ere thinking after a baby

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SustainableHappiness
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ere thinking after a baby

Post by SustainableHappiness » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:14 pm

So my wife and I had a baby over the weekend. He is frigging amazing and currently sleeping on my chest. I am just chilling and got to thinking about all the plans I had a week ago and how now everything is different.

E.g. I already feel more likely to return to full time work after a long paternity leave since I feel my safety net parameters have changed.

And I feel more inclined to speed to the finish line in a stable fashion.

Just curious if any other discovered ere or fire pre-babies (for me it was about 3 years ago) and if so, what was that transition like, or what changes did you make to your plan?

SustainableHappiness
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by SustainableHappiness » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:16 pm

These feelings weren't apparent when he was in the womb, but as soon as he's made an appearance it's like everything in my mind is different.

Perhaps i'll shift back to my old pattern of thinking in a few months?

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Ego
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by Ego » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:26 pm

Wonderful news. Congratulations!
SustainableHappiness wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:16 pm
it's like everything in my mind is different.
Reminded me of this article I saw a few years ago...

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... n-changes/

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by SavingWithBabies » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:28 pm

Congratulations!

I learned about FIRE pre-babies (we now have a two year old and a two week old). I think my experience has been similar in wanting to speed things up. I took my side project more serious and began thinking more critically about a relocation that dramatically raised my income but also led to much higher cost of living (due to expensive city). I ended up putting in some serious time on my side project and we relocated back to the midwest. I was able to find a remote position that matched my prior compensation so it worked out really well. But I think I/we made some of those decisions more quickly due to children.

I do think time dulls many things but some of that underlying push will likely remain. That article that @Ego links to is interesting. I'm currently working from home and end up changing a fair number of diapers (mentioned towards end of article). This working-from-home experience has also pushed me towards trying to figure out how to get there a bit faster... I've done great in terms of income but I still think we have room to improve in our expenses so figuring out how to live on less is next so hopefully that retirement number can come down and bring the FI line closer.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by SustainableHappiness » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:41 am

Thanks for the link ego. Interesting I'm not having baby-centric (taking him down for naps) vision changes, more like baby-defined changes, as the article mentioned is more common for dad's than moms.

@swb how much of a positive change has been working from home been? If possible quantified, e.g. is it worth a 10k drop in salary? 20k? I work from home 1 day a week, but have debated getting more aggressive about it. Either new job,or harder negotiating.

Jean
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by Jean » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:11 am

Not babies themselves, but just meeting someone i want babies with made me this. I was fi, and now, i'm looking for a job again.

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by SavingWithBabies » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:00 am

@SH It's hard to be objective because I'm also working for a bigger company that is in a more regulated industry with much slower development processes. It honestly feels way too slow however everything else is good so I'm trying to adapt. But if I ignore that issue, I'd say overall it's been very positive. I don't have to experience/deal with office politics as much, I can eat at home with the family, they are flexible on time so can go to say doctor appointments without an issue, etc. The other side is I'm more disconnected from the company, I have to make sure I have room for a home office, and unproductive days are harder because it's tempting to sit for longer than normal to try to be productive instead of just accepting it was an unproductive day. For me, the cons are definitely worth it for the pros. Would I take a 10-15% pay cut for these benefits? I think so. Hard question.

One thing I looked for when seeking a remote position was a company where at least all the other people in my role (software engineers) were remote. My current employer is like that. I've worked in the past with one engineer on say a 15 person team being remote and it was obvious that person was getting forgotten sometimes. But I've also worked at a smaller company where each engineer was on a separate project and one went remote and it was fine (they've been doing it for 8+ years now). Just something to think about and maybe it doesn't apply for your line of work.

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stand@desk
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by stand@desk » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:41 pm

Hi,

My wife and I have a almost two year old now and I discovered ERE around 7-8 years ago. We are basically FI, except I still work 3-4 days per week just a short walk away.

How have things changed post baby? We used to sock away money quickly and regularly with two incomes and no kids for a few years, my wife has not returned to work since we had our baby (our decision) so this year we are pretty much flat Net Worth Wise (mostly because our investments are a bit down and we upgraded our car). I don't really mind too much, because we have a lot of time with our child and we enjoy our current ere-esque lifestyle. The hard work of building a base has been done, so if we plateau/have slow growth for a while it's alright because this is the prime of our lives time wise to enjoy our health.

My wife and I also run 5-6 days per week and we have kept that up, and have recently moved to a +/- 90% vegan diet. Digestion feels good on this new program but it is very much an exploration/work in progress.

First year with the child there is a lot of diapers, lack of sleep, doctors appointments. The idea I think is to make sure all the need to dos (hygene factors) are well taken care of. The nice to dos can wait (taking on new roles, questionably necessary stressful commitments, home projects etc) As time goes on it gets easier as the baby becomes more independent. We love going to a playground several times a week. We like getting the baby (now toddler) out to socialize whenever possible.

My wife may go back to work one day but we are wanting to have one more child before that happens, so that might be up to 5 years away until the next one would be in school.

My opinion of work has changed over the past year or so while being a dad. I think it is alright to work if the stress of it is not unreasonable because I think social interaction is very beneficial so why not get paid to do some of that at work (disclosure: I'm an introvert but becoming a dad has made me less so and I think that is for the best). Plus my work is very active on my feet so I get movement in. I think the key is to have a lighter work schedule that provides ancillary benefits besides only raw income IMO.

And I used to never want to be a dad for most of my life btw. But I'd say the psychological benefits of having a child are great and they are great ice-breakers when meeting new people or socializing with other parents. Plus it is great to just be a dad and teach your child things and they love to copy your back. Good Luck with your new baby!

SustainableHappiness
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by SustainableHappiness » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:43 am

I really like the nice to dos vs need to dos distinction. Especially since this first week has been like; 1) is the baby alive? 2) see we alive? 3) what do we need to do in the immediate term to keep this going?

I would posit (not necessarily to do with having a kid) that this is one more step in systems thinking/ere maturation. For me it has went:

1) discovery and rapid push to freedom from

2) year 3, realizing it's more powerful than freedom from and I don't need fire to recognize the benefits

3) baby catalyst, a job in a need to do focused situation can provide an anchor and as an already freed wage slave (God that term grinds my gears for some reason even though it feels true) my choice to stay could be a perfect fit in the system that now includes dw (also not going back to traditional work) and baby (breathing = work).

I also just realized that we may be fulfilling a stereotypical family pattern? Weird when semi avoided patterns fall into place naturally.

7Wannabe5
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:24 am

Congratulations! I can tell that you are going to be a great Dad.

I believe that your thoughts on systems theory as it relates to natural human patterns are very true. However, I would note that this period in which the infant and mother are extremely vulnerable will be of limited duration. For instance, less than two weeks after my son was born, I put him in a front-pack and walked a bit over a mile to vote for Dukakis, and a couple weeks later I had to change his diaper in the bathroom of the Student Union while I registered for next-term classes. I attempted every possible combination of not-working, part-time work, or full-time work while raising children, and finally came to the conclusion that some part-time activity that kept me from going brain-dead or feeling completely isolated from adult society, but did not require a large commitment of my time away from home was ideal. Of course, this would likely vary with personality types involved.

My ex and I definitely had our problems, but at one point during the course of the dissolution of our marriage, I sincerely thanked him for providing enough income to allow me to mostly care for our children myself when they were young, and we both had a bit of a cry. Life.

Anyways, since I can't hand you a pair of poorly knit booties, imagine this wrapped in blue paper covered with happy bunnies.
Morning Song
Sylvia Plath, 1932 - 1963

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.

All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by SustainableHappiness » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:13 am

Thank you guys for your responses, all insight from here is appreciated since ere thought is a nontraditional path and it can be tough to have a conversation about.

Mom and baby are already getting stronger and baby's back at birth weight 5days in! Eats like his dad...

@7wb5 it will be interesting to see how dw decisions reflect and compare to the decisions you've come to. One income is more than enough for us, so she'll have free reign to decide. Exciting times ahead!

The thoughts from this thread, also make me want to journal my progression from, wanting to be MMM, to wanting to be jacob, to being sustainable happiness, to being sustains able happiness plus baby risk aversion in the past few years. Cool.

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: ere thinking after a baby

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:58 pm

I forgot one thing and it's pretty major: your parents really want to be around your kids. This complicates finding the ultimate place for ere and similar activities. It is also complicated because if you have a partner, there is the partner's parents plus your own parents. In our case, they life with a four hour drive of each other. But you have to pick one location to live.

It feels silly writing this because both my spouse's mother and my mother left their homelands across the oceans and relocated to the USA. In both situations, they lived within 1-2 hours of the paternal parents.

So I originally thought that I would not be particularly swayed by the grandparent situation. After all, if they... But then you see it up close in reality and my perspective shifted. Not a complete 180 degree turn but it's not such a cut and dry thing anymore.

So that is something to think about with children. Oh, and of course, both sets of parents should be retired sometime in the next 5 years (one parent is already). So they could relocate anywhere. But where to go? It is just messier than expected although nobody is demanding anything and everyone is leaving it up to us. We're still thinking it through.

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