Monday, July 9, 2018

Back Too Soon

Tomorrow is my first day back to work, and the end of my too-short four week paternity leave. Between the diaper changes, visits to the doctor and lactation consultant, and the regular torture of post-tongue-tie-revision exercises we have to do every four hours, I sometimes have a chance to think about financial independence and how I sure wish it were here already, so I could spend more time with the little guy.

Work is going to be hard on Monday, and not just because I'll be tired. I'm going to miss having all day, every day, to spend with the fam -- even if it is just to change diapers and practice tummy time, or trying to get the little fucker to sleep.

As always, I have no room to complain. I get to work from home, so the baby is literally just in the next room. I can open the door and see him as often as I like, which is a situation many new parents would kill for.

Still, selfish jerk that I am, I want more. I want it all. I don't just want the time after work, or the times in the middle of the day when I can sneak away. I want the whole day, and I want that shit every day.

This is putting our plan for financial independence into focus like never before. I have been feeling a lot of car lust over the past few months, pining for a Subaru or a Golf Sportwagen, since those are apparently the only wagons available in the entire country that still have a stick shift. We could easily part with the fifteen thousand needed to buy a new-to-us car.

And a couple months ago, there were a couple times when the only thing that stopped me from buying a one way ticket to Denver to buy and drive the thing back home, was the fact that Mrs. Done by Forty could go in to labor at any moment.

Now that Baby DB40 is here, I realize our little Matrix is completely fine. It's running like a champ, even if the paint job is slowly deteriorating. And with both of us working from home for the next year, what need could we have for a second car?

But seeing how quickly a month with the little guy goes, I definitely need more time with him. The extra car and superfluous scooters that I browse through on Craigslist can wait, and so can the trips abroad. They're all just things you can get with some money, and we can always make more money. We can't get another first year with the baby.

Wanting to spend a lot more time with the family isn't some novel idea. It's a trite one, but it sure feels real. I've always had a vague idea of what I'd want to do with my days once they were all mine again. With a little baby asleep in my arms, I know exactly what I want to with those days.

Now I just have to put my head down, and get them sooner.

15 comments:

  1. A baby can really give you focus. Our son changed my life too. It felt pretty aimless before. Good job putting off the car purchase. Most things don't seem so necessary after a couple of weeks.

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    1. That's cool to hear, Joe. I see a lot of similarities...even beyond the fact that I shamelessly stole your blog name. :)

      And yeah, the car doesn't seem as likely to bring me happiness these days. :)

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  2. He is adorable!!!!

    I don't have kids, thus, can't comment on whether kids bring you focus or not. But from being an observer, I think it's great you started on the FI journey before. It's given you choices and the ability to almost be close to the finish line.

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    1. Ain't that the truth, SFL. I could see us having a really hard time leaning in to FIRE if we started right now, just because we're so tired and there are a bunch of other things that are higher priority. It's kind of a catch 22 because, given how important the kid is, we also would really like to be FI as soon as possible... but the kid makes it harder to do stuff like rent out a room in the house, start a business, lean into a side hustle, put in long hours at work for a promotion, or save 60-80% of your income.

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    2. Give it 6-9 months. You'll be a lot less sleep deprived and the little guy will be more self sufficient. You'll have the energy to hustle again.

      He's super cute!

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    3. 6 to 9 months! Holy shit...I better get used to naps. :)

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    4. Haha that will fly by don't worry. Don't wish your time away :)

      Sorry to hear you have to go back to work but thanks for the heart warming post. A baby certainly does put into perspective what is really important in life (i.e not all that much!)

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    5. Also you tend to learn to hustle smarter rather than harder and learn many new time saving tricks. My favorite one is not bothering to clean the house properly any more as it gets destroyed again 2 hours later anyway. You can thank me later for that one :)

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  3. I snorted at "get the little fucker to sleep"!

    Your baby is adorable and I am sorry you're going back to work, but you are so close to FI! You can do it!

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    1. Hey there, BB. I have to watch my mouth at some point, but I'm definitely referring to him as 'little fucker' right to his face. Like, "I love you, you little fucker."

      And yes, we're in the home stretch. We have a new big goal to write about in a future post (next week?) that will make things tricky, but with some luck...

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  4. I love this post. I've said before that there are FIRE bloggers with kids and those without, and that I've never been able to take the ones without particularly seriously. Now I can take you more seriously! ;-).

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  5. Being pregnant with JB completed my transition from a workaholic to seeking financial freedom for ER more than only to be free to walk away from tyrannical bosses as it was before.

    Those first 4-6 months were the hardest of my life but also led to my favorite time at home with JB. It's such a pull to be financially free to stay home more with them knowing now how fast they grow and how quickly they leave behind all the endearing things they learn to do in that first year.

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    1. That's really cool to hear that you had similar motivations once JB came along, Revanche.

      I am contemplating buying a new phone (still using a Galaxy S5) to take better videos of all the stuff he's doing. We got a video of him cooing and it's my favorite thing ever.

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