The 3 money lessons I learned from childbirth:
- In my opinion, men think very differently than women! I went into labor over 4 weeks early and because of this my husband never even thought it was labor. He told me it was indigestion and got me some tums. Then after calculating my contractions for a few hours, and spoke with my doctor, my husband asked what the doctor thought it was. I calmly explained that I could be in labor. To this day, he still says I wasn’t in labor! I kept thinking to myself: well if this is just indigestion, then I really don’t want to know what labor contractions feel like.
It seems to me that men don’t relate like we do to anything really, and definitely not when it comes to money and investments. I’ve written before about how many women approach investing in an educational way. We want to obtain all the information possible before making a decision. How may bonds work for my money, and what about stocks? Some don’t care as much about the rate of return but rather what this rate of return will do for my future. How does an 8% rate of return on my investments get me the retirement I want? Whereas, I feel that many men tend to go for the quick and aggressive answer. Forget 8%, get me 20%! Just kidding, but they often seem to make fast decisions and move their money around a lot more. Women seem to be more conservative, and men like to take on more risk. Again this is generally speaking, it doesn’t always happen this way. It’s a good thing to get fully educated before investing and to take your time with any big money decisions. Don’t immediately jump ship from one investment because it isn’t doing exactly what you thought it would. Be patient, be informed, and don’t be scared to stand up and ask questions.
So while my husband kept telling me on our way to the hospital, “they will probably tell you to go home,” I kept laughing to myself and thinking I’m having this baby today.
- The second lesson I learned is to prep and prepare as much as possible but be open to adjustments. Luckily I had most of my hospital bag packed and received the cord blood kit a few days before I went into labor. I thank my planning mentality that I had so much ready for our bundle of joy, yet there were a few items not quite ready. We did not have our car seats installed yet, had no formula at home, and there were a few more items to buy. Luckily we had great family support to fill in the gaps. My father in law brought the hospital bag and kit to the hospital, my parents watched our dog, and prepped our house for the new arrival.
There will always be curveballs thrown your way, and you need to be ready to make adjustments to your plan. Maybe you thought you’d work a little longer, but your health won’t let you. Maybe you thought you wouldn’t be getting a divorced, but your husband had different plans. It’s all about your attitude and approach to these life challenges that can help set you up for the next chapter or put you in a downward spiral. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying it’s doable.
- Build a good foundation. I am an avid runner, and do about 10 races a year. I love it, and I wasn’t going to stop because I was pregnant. I kept running, and actually ran the day before I gave birth. I had such a good foundation going into my pregnancy that I felt great the entire time. Now that I am a few weeks post giving birth, that solid foundation has benefitted me even more. I am running again, back into my skinny pants, and about the same weight I was before getting pregnant. I not saying this to brag, I’m saying this because in any part of your life, having a good starting point is critical.
If you don’t know a lot about money, educate yourself. If you don’t know about budgeting, get a spreadsheet started. Learn as much as you can about your money habits and how you can adjust them to better suit your goals. The more you know how your money is working for you, the less stress you are likely to have. It can help you to gain confidence that you are on your way, control over your money issues, and clarity over why you doing all this hard work to get ahead in your life.
My new saying for this year is to love your life and love your money. You can have both and it just starts with taking action. Check out my new book’s website where you can gain so much knowledge and insights into your money.