I started this post in June, thinking I’ll come back to post it but it completely slipped my mind, and now it’s already August! But since I already started, here goes..
This past June we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday, yes, baby FEN is one! Even though she had absolutely no idea about the occasion, I managed to throw her a nice “Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star” themed birthday party with our immediate families. Even though our house was packed, it was warm and very sweet to see the love out-poured on our daughter from everyone. Baby FEN had cake for the first time, but didn’t seem to be enjoying it much. Perhaps her young palette has yet able to identify different flavors. As I watched her enjoying her day, I wished I had spent more time with her this past year. I’m blessed to be tasked with the greatest gift in life, motherhood, and I’m wholeheartedly loving every moment of it. Our daughter is a very happy baby. Not only she’s funny and sweet, but also very clever. She transitioned from one milestone to another effortlessly that I almost missed all of her “firsts” because of work. From toddler to her pre-teen years, understandably, as parents, we have this small window to be close to our daughter, these are the years where she still wants to be around us and crave for our attention, and we will try our best to be present with her.
My current job requires me to be present every day, so telecommuting was non-negotiable when I became pregnant. Part of me wants to be remained working, after all, I worked hard for my education and as well as for my current position. Surely, one could say if I was unhappy with my current job, why don’t I look for a different one? But it’s not the job, it’s the essence of working, that’s taken up one-third to half of your day. It won’t make any difference if I were to jump-ship onto employer XYZ, I’d still need to put in my 9-5. Another part is telling me to hold my daughter in my arms for as long as I can. The guilt, the torment of being a career mom did affect my mentality and it took a toll on me. I was exhausted, worried, constantly tired of the unknown and above all, worried for my little infant’s well-being. I never knew I’d have to face this dilemma just simply being a mom.
Now that baby FEN has a knowledge of recognizing faces and routines, she knows when it’s time for daycare, she knows when mommy drops her off and she won’t be coming back for another 8 hours. She knows, mommy and daddy are more fun than her daycare givers. She knows too much that it’s making it harder for us on our daily routine. We HAD it down, I’d drop her off in the morning before 8AM, and Mr. FEN or myself would pick her up at 4:30PM. Things were going fine, if not great for all of us. However, lately my morning routine hasn’t been anything but heart-wrenching moments. Baby FEN has learned the art of clinginess, if she’s not hanging on to my leg, then she would be chasing after me out to her classroom’s door, sobbing, pointing towards my direction, or tapping on the windows as I close the door behind me. Seeing her sad face as I leave truly breaks my heart…This is how I start my mornings..
For about a month now, Mr. FEN and I have been steering our focus onto something new, in addition to our real estate investments, we’re working on a side hustle. We’d do our market research after we put baby FEN to bed, this gives us about two to three hours before our bedtime to brainstorm. We’d been analyzing market products, strategizing and planning for the right timing to launch our ideas. We’re scrapping every single minute our of our day, you can say, we are literally hustling. We don’t want to waste any time. Baby FEN is growing at the rate of knots, and we might miss out on a lot more of her milestones and achievements if we only know to focus on working the conventional way. Dealing with the work stress and having to give into unreasonable demands for the sake of job security, is quite daunting. Our new FI goal now is to accelerate up to 50% from our original timeline [of ten years], and if our calculations are correct, we will be able to attend baby FEN’s every single school activity by the time she’s in elementary school. We both will be present for her whenever she is sick, be able to take her to the library any time of the day (baby FEN has developed a great interest in books), and just be silly with her all day for as long as she wishes. Prior to having our daughter, we would never thought about early retirement, but now, she is our world and our motivation — our moon and stars.