enough.
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.