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The Real Joy of Raising a Child
In The Real Cost of Raising a Child, I did my best to tell you that parenting is no walk in the park.
It’s darn hard work! Do not be fooled by anyone who appears to coast through it.
The decision to go down this path is costly and not just in monetary terms.
We explored the cost of aspiration, relationships, time, opportunity and effort.
I even introduced you to cycles of heartache and backache that come with parenting.
I kinda feel like I’ve seen it all, even though the reality is that I’m still at infancy as a parent.
If you’ve taken the leap and had one child, followed by another, then the chances are you’ll have emotional scars to show for your efforts to protect your sanity as a parent.
The day to day reality for most people will be different as to how draining it is to be a parent.
For me, I'm often tired and in need of sleep after running after our boys to get through the evening routine.
Speaking of our boys (Joshua and Elias), their cheeky faces say it all:
They love to dress up and role play 🙂
I concluded the previous post with enough to put you off parenting but hoped you suspected there was more to the story.
Then I concluded by asking:
Although you might potentially be richer financially, would you truly be richer in life?
Now in comes today’s post as we now explore the real joy of raising a child.
Parenting brings with it joys that are hard to put into words.
I’ll attempt to explain using my personal journey so far and at the end of this post, I hope you’ll understand why I think the decision to have kids is the best one I ever made.
Below are some of the reasons why raising a child adds more to life:
Nothing quite focuses the mind more than knowing you now have kids and can’t back out!
I never forget the day our son, Josh was born.
It was an extremely challenging birth (to put it lightly).
The build-up was insane and so were the costs…
New cot bed, buggy (darn expensive things), wardrobe etc.
Then you throw in the Babymoon and all the other costs that just show up.
We’d barely started as parents but already feeling the heat from costs.
Then comes that dreaded day when you realise –
OMG! This is it… I’m really a parent.
For me, this became a positive realisation once I had accepted it.
Over time, it gave me more focus on my goals like never before.
I didn’t want to be a parent who either couldn’t provide for my child or even be around because I’m working all the time.
This lit a fire on my goal setting and decisions around what steps I needed to take to make sure I would be an awesome parent.
Interestingly, this led to more risk-taking, even though you’d expect the opposite for a parent.
Goals such as achieving Financial Independence became even more of priority and it gave the pursuit more purpose.
This is contrary to what some believe, which is that you either pursue FI without kids or you may as well not bother having any.
Creativity & Fun
Kids remind me that we are born creative and it really is one innate ability that sets us all apart.
I give my kids a box of lego and they create spaceships, jets, and cars with advanced features such as turbo boosters.
Or I give them cereal boxes and they create robots.
It gets even better – I gave them 2 pizza boxes and they created a caterpillar.
The extent of creativity I observe in my kids blows my mind literally.
As a creator of content, this gives me a huge boost as I too start to believe more in my creativity.
Let’s extend this to you.
I give you the internet, what can you create?
Give it some thought. You never know, it could be the thing that changes your life.
Speaking of creativity, I’d highly recommend reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.
Now onto the fun – There is never a dull moment in our home.
Our boys love to dance and they get us involved all the time.
Did I tell you that I get welcomed home every single day by a dance at the door?
Whether it's dancing, riding our bikes, walking, reading, writing, drawing etc.
Raising a child is a lot of fun! Especially if you're deliberate about it and make the time.
This bit about making the time is where the best of us fail at parenting to raise happy children.
I see parenting as a calling.
On a very personal level, I see it as my highest promotion.
Not even becoming a President of a country will beat it. Such is the importance of raising a child in my opinion.
Just think about it for a second – You have the responsibility of naming a child.
Something that will give them identity for the rest of their lives.
When we chose names for our sons, we saw it as a great honour.
We chose names that reflected attributes we hoped our sons would one day grow into.
Leaders of their generation.
Young men with strength, courage, and passion coupled with kindness, love, and respect for others.
Seeing them own and play out these attributes in their lives today is priceless.
Boy have we grown a lot on this journey.
Have you ever wanted something to become successful so quickly, yet it just creeps very slowly and never quite gets to where you want at pace?
Well, interestingly, raising a child teaches you how growth works.
You see, no matter how quickly I want my son to grow, he must:
First, be a baby → then a toddler → then a preschooler → then school age → then a teen etc.
I can’t skip from year 1 and suddenly expect him to be aged 5.
This realisation has helped me a lot in business.
So often, we start a business or a side hustle and expect success straight away.
When some of us see no success in one year, we give up and lose confidence.
Think about it, what level of development does a one-year-old child have?
One son barely started walking by the age of one, and then advanced somewhat in communication by 18 months.
He then started growing in confidence aged 3 as he explored the world around him and has grown in independence by age 5.
Same goes for your business or side hustle.
Want to see it become sustainable and eventually thrive?
You need 3 – 5 years of daily seed sowing and nurturing to see big success.
When I met my wife, Mary, I really didn’t know how strong she was.
However, when she went into that labour ward and came out, she became a different person.
I grew even more in respect and admiration for my wife because I saw she was a fighter that would always protect our children.
Having the boys brought us closer as a team as we joined forces to ensure the necessary ingredients of raising a child were there – Love, time, praise, boundaries, play etc.
That teamwork is what you see at work as we pursue excellence in creating this blog and the many other things that will follow this.
Would we have been this close had we not had kids? The answer would probably be a No!
We would have been closer but in a much different way.
There is an emotional contract that you sign with your partner when you’re truly in it together.
Having children has made that tie stronger by far.
Legacy and Blessing
At the start of this year, life for us started off with the worst possible scenario.
My mum (whom I love dearly) suffered a catastrophic brain hemorrhage.
Life became very dark for me and my two sisters, our partners and my dad.
For the first time ever, we had a real near death experience.
Something very special happened as we all went through this traumatic life experience.
We (me, 2 sisters and dad) worked together like never before to make sure my mum remained with us.
Everything from dealing with insurance companies to finding a reputable neurosurgeon to running the family businesses was managed by us all in hyper stress mode.
For two months, we worked so hard together to help our parents through such a difficult time and it paid off.
Although we’re now finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I couldn’t help but ask myself:
What would have happened if my mum and dad had no children?
I grew up learning a Psalm which said this:
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the one whose quiver is full of them.”
I never really understood this Psalm until the above events occurred.
It has become clear to me that we are my parents’ legacy.
We are now here to serve them as they have served us all their lives and so shall our children.
The real joy of raising a child comes not just from the achievement of active parenting but from the personal transformation, you experience through selfless love.
Parenting is a true gift and a big part of doing life well. Embrace it wholeheartedly if you have the opportunity.
I’ll leave you with a funny video of our sons playing noughts and crosses.
One wins the game whilst the other expresses genuine hilarious frustrations.
Welcome to the real joy of raising a child:
- The Real Cost of Raising a Child
- How To Get Your Kids Interested In Money Management
- BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Raising Girls
- How To Achieve Big Goals With Your Partner
- BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Raising Boys
- How We Live Well On A £50 Budget (Family of 4)
Has raising a child been more of a costly or joyful experience for you? and why?
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.