I’ve been reading a lot about Financial Independence (FI). Â As someone who is a daughter of an immigrant, who haveÂ had to utilize low income services, who is now “successful” as a upper middle class worker…my perception/views on money is all over the place. Â I struggle at time various times to give myself permission to spend on things myself. Â Usually I spend money on my son or other things that are necessary. Â Since my divorce I’ve been working on figuring out what my goals and priorities are in regards to money. Â I stumbled across YNAB and have started to use it to better budget and prioritize my goals.
Currently, my goals are to:
- No more debt. Â The only debt I should take on is a mortgage. Â For the past year, I’ve been paying off my credit card balance in full each month.
- Pay off existing debts. Â Currently, I have 2 school loans (undergrad and grad) and a car loan.
- Build up emergency fund. Â I am now back at zero. Â I had to use my emergency fund to handle some unforeseen expenses.
- Save money for a downpayment on a house. Â My parents have offered to help me with a downpayment. Â I am motivated to move because IÂ am still renting the same place that my ex-husband and I have stayed. Â I need a fresh start.
- Save for retirement. I have yet to max out my contributions. Â Hopefully this will change soon.
Even though,Â I am what one would consider upper middle class, Â I am a single parent, who pays all my taxes minus your typical deductions. Â I wish I started being more serious about money after I graduated from college. Well, scratch that… not serious…I wish I knew what I know now, back then. Â I might have been better off.
Mother’s day is coming up and it got me thinking and reflecting. Â Thinking about the journey that led me into becoming a mother and who I am today. Â It was not easy. Â Went through a blighted ovum, 2 years of fertility treatments, a very emotional pregnancy/birth, ending of my marriage, becoming a single mother and navigating co-parenting. Â I also “leaned in” when I was pregnant but then afterwards decided to “lean back”. Â What got me through all of this, is the support and love from my family and friends and my son. Â He has taught me much. Â He makes me want to do better and be better.
So I finish with this:
- To those who don’t want to have kid(s) – it’s okay! Â Screw what everyone else says and don’t be pressured.
- To those who aren’t sure if they want to have kid(s) – please see previous statement. If someone keeps asking/pressuring you – ask them if they would pay your salary while you take parental leave as well as pay for daycare till they get to kindergarten.
- To those who are trying – I am here for you. If someone keeps asking you, be honest and tell them you are trying. Â It will give them a pause. Â I wish I did this more often then try to be polite and simply responding with “Someday.” Â I believe society/culture needs to stop with the “When are you going to have kids?” and “Why aren’t you having kids?” Â type of questions Â (I could write a really long rant on this.)
- To those who are about to have kid(s)/already have kid(s) – trust your instinct. Â Know better and do better. Â Treat your little one with respect. Shift your perspective and then things don’t seem so rough. Â People will bombard you with unwanted advice or tell you to do things that may not feel right to you – ignore them. Â It’s also inevitable that someone will soon ask you when you will have another. Â I would tell them – “I want to enjoy the one I have now. Â I spent 2 years trying to have one. Â Also, are you paying for my parental leave?”
- To those who are the single parent – you are strong. Â You got this. Â Have a support system (if possible).
I think it is hard to listen someone talk/vent without saying anything. Â One of the things that I have learned from parenting is that, children just want their feelings acknowledge. Â They don’t want solutions, or “silver lining” sayings. Â They just want to be heard.
I am currently going through some emotions now and want to talk to someone and just have someone simply listen. Â Unfortunately, I realize no one in my support group (friends, family, even therapist) can do that for me. Â If I turn to them, I already know what they will say. Â And it’s not what I need to hear. Â It is not what will get me through this.
And that sucks.
I know that I will get through this (eventually), that I am strong, that I should be grateful, and that things could be a lot worse.
But still. Â Am I not allowed to have these feelings?
I feel like I can never really put my guard down and can’t be the real me. Or even just falter. Â That I always have to stand and keep moving.
If you were to ask me a few years ago, that I would end up divorced, a single parent, and end up in somewhat difficult co-parenting relationship, I wouldn’t believe you. Â Yet, here I am. Â It’s better this way though and I’m glad that I am out of the relationship. Â The hardest part is the co-parenting. Â We have different parenting styles. Â After being in this relationship – I never want to be in one again. Â I am way more guarded now than ever.
since I last posted.
A lot has happened.
Switched to a new position within my company. I am a User Experience Designer now.
My company Cynergy was acquired by KPMG this year.
I have an infant son.
I love to babywear.
I am an AP/Gentle parenting mamma.