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Maybe it is just me, but ER did not work the way I was hoping
Old 07-13-2018, 08:30 AM   #1
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Maybe it is just me, but ER did not work the way I was hoping

When I think of ER, I think of those retiring under 50. In my case and my wife it was at 40. Working very hard those years before retirement, I looked forward to years when I can stop working and enjoy doing what I always wanted to do. However, my first kid was born shortly after I retired and the second one about two years later. The time, energy and money of taking care of kids does not leave much for anything else. I might also have fibromyalgia or something like it, to make matters worse. Before kids, I always though that I would have an easy relaxing life traveling around the world. Now I am stuck in a suburb life. As far as I feel, it almost makes no difference that I was able to retire early other than having some financial security. That is just how I feel, I am sure it is different for others.

Sorry for the rant.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:41 AM   #2
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Most people that ER have the kids part in the rear review mirror. Or they are in their teens. Not sure what to tell you.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:45 AM   #3
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We are childfree and I couldn't imagine how DIFFERENT my life would be with kiddos around. I really have nothing against kids, but I know that I am just too selfish to be a GREAT parent.

Nonetheless, I could see how it would change ones life if they were FIREd, particularly if they are pretty young such as the OP.

If it makes you feel any better, can you imagine how much WORSE it would be if you and your DW were w*rking a j*b in addition to being a parent?!?
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:47 AM   #4
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It would be a lot harder working with 2 small kids. So since you decided to have kids it should be easier.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:53 AM   #5
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When I think of ER, I think of those retiring under 50. In my case and my wife it was at 40. Working very hard those years before retirement, I looked forward to years when I can stop working and enjoy doing what I always wanted to do. However, my first kid was born shortly after I retired and the second one about two years later. The time, energy and money of taking care of kids does not leave much for anything else. I might also have fibromyalgia or something like it, to make matters worse. Before kids, I always though that I would have an easy relaxing life traveling around the world. Now I am stuck in a suburb life. As far as I feel, it almost makes no difference that I was able to retire early other than having some financial security. That is just how I feel, I am sure it is different for others.

Sorry for the rant.
You note that you looked forward to doing the things that you always wanted to do. I would hope you wanted to have kids since you had them. Imagine how much work raising kids and working at the same time! Well that is the way most of us do it. Kids are a joy and a chore... they become your life for quite a while. we had our first child during grad school. Yes we did this intentionally. And that changed some of the plans we had.

I think you are ranting about yourself.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:55 AM   #6
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Most people that ER have the kids part in the rear review mirror. Or they are in their teens. Not sure what to tell you.
Yes. I love my kids, but having kids was not my idea for the reasons I had mention.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:01 AM   #7
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Yes. I love my kids, but having kids was not my idea for the reasons I had mention.
Uh...well, I think you probably contributed SOMETHING, right? This is one of the BEST example of "cause and effect" I can think of.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:09 AM   #8
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Did you plan to have kids before ER or did that "just happened"? It seems that you had not planned for this eventuality. If your plan was to have a relaxing life traveling around the world with your wife, why did you not follow through and remain childless? World travel and young kids are usually mutually exclusive.

Sometimes life happens and we must deal with the new reality.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cpadave View Post
When I think of ER, I think of those retiring under 50. In my case and my wife it was at 40. Working very hard those years before retirement, I looked forward to years when I can stop working and enjoy doing what I always wanted to do. However, my first kid was born shortly after I retired and the second one about two years later. The time, energy and money of taking care of kids does not leave much for anything else. I might also have fibromyalgia or something like it, to make matters worse. Before kids, I always though that I would have an easy relaxing life traveling around the world. Now I am stuck in a suburb life. As far as I feel, it almost makes no difference that I was able to retire early other than having some financial security.
Yeah, life doesn't always work out the way we think it will. I know I wasn't planning on having a kid, then one day "surprise". The early years are demanding, but the kids won't be kids forever. It may seem difficult now, but try to enjoy these years, they go by quickly and you will probably look back on them fondly. At least you'll be home to see them grow up.

Besides, you're still young so you may still get the chance to travel the world.

Also, you don't have to be stuck in suburbia just because you have kids. Find someone (grandparents?) to watch them for a few days or take them with you. You'll get to travel and it will be a bonding experience they will always remember. We traveled with our daughter even when that meant packing the car seat, stroller, play pen, diaper bag, food, etc. into our tiny car.

As other's have said, it's a lot harder to care for kids when you're working, trying to balance work and a personal life.

Hang in there, it gets better. (My "baby" just turned 29).
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:11 AM   #10
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Sometimes life happens and we must deal with the new reality.
Most definitely. It might be kids. It might be elderly parents. It might be your own serious illness.

When you are retired, in my opinion, these things are a little easier to deal with.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:14 AM   #11
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We both worked and raised two kids. It was absolutely nuts. I ER'd when the youngest was in her last year of college. I like the way things played out, but I also think we would have been amazing parents in our 40s and 50s, especially with no work commitments. I always wanted to be more involved in school, homework, extracurriculars, field trips, etc. I did some; DW a lot more. But work was very demanding on my time, including lots of international travel. I also think we are now better prepared emotionally and intellectually to deal with child-rearing than in our 20s and 30s (although perhaps not physically). But again, I like the way it played out. And we have grand kids now so we get to "play" parent on a part-time basis and still have plenty of time for hobbies, travel, etc.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:18 AM   #12
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Did you plan to have kids before ER or did that "just happened"? It seems that you had not planned for this eventuality. If your plan was to have a relaxing life traveling around the world with your wife, why did you not follow through and stay childless? World travel and young kids are usually mutually exclusive.

Sometimes life happens and we must deal with the new reality.
I am what some might call selfish. Having a hard life growing up in not a normal family (one crazy sibling) I did not want to have kids. I also knew raising kids was hard and expensive. It was pressure from my parents and my wife also wanting to have. I guess pressure from her parents. Looking back, maybe I should have put foot down. Thankfully, my kids are good and behave well so far.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:21 AM   #13
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Thank you all for all the good comments.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:22 AM   #14
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How old are your kids? We have young kids and are hoping to RE in a couple of years. I hear you, kids are a *ton* of work. And expensive! Everyone tells me it gets easier in a few years so I’m trying to remember that and just enjoy this time. In some ways, being older makes it easier I think. I tell my DH, we only get 6 ‘santa’ christmases with DD, so we need to make them count!

We’re older parents, so for my DH especially, realistically it really cuts into any extended travel plans he might have wanted. And neither of us want our kids to be 100% raised in suburbia. So to manage this, and not spend $$$ on vacations, we’re looking at renting a house for two months in the summer in a different place every year.

Mainly, I think it just requires an attitude adjustment. There’s a ton of joy in it too Is it possible you’re depressed?
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:27 AM   #15
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How old are your kids? We have young kids and are hoping to RE in a couple of years. I hear you, kids are a *ton* of work. And expensive! Everyone tells me it gets easier in a few years so I’m trying to remember that and just enjoy this time. In some ways, being older makes it easier I think. I tell my DH, we only get 6 ‘santa’ christmases with DD, so we need to make them count!

We’re older parents, so for my DH especially, realistically it really cuts into any extended travel plans he might have wanted. And neither of us want our kids to be 100% raised in suburbia. So to manage this, and not spend $$$ on vacations, we’re looking at renting a house for two months in the summer in a different place every year.

Mainly, I think it just requires an attitude adjustment. There’s a ton of joy in it too Is it possible you’re depressed?
7 and 9. Good idea on summer place. Might look into doing something like that as well
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:30 AM   #16
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Not sure how old yours are, but having two small kids was the most exhausting time of our life, physically, emotionally, and financially—I think DH relished escaping the house every day and I really missed the three days a week that I had cut my job down to after the first was born.

Can your doc check out your fibromyalgia suspicions? “Stuck in a suburb life” sounds a bit like depression imo—check that out too. Are you and your spouse on the same page about things like where you live?

Our kids were six and four when we took them to Europe the first time. Lots of people travel with children.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:33 AM   #17
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Yes. I love my kids, but having kids was not my idea for the reasons I had mention.
We had our first kid in grad school and the second a couple years later. After the second I was sent to the vet and fixed ( I didn't know I was broke). We each held down engineering careers while raising the children.

Dual chamber pacemaker at 51. RE at 53. Been helping DMIL with parkenson's for the last decade (since DFIL passed). This duty has kept us from doing the things we want to do for ourselves.

If you took significant birth control measures, then I might understand your surprise at having kids... and all that comes with it.

Enjoy your kids. I'm sure they are worth it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:37 AM   #18
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At 7&9, I think the world should be opening up to you with respect to travel. I was picturing *much* younger! It’s time to start planning an extended trip.

I think that puts you in your late 40s. I would just say, I think this is a tough age in general and one that makes you reevaluate where you are vs wanted to be. Given the ages of your kids, you should be starting to do those things you always wanted to do, but just as a family instead.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:44 AM   #19
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Have you heard of Go Curry Cracker? Married couple who er'd & are living mostly abroad...now have 1 kid, maybe 2 I forget. You might check their blog out for inspiration on er w/young children.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:49 AM   #20
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Having kids and a career are 2 1/2 full time jobs even as a married couple...with kids being the higher and more demanding job. As they get older (IMO) it gets easier. I would say go with the flow and incorporate them as part of daily life and fun activities. I rediscovered the things I used to enjoy as a child and found excuses to buy toys I used to like too. What’s there not to like in a water bomb/water pistol fight.

Mine are teens now And we have probably used baby sitters a handful of times (no family nearby to help). I was not built with perternal instincts and learning to be a parent was a huge learning curve for me. As they get older, the job evolves and in some ways become much easier while in others, becomes a lot more demanding.

We trained ours to travel from young. 18 months for the first doing a 4000 mile road trip. The second was a bigger challenge. He would cry after 15 mins in a car. We got him trained by 2 though. Slowly stretching 30 min car trips to 1 hour. He just didn’t like to be confined. Now road trips are our special bonding time as a family
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