Being a dad is a challenging yet rewarding job. At almost 15 months, Baby T2.0 is now able to communicate with us more and more. She would nod or shake her head to show yes or no, she can also communicate by using a few signs. The other day Baby T2.0 started signing “more cold tea.” Baby T1.0, meanwhile, thought it was hilarious what her sister was doing and started laughing hysterically. At one point, he was laughing so hard that he couldn’t catch his breath. Mrs. T and I couldn’t help but laugh at the same time, this of course, caused Baby T1.0 to laugh even more.
Needless to say, we had a lot of fun and everyone was having a great time.
Moments like this is exactly what keeps me motivated to continue our quest for financial independence. Although we want to travel and explore the world when we are financially independent, spend quality time with my family and enjoy precious moments is even more important.
Seeing both kids developing their own personalities and becoming more and more independent bring pure joy to me. This is especially true considering the bumping rides we had with both kids early on…
A few days after Baby T1.0 was born at home, he lost a lot of weight, a total of 14%. This was quite high, considering he wasn’t that big to begin with, having born at 37 weeks and 5 days. To make matter worse, he was jaundiced to his knees and elbows. Breastfeeding was not working well. On day three, our midwives told us to go to BC Children’s Hospital to get some donor milk. By the time we got home from the hospital, we got a call from the midwives, telling us that we needed to head back to the hospital to get light therapy because Baby T1.0’s bilirubin level was too high.
When I got off the phone, I could see Mrs. T crying in our bedroom while trying to feed Baby T1.0. She was broken. What was going to happen to our little poor boy?
I didn’t show it but deep down I was scared that our tiny little boy would not make it. Mrs. T must had similar thoughts too.
So on Halloween night, Baby T1.0 got admitted to the hospital to start light therapy to get rid of jaundice.
The obstetrician put us on a 3 hour feeding schedule. It involved feeding Baby T1.0 every 3 hours on the clock so he could get 8 feeds per day. We were also told that we should try to squeeze in a 9th feed if we could. Feeding every 3 hours might sound pretty easy on paper, but it was HARD.
Because Baby T1.0 was jaundiced, we had to wake him up for every single feed. Mrs. T would try to breastfeed him first and I would take over to feed him donor milk. Mrs. T would then pump during this time. Once Baby T1.0 consumed all the donor milk dosage, I would then feed he expressed breast milk from the previous feed. The whole procedure could take anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hour.
We came back home after 2 days of hospital stay and continued with this 3-hour-crazy-feeding-schedule. Both Mrs. T and I were desperately sleep deprived.
At Baby T1.0’s one month check-up appointment, we found out he wasn’t gaining weight fast enough. So our midwives told us to continue with the 3-hour-feeding schedule. We also introduced formula to help with the weight gain.
We continued the 3-hour-feeding-schedule for over 3 months. Mrs. T continued pumping 7 or 8 times a day and we managed to get about an hour of sleep between each feed. I honestly don’t know how we survived 3 months of this crazy schedule. When I went back working full-time, after the short 2 week parental leave, I was surprised I never took a nap during lunch, despite sleep deprivation. Both Mrs. T and I were walking around like zombies. We weren’t living, we were barely hanging on!
It was a huge relief to finally go to a feed-on-demand schedule.
Having gone through the ordeal with Baby T1.0, we were prepared for a similar experience when Baby T2.0 was born. Despite eating and pooping well, Baby T2.0 was jaundiced and had to be admitted to the hospital for light therapy (Fact: Asian descendents are more prone to jaundice). We were put on the 3-hour-feeding schedule when we were in the hospital. Luckily, Baby T2.0 gained weight quickly and we were only in the hospital for about 10 hours.
When we returned from the hospital we went back to the feed-on-demand schedule with Baby T2.0. Although we were experienced parents, we still had many bumpy rides with Baby T2.0. Because no babies are alike.
On a high level, being financially independent means having enough passive income to cover expenses. Fo me, however, financial independence means more than that. It means spending more time with the people I love and doing things that I truly enjoy. If doing things that I enjoy happen to make money, that is just a bonus.
Life is too short to be chasing after money and power every day. Determine what is precious in your life and use them to keep you motivated to reach your goals.
So dear readers, what motivates you on your financial independence journey?