When my husband and I got married in 2013, we knew we did not want to have a child right away because we knew from the start how big a responsibility a child is. Sure, you get paid with lots of hugs, kisses, and love, but at the end of the day, it is a lifelong commitment to be a parent your child deserves.
My husband and I spent years doing things just for the both of us. We travelled a lot, volunteered a lot, and did things without minding nor consulting anybody but ourselves.
Everything changed when we finally decided to have a child, though. Our attention, focus, and priorities have shifted, and truthfully, since we got married pretty late (I was 29 when I got married, he was 37) and I was already 32 when I gave birth, one of my biggest concerns/ fears was this: What happens to our son 15-20 years from now? Will we still be able to provide for him? Will we still have stable work to help him pursue his dreams?
Truthfully speaking, I am really glad that I entered marriage later in my life because I feel that I was able to do a lot of things without thinking about anyone but myself, and I was not pressured to have a child all those years. I also feel that marrying late and having a child late is somehow an advantage because I believe that we are more mature and a lot more ready to take in the challenges of parenthood without complaints or regrets. However, there is a downside to having a child at our age: now that our son is here, we sort of wish that we had him earlier so we could spend more years with him (should we be blessed with the natural flow of life). My mom gave birth to my eldest sister when she was 19; my sister is now 50 and luckily for her, our mom is still around. Even though they are miles apart, they remain the best of friends. My husband and I would be lucky if we make it to our son’s golden year.
This is why as early as now, we are doing what we can to provide him a future he deserves. 20 years from now, while my son’s independence is just starting, I’d be on my golden years and my husband would be well on his way to retirement. The best time to prepare for him really was YESTERDAY, and the next best time is NOW.
While no one can really tell the future, we are banking on our health now more than ever to allow us to live longer. When I got pregnant, my husband made an effort to really workout at least thrice a week. This is one way for him to keep his blood pressure on a good number. This is also a way for him to prepare for our son’s toddler (aka RUNNING AROUND) years.
I, on the other hand, have not worked out as much as I did when I was pregnant. I did a lot of Pilates and Yoga and plan to return to it once my body has fully recovered from birth.
Through strengthening our bodies, we know we’ll be better at keeping up with our little boy. Even though we’re not getting any younger, we know we can still hike with him, travel for miles with him, and just discover the world (near or far) with him.
Although we’ve been vegetarians for 9 years, we are more careful now more than ever with what we really put in our mouths. We’ve really made an effort to eat more leafy greens and limit our junk / fast food intake.
There are many ways to bring up your child – gentle parenting is one, and it is the one we decided to go with. While it may not literally lengthen our lives (or maybe it could because it’s less stressful for everyone involved), it raises the quality of life us and our child. With parenting, just like with everything else, every minute counts. We would rather replace minutes of tension with minutes of love and opportunities for learning. We would rather teach him what is right, than punish him for what is wrong. And we would rather cultivate a positive environment, than one based on fear.
We know this is not easy, and there will be a lot of trying times, but we also know that this is the best for our child, that’s why I believe it is important to get ready for it, and strive everyday to be better at it.
Honestly speaking, I did not put much thought into insurance until my husband became a Financial Advisor (and then I understood what it was all about, and how wonderful it really is). Now that we have a child though, I see its importance even more.
While I cannot tell the future, we can secure it for our child by insuring ourselves. Having a health insurance protects our financial resources should we get sick, while a life insurance protects our child from having financial troubles should we pass on.
I’ve heard of parents insuring their child without insuring themselves, but I feel that parents should also insure themselves, because for me, it’s as simple as this: If your child passes on, as a provider, you can still provide for yourself. But if you pass on, who will pay for the finances you leave behind? This is the way I look at it that’s why although I understand that parents insure their child first because they just want the best for their child, it is also important to insure themselves because in the end, it is also for the benefit of the child.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m really concerned about what happens to him years from now. Should he want to study in a nice university, or start a small business and pursue his dreams, would we still be able to help him by then? Maybe yes, maybe not. Again, I cannot predict the future for sure, so to help us address this, we decided to get an investment fund for him right after he was born.
While we are still earning and can afford the starting contribution of PHP 1,190/month, we happily oblige and let this money grow in the hands of professional fund managers we really trust. 15 to 20 years from now, this contribution, with the help of compounding interest, could be a substantial amount. Then as we earn more, we can also add more to his fund, so that the projected value goes up. Should he decide to keep it growing and withdraw it much later in his life, then the projected value goes up even more.
Parenting is not easy, especially when you begin to realize just how much of your child’s present and future really depends on you. My son is just 5 weeks old as of writing, and I have already read up so much to help me make better decisions for him. From pregnancy to birth to post-birth, it is a never-ending journey to learning. From questions like How much more beneficial would it be for him if I deliver vaginally? to Should we give him vaccines? If yes, which ones and at what age should we start? to to How should we bring up our child? to Should I homeschool my child?, the questions never stop, and your mind always wonders if your decisions are right and sound.
The three topics I raised are decisions we made after weighing things and thinking them through.
To learn more about Gentle Parenting, you can start by reading Rebecca Eanes’ book called Gentle Parenting: An Essential Guide. You can also check THIS SITE.
To learn more about Financial Planning, you may contact my husband Charlie Fernandez:
WORK PHONE: +63928-5071016 ( Text/ Viber)
You may also follow his Instagram Account to get more tips on managing your finances and making it grow!
TIP: Should you decide to consult with my husband, I encourage you to ask him everything you want to know and be honest with your concerns! That’s the only way you’ll know if your advisor really knows what s/he’s talking about, knows how to address your concerns and also know more about you enough to lead you to the product that best suits you and your needs. Consultation is free!