Re: Career Advice For Fish
Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:07 pm
The price for vasectomies must have really gone up, mine was under $250. Very good investment.
--- The deepest and most resilient rabbit hole of FIRE plus a lot more!
It's not money. It's emotional energy. Going from man-to-man to zone defense is tough. Full disclosure - #3 was VERY different from the other two and was extremely challenging for wifey, so take my experience with a grain of salt. Funnily enough...#3 is quite like me!!Fish wrote: ↑Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:48 pmI was a little surprised that the diseconomies of scale already crop up going from 2 to 3. When going from 1 to 2, it was amazing having the benefit of experience and being able to reuse all the furniture and other baby stuff. I'll be careful not to extrapolate too much.
I get what you're saying, boy do I. I guess what I'd say (and this is cold comfort when you boil down maybe 7-10 years of experiences into one piece of shit paragraph) is...you just gotta keep plugging away. I can't tell you how many thousands of times I had to tell my wife: "That's not how I work"; "That's not how I do things"; "This is what I need"; "I appreciate that you want to achieve X, and please recognize that I agree that we should be trying to achieve X in relation to the children also, but you can have your way and I can have mine and THAT'S PERFECTLY OKAY - WE CAN COME AT IT FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES AND ACHIEVE THE SAME RESULT."Fish wrote: ↑Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:39 am@Finn - I'm taking an interest in this thread because I'm dealing with similar emotions. Although I have zero desire to own 15 acres of wilderness, I believe I feel the same kind of dissatisfaction that led you to start this thread. Things are starting to crystallize.
suomalainen wrote: ↑Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:56 pmLong backstory, but to the extent I even HAD a self, I certainly lost it with the kids. I suspect the truth is that I've never been a person; I've always been a role. But that's a pity party for another time. What I am certainly trying to do in the midst of all this financial stuff is to self-actualize, I guess.I don't have a very strong sense of identity. Unlike those driven individuals who just *know* from a very young age that they want to be (for example) an astronaut, and then devote their entire lives to the fulfillment of that aim, my preferences are simply not that strong. Additionally, unlike the vast majority of the human race, I don't define myself or measure my self-worth by what I do, what I have, or even what I think and believe... so there's nothing much to anchor to. Fastforward to having kids, and I'm finding myself totally overwhelmed and lost.
For the record (and I'm not saying this to be PC), I love my kids very much. If given an opportunity to do things over, I would choose the same outcome; I do love them that much. But I believe there has been a misapplication of our culture's prevailing "children-first" values, at least in my household, and it is causing me much grief. My wife expects that, if we are not at work and the children are awake, we should be doing some productive activity with the kids, e.g. reading to them, playing with them, taking them to activities, etc. My counter is that I believe that our children should be the highest priority, but not the only priority. And I'm losing this battle. We set aside time for the kids, but not ourselves. DW keeps adding kid-related activities until we both feel positively overwhelmed.
DW has very strong motherhood tendencies and my weak sense of self leaves me vulnerable to being taken over by that unless I establish some barriers. Any attempts to recharge during normal child-business hours get met with hostility because it's in conflict with the kid-first directive. Even my choice to take the bus to work (at a cost of 1 hour/day over driving) gets portrayed as an attempt to "escape" from the family. Hence my fascination with FI/RE. The fantasy that if I didn't have to work, I might have some quality time to myself while continuing to fulfill my family duties in a satisfactory manner. But given our track record, I don't believe that FI/RE will be that answer. It's a lifestyle (or emotional?) problem, not a money problem. Which then leads to my obsession with ERE. If I am constrained to have no choice in what I do (i.e. working this specialist job, maintaining the comfortable suburban kid-first lifestyle), then I am determined to assert my freedom in how I choose to do what must be done.
Although I'm not quite satisfied with the present situation, I have zero grounds to complain about my wife. DW contributes half of our household income, does 2/3+ of the housework, and takes the lead on a lot of the kid stuff. She's a stellar partner to have on my life journey, and I fully appreciate that. Because she's already selflessly and tirelessly working on the behalf of our children, it only seems appropriate to step into the role that she's designed for me. She's giving it all her effort and energy, and all she wants is for me to do the same. That's fair right? But strangely enough... even though I have been an I-don't-know-what-I-want type my whole life, I am discovering that I do have my preferences, and at the very least I do know FOR CERTAIN that this is not what I want for myself.
I don't know how this is going to be resolved. It's a very "stable" equilibrium in the sense that we're both too exhausted to make any meaningful changes to our lifestyle. How can I hit the pause button on life? It's so hard trying to navigate an unfamiliar place while moving at full speed. Sorry for depositing my personal problems into your thread, Finn. I do hope something in this post makes things click for you.
Edit: To avoid further contaminating this thread with my problems, I request any discussion that is specific to my personal situation take place here: Career Advice For Fish
I hate to break it to you, but you can't control your wife. If you need time, take it. If you invite her to take time with you and she declines, sometimes you probably should shrug and go for that walk by yourself or go to dinner with friends or whatever. Other times, hire a babysitter and tell her that the babysitter is coming on Friday and we're going out to dinner. If she resists, then...well...it's uncomfortably frank discussion time.My counter is that I believe that our children should be the highest priority, but not the only priority. And I'm losing this battle. We set aside time for the kids, but not ourselves. DW keeps adding kid-related activities until we both feel positively overwhelmed.
I dimly remember writing something similar earlier in this thread (and I'm too lazy to double check as I'm writing this), but you need to develop three things: patience, kindness and determination. You can't be a dick about everything, but if something is really important to you, you simply CANNOT defer to anyone else. Only you know you. Only you CAN know you. If you don't stick up for yourself, speak for yourself, then no one else will and indeed no one else can. And the difficult balancing act is manifested by the fact that she will be pushing back on you out of "fairness" or "equality" or whatever, but you gotta remember that it should be "fairness" and "equality" in BOTH phases - in the decision as well as in the execution. If you allow her to make the decision "this is what the children need", then you're totally fucked in being roped into the execution of her vision. You've already lost.Because she's already selflessly and tirelessly working on the behalf of our children, it only seems appropriate to step into the role that she's designed for me. She's giving it all her effort and energy, and all she wants is for me to do the same. That's fair right?
Thank you for stating this, and I fully agree. I've got some safety valves. As mentioned, driving to work potentially recovers up to 5 hours/week in usable time. I wouldn't want to rely on the most time-efficient solution all the time, but that has to be considered. I have a lot of accumulated vacation credits thanks to my pursuit of the "Jacob lifestyle ideal" (i.e. the Lawrence Pearsall Jacks quote on the ERE About me page, "A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure...") and implied by the following post in the "Vacation" thread:
By this standard I think I've done very well, but as evidenced by my whining in this thread I don't think I'm going to get all the way there with little kids at home. And I can accept this. I have reached the limits of what I can accomplish through psychology alone. Some facts need to change. I don't think I have taken as much as a day off for myself in the past 5 years if I exclude the times I've been physically ill. My days off always involve the kids in one form or another. This was a personal constraint (attempting to pursue that I-don't-need-to-vacate lifestyle ideal), not imposed by DW. Maybe I've been unnecessarily doing this on hard-mode. I can start by taking time off from work in sustainable increments (a day or two every few weeks). And also negotiating with DW to build a healthier routine including more exercise and personal time.jacob wrote: ↑Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:47 amMy thoughts on vacation is that if I feel I need to "vacate" [on occasion] it means that there's something wrong with my lifestyle (what I do, where I live, ...). So rather than go on vacation to fix the symptoms, I fix the entire disease by relocating to the place, by changing work, ..., or by changing whatever I want to vacate from.
I've experienced the same both in my life advice question (inspired by this thread of yours) as well as in my journal. Sometimes it's better to take a mind dump among disinterested anonymous strangers than the people close to you. The perspectives are...more varied and helpful because they are less invested.
Just be careful here. Self-actualizing via something outside of yourself isn't possible (it's "self"-actualization, not ere/kids-actualization. You're still defining yourself in a role - mother or saver or whathaveyou). If you're expecting kids or ERE to give you what can only be given by and to yourself...well, you'll end up like me -- fucked up! I suspect that part of your journey will involve figuring out what need you're each trying to fill with kids/ere and learning how to fill that need yourself.