My dear Violet,
You don’t know it yet, but you’ve just been born. You’re extremely cute, with a head so full of hair the nurses in the nursery were playing with it like you were an oversize troll doll. You don’t cry too much except when your tummy hurts, and you’re a champion sleeper. We love you even more for that.
Your family is awesome, and one day you’ll realize that you wouldn’t trade them for the world. Your older siblings adore you (a little bit too much right now, your brother likes to pat you on the head for some reason..) and you sleep so much more soundly when they are making a racket that we know that you love them, too.
You’re also very fortunate in that you’ve been born into one of the wealthiest families in the entire world. Top 0.5%, by my calculation. But we don’t live like we’re rich, and with any luck you won’t be spoiled with anything but love. I hope to teach you sound financial habits and principles and help you see how much more to life there is besides making and spending money.
We’re so very excited that you’ve finally made your appearance, and we’re having an absolute blast getting to know you.
Your proud Dad
Fatherhood Is A Job. And It’s Great!
I’m the oldest child from a family of seven children. Compared to most of my friends’ houses growing up, our house resembled a zoo. We weren’t wealthy, but we had plenty. It didn’t take me long to realize that life in my family was both tougher and richer than others families that I observed. By the time I was 15 I knew I wanted to be a dad. I’ve got SO. MANY. STORIES. from my childhood that I cherish, because they shaped me into the person I am today.
But being a dad takes work! No two kids are the same, no matter your parenting “methods”. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever knew was possible, and you’ll be stretched in ways you never expected. When I see commercials for the US Marine Corps, I think “that makes me think of fatherhood…” But it’s so worth it. Almost nothing else can fill you with as much joy as your kids can.
Financial Independence Is Just A Means To An End
I write about the pursuit of financial independence quite a bit on this blog. But not many people work their butts off earning and saving money for YEARS just so that they can say they’ve “done it”. There’s always a reason that drives people to become financially independent.
For me, that end starts with family. Fatherhood rocks. I want to be involved with my kids as they grow and learn. I want to be around for important as well as not-so-important events in their lives. I want to educate them during their school years, since we plan on teaching them at home. My wife and I were both home-educated and we value that experience, but it takes some work!
I’ve said before that I would sacrifice years of being financially independent for the ability to be at home more with my kids, because they are the priority. My pursuit of FI has to do with being responsible, both with my time and my money, but having enough money to retire early isn’t a worthy goal in my mind.
Having time to invest myself in endeavors outside of work… now that’s a goal worth pursuing financial independence for.