It’s taught me a lot about life, and a lot about myself. It’s also required me to make decisions about what is most important to me, and I’m sure if you are a parent, it’s asked the same of you.
So, being a parent, I fully understand why so many people feel that with kids feel they have to tough it out at their job, even if they hate it. And that can lead some of us to feel like all we have left are broken dreams.
Usually, the reasoning comes down to one of two themes:
Theme One: Money
Recent sources say that the cost to raise a child is $235K. It goes down a bit (per child) if you have more than one, but still, that’s a lot of money. If you’ve got kids, you’ve got bills, and if you’ve got bills, you need a job.
Theme 2: Responsibility
Now that you’ve got kids, it’s time to be responsible.
Not only do you have to reliably bring home the bacon, but you also have to do so in a way that keeps the kids safe and happy.
So goodbye, war-torn country.
See you later, Amazon jungle.
Adios, playing in a rock band all hours of the night.
Is that it?
Now, you probably think I’m about to tell you that kids can grow up in the Amazon and turn out just fine.
Well, you’re right. They can.
And if that’s really what you want to do, then please, by all means- and don’t forget your kid-friendly and DEET-free bug spray.
But for the rest of us, that’s not really going to work.
We have pretty regular lives.
Living in the ‘burbs, driving mini-vans, and packing lunches.
And yet we still wish for something more, something fulfilling and inspiring and a way to contribute that takes us to our full potential.
So is this it?
As parents, are we washed up?
Is there no hope to do what we love AND take care of our kids?
Of course not.
The road you have to navigate is trickier, for sure.
You could just pack up and move to the Amazon, but I know you choose not to.
That doesn’t mean you have to drag yourself through an uninspired life, though.
The truth is, you OWE it to your kids to live the life you imagined, AND take care of them in a way you feel good about.
Providing for kids financially is only part of what parents need to do.
As a parent, you also need to provide an example for them.
They need to see Mom and Dad living lives of their own choosing, so they know that they can live lives of their choosing too.
They need to know that the world isn’t so cold and cruel.
They need to see that the sky is the limit.
And they’d also like a new iPod.
I know it’s a tall order.
But finding a way to make your dreams pay the bills is possible.
The path to make this happen will be different for everyone, but the first step is to entertain the idea that you, (yes, YOU) could make it a reality.
So what do you think? Is it possible? Are there other barriers? I would love to know what you think!