It’s not often that I watch something in the tractor that gets me right in the feels. Thankfully I was alone because I couldn’t control the pit in my stomach and the tears that began to well up in my eyes. Parents of young kids please watch at your own risk.
I believe it is in a parents inherent nature to want to provide a better life for their kids. With their whole life ahead of them you want to give them every opportunity to succeed. I was blessed with amazing parents who raised me the right way, were very present in my life, and made me feel loved. I learned my work ethic and discipline from my dad, and the power of encouragement and positive affirmations from my mom. All these lessons I plan to pass on to my own kids.
Growing up, I felt blessed to be able to pursue a dance career. We traveled on a budget to the competitions but found a way to get there. My success was a family effort. I became the big dreamer I am today because I had outlets and opportunities to dream. I want my kids to dream as well.
Farm income alone wouldn’t be able to support something like that. My parents had a “side hustle” investing in real estate, fixing up houses, and slowly growing their equity and cash flow. They worked super hard to get ahead. I remember roofing a house with my mom when I was 11. Many times they would work all day, and then go work at the houses till dark. They built a future and set the foundation that would open a lot of doors for our family. It continues to pay dividends giving my parents the opportunity to travel and take our family out to dinner.
No matter how hard they worked I never felt like they weren’t present. Sunday was always “family day” and they were present at all our school activities. They set a super high standard to live up to.
Now it’s my turn as the parent. My kids are 2 and 5. Dahlia will start Kindergarten in the Fall. Where did 5 years go? Will they just slow down? Ever since college I have been trying to find my own side hustle. In the beginning, it was my dance career. I had big dreams of owning my own studio, teaching, competing, and traveling. I retired because I didn’t like all the time away from my family it was taking. Working evenings and practicing weekends just didn’t align with being a present father and husband.
“Entrepreneurs are people who are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” – Lori Greiner
Now I place my passion into being a fitness coach. Farmstrong Coaching has been a dream job. There is great overlap with farming, and I can work at home while being around family. I have big dreams, and genuinely feel I am making a positive impact on the world. To live this dream I wake up super early, and carve out free time to do what I love. My fantasy football obsession, playing video games with friends, and TV watching have been cut way back to get this business to grow to a point that will make a real impact on our lives. Most of my income is getting reinvested back into the business to grow and gain momentum. It’s a longer play that I know will pay off… Someday
I am working the extra hours so that one day I won’t have to.
But my kids are already 2 and 5.
Either I need to hurry up or they need to slow down.
This isn’t a blog of right answers or “5 easy steps to grow wealth while having a family.” This is just to reach out to other parents who want a better life for their kids. I’m with you. It’s a fight between the hard work you know it will take to build a better life while the hourglass is running out on the precious days you have with your young kids. Will the struggle be worth it? Will I make it in time? Could I be doing more? Should I be doing less?
There are times when I miss out on a game of Go Fish because I am filming a video. Sometimes I don’t go to the zoo because I have to cut alfalfa. I do have non-negotiatables. I never miss bedtime story, I make a point to connect and play with them when I get home from work, but I still miss the time with them I don’t spend. Time is something you don’t get back.
I know that my time and energy is all the really matters, but I would love to take Dahlia to a cheer competition out of state if the opportunity presented itself. I want her to be able to dream big. I look forward to seeing what Calvin takes to as he gets older as well. The main reason that I wake up early every morning is so I can work while they are asleep and not have to take time away from them.
I would love to hear from other parents who are going through the same thing. What has helped? Maybe just reading that someone else is struggling, and trying to do their best is helpful. Share this with someone who is desperately working for that better life, while wanting their kids to slow down.