A New Pair of Feet That Will Walk on the FIRE Path Beside Us
Well, hello there strangers! 😆 We’ve set a record here. For the first time, we went for more than a month without publishing a post and it was totally unintentional. We’ve been pretty occupied lately and have great news to share as a result! I think we already gave it away by the title and featured photo, but here it goes! 🙂
On August 8th our beautiful baby girl was born. We saw the miracle of life happen right in front of our eyes and it was amazing. That’s right, mi gente, the special being we’ve been waiting for, before we call it quits from corporate, is finally here.
“Wait… What???!!! We didn’t even know you were expecting!”
I know, I know, we kept this one under wraps until birth from you, and you were not the only one we kept it a secret from. We didn’t even tell most of our closest relatives until we were way past the first three months.
I still can’t believe that I’m a daddy, but those nine months felt like an eternity. It’s been a rough patch for us to get to this point 🙁 , so we didn’t want to jinx anything by making it too public. But, our first born is finally here and all al natural.
I’m more than amazed at how strong my wife is. After having a smooth pregnancy, she went through an extremely long and arduous labor, lasting over 36 hours, and never felt tempted to ask for an epidural. 😯 Great job, strong momma!
We got so much to tell you…
We’ve been living the most fulfilling stage of our lives as parents. We kept the gender a surprise until the end and the emotions that I felt as we heard one of the nurses scream, “It’s a girl!”, are indescribable. Our child is healthy and that’s what we wanted the most. The cuteness factor is a bonus! She’s already learning about the beautiful things that life has to offer and we’re happy to experience things through her eyes.
It’s no secret here that we plan to retire early and with that, of course, comes a whole bunch of questions on how do you retire early with a child. It’s easy to answer questions here on how we’ll be raising our child or on how will be doing things differently than the masses.
Why is that?
Well, most of you that are familiar with the FIRE path know that there’s an open world of options when work is, hmmm, optional. There are also many bloggers who retired early with young children. Root of Good retired with three little ones and GoCurryCracker retired with one.
However, simple questions at work on how we plan to raise our child can lead us down a rabbit hole because they don’t know that our plan includes an early retirement. So it’s been challenging answering those questions. Sometimes I give a vague answer and hope that it ends there.
For example, we don’t plan to do daycare. Nothing wrong with doing daycare if you need to work and that’s your best option. Since we plan to retire soon, we’ve taken that option off the table. Of course, we can’t openly say that at work.
So how do we respond to this? We say that we’d most likely get a nanny or a family member to care for our child. Which is kind of true. Mom and dad do count as family members. 😉
Another question or suggestion that keeps coming up is: “Gotta start that 529! “. No, thank you, we’re not opening a college savings plan.
It won’t be that beneficial to us.
“What?!?! That’s irresponsible!” They must be thinking.
The long answer could send us into another rabbit hole. So the short answer is, and I hope that it kind of kills their curiosity: “We’re not doing a 529 because we’re thinking of other options to fund our child’s education.”
There are times when that answer doesn’t satisfy some coworkers. I can eloquently explain our thoughts without giving out that we’ll be retiring early, so I don’t mind doing that, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to explain this over and over. That’s why I blog.
No bragging about being in the “best” school district
Another recurring topic is choosing the best school district. I’m not sold on going exclusively for the best schools and expecting that this will result in our child getting the best education.
Let’s not confuse schooling with education. I know a few people at my workplace that went to very expensive private schools and are in a lower position than I am, and I went to a state college. I also know people that didn’t graduate or attended college and they’re making either as much or more money than me. Your paid education does not always dictate your level of income, unless you are becoming a doctor or a lawyer.
Our goal is not to send our child to the best school district in the area, but to make sure that our child has the best education possible.
The best education starts at home
We’re going to be very involved in our child’s education. We’re not outsourcing it all to one institution.
Let’s talk about languages as an example. Mrs. Enchumbao is fluent in three languages: Russian, English and Spanish. She can also navigate her way in French. I’m fluent in English and Spanish. I also took French in high school and college. I still can comprehend written French. With our addiction to Korean dramas, we’re becoming familiar with that language and culture as well.
So where do we draw the language line?
However, we do have a plan so that our child becomes fluent in Russian, Spanish and English. That plan is already in action as we only speak to our child in our native languages.
Our child already has a library of fifty books in all three languages, courtesy of our friends and family that gifted them through the baby showers. We’ll start our child’s education at home by teaching her the different languages. Without the need to work, we’ll have plenty of time to read to our child without being tired from a corporate workday.
We’ll also teach her about personal finance, so that she has a good head start on her FI journey. 😉 Our baby girl means the world to us. However, instead of turning this site into a baby site, not that there is anything wrong with that, you can expect to see more posts on how we plan to teach her about life and finances.
Babies need stuff
We try not to buy stuff that we don’t need, but a baby birth is one of those occasions where you’ll need stuff. They use lots of diapers. We opted for cloth diapers. They need milk, mommy has an endless supply. Clothes will be in demand, among other things like a car seat, stroller, bassinet, crib… You get the point.
People love to gift to babies, so unlike our wedding registry where we created a limited gift registry since we didn’t want to end up with extra irons, we opened a baby gift registry with all the items we felt we’d need in healthy, non-toxic versions. We ended up getting four baby showers, due to having families in different states and having two huge circles of friends at work. This gave them an ample chance to shower our baby with love and gifts and show support for mommy. 🙂
The generosity of our friends and family was incredible and you’ll see it reflected in our annual spending post. We also got a nice amount of hands-me-downs that saved us a ton of money. Besides gifts, we’ll be forever grateful to them for the love that they express for our child.
Our story continues on a happy note
Mommy is on a six-month leave to care for our child. I still have a paternity leave to take as well. We’re scheming to go away domestically when I take my parental leave, since we’ll be in this special situation where we can both be off from work for an extended period of time.
We’re also itching to travel internationally. But, the big trips will hopefully come once the baby gets older. It’s been years since we’ve been to Europe on vacation. The main reason why we haven’t traveled much internationally during the past years was to stay close to home, while trying to have a baby. So we’re looking forward to more international traveling in the near future with the small pair of feet. 😆
Speaking of our small pair of feet, we don’t plan to publicize her photos and give out her name. We’re keeping her anonymous, at least for now. We’re trying to give her a chance to decide on her own how much of her life she wants to share on social media. Hopefully, you’re not too disappointed with the missing baby photos. These are her real feet in the featured image, so that’s something, right? 🙂
We do need a blog name for our girl. Can you help us come up with one? Vote here!
Parenthood at last!
So, we’ve become parents and it feels super awesome! That’s our new permanent job and it’s a 24/7 rewarding job. I can’t say that you should expect to see less blogging from us. I’m not sure how hobbies will play out in the near future. One thing is for sure, we’re moving along with our FIRE plans right on target.
We already reached financial independence. We saved enough to buy a house in cash, and this little one is what we were mostly waiting for before we set the latest stages of our early retirement plans in motion.
I’m also excited about blogging because now I feel that I can properly blog about parenting and money. I never wanted to touch upon those subjects because there wasn’t much of me to say other than just an opinion, without experiencing it.
That’s it for now folks. Come back next month to check out our OLTL post for the 3rd quarter where we dive into our investment returns, FIRE progress, spending for the quarter and other good stuff.