BC
Eric
@ericbahn 4 months, 3 weeks ago 453 views

1/ I want to start an honest conversation about kids: They are terrible for your career. They strain your marriage. They make you way poorer.

But they are also the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Here’s what my experience has been like with two young ones.

2/ Before kids, I was all about my startup life. I built an awesome edtech company with my wife, and we sacrificed many years (filled with joy and pain) to get our nut. We traveled a lot. We ate out. We hung out with friends every weekend.

Then we decided to have kids...
3/ When our first kid arrived, we attempted to be very active parents--that didn’t work out so well. It turns out that being a stay-at-home mom or dad is way harder than we could bear, psychologically and physically.
4/ We had to accept that we were better off throwing money at the problem and got a wonderful nanny + other support, so we could go back to work. That decision currently costs us $80K/year (now for 2 kids in f-ed up bay area rates), but was right for us.
5/ For me, I try not to work between 5pm and 9pm during the week, so I can dedicate time with family. Weekends are all family time. But I have to make up those lost hours of productivity by starting work at 5am. On average I get 5 hours of sleep per night, which is not enough.
6/ It’s even worse for my wife, who is running 3 companies and breastfeeds our new baby. We are grumpy all the time and I’m dangerously tired (esp driving). I also feel probably 60-70% at full brain power most days. I’m the fattest I’ve ever been.
7/ I’ve accepted that with the decision to have kids, my wife and I are only half as good as we could be in our careers. We are less psychologically and physically healthy. And we’re losing touch with our close friends.
8/ The deeply honest truth too is that I was more than 50% against ever having kids to begin with. Why purposely destroy my quality of life, right? But now that I have two, I realize now that I was a damn fool.

The joy of having children comes down to some really simple things:
9/ My wife and I have created the very best roommates/friends we’ll ever have. And we get to own them for the next 18 years! The poo, pee, lack of sleep, etc. seem so trivial as concerns compared to their awesomeness.
10/ Selfishly, by having kids I somehow unlocked a new, higher tier of joy that I didn’t know existed. As well as a new, lower floor of pain. But it’s mostly joy at an existential level.
11/ Even when I come back from a long day of sucking at my job, my kids come running and remind me how much they love me. My family never judges me (nor cares) about the day’s job performance, but only want me to be present.

And with that--I’ve never felt so rich in my life.

More from Eric

You May Also Like