Whilst everyone else is in bed

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The one thing having a baby does, is get you out of bed earlier in the morning than you normally would. No more being able to hit the snooze button or setting the alarm for the time, which allows you just enough time to throw some clothes on and get out of the door for work.

In our house 6.30am starts are the norm, which I think is pretty good for having a four month old. I know many people with similar age children who are up much earlier. This however leaves a long time before I have to set off for work. Now I am in the routine I am very thankful for this time, which I wouldn’t have got without our gorgeous girl.

Early start

As I work through the day, the early start gives me time to spend with my daughter and it also gives me time to get fit as 3 times a week I also use this time to run. I used to do a lot of running in my early twenties but haven’t done a lot in recent years; this has left me not being in the shape I want to be in. If it wasn’t for this time in the morning I don’t think I would have picked up running again and my downward slope of healthiness would have continued.

I love running as you don’t need to know a lot of technique to do it, you don’t need a lot of equipment or a venue. All you need is a decent pair of trainers, yourself and the great outdoors. I run routes around the town where I live, trying to push myself a bit harder every day and I am already seeing results. The one thing above all that I love about running is that more than anything I think it is a battle of will power. At many stages during my run my body is telling my brain to stop and each time I don’t give in and I keep on going. I love winning those battles and pushing on, it is such a great feeling when you have pushed yourself and pushed through those moments. I think your body is capable of more than you think it is at times.

Getting things done

Saying all of this about weekdays the mornings that are the best for us aren’t the weekday ones, they are the weekend ones. Now with our daughter getting us up, our weekends are so productive. Each weekend I am surprised with how much we now get done, it’s far much more than we did when we didn’t have a baby, which just goes to dispel the myth that you can’t get anything done when you have a baby.

Time is a gift and time is precious, don’t wait for something to decide how you are going to use it. Make a plan, figure out what is important and adjust your schedules accordingly to get the most out of your time.

The Baby Business

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When you are having a baby the one thing the world wants you to buy in to is how expensive it is. The marketplace wants you to feel the need to spend hundreds of pounds on travel systems, changing stations, toys, clothes, cribs etc. etc. They want this to feel normal. For some this feeling puts them off having children, but I don’t think it would stop many that truly wanted to have a baby.

I however, want the world to stop buying in to this atmosphere, which is driven by the major companies. I would love to live in a world where buying second hand, accepting hand me downs and doing things on a budget were seen as the norm. It is the baby industry, which has driven us as a society to be working parents, with families seeing no other alternative than for both parents to be working just so they can afford all the things they think they need.

Investments

As a parent I want all my investments in my child and family to be about love and not money. My wife and I feel strongly about one of us being a stay at home mum or dad for our child until they have reached school age. We believe this is more important for her development than anything we can buy for hundreds of pounds. We know we have bills to pay, so one of us will always work but we still value time over any financial reward of being away from the house and being away from our child.

Yes we get pram envy when we see people pushing the latest and fanciest ones in the street, yes we see toys and clothes that we would love to buy for our child but what of these things is our child going to remember? I would rather invest money in her long term future like university than things she will only use for such a small portion of her life and have no recollection of when she is older, except for when she looks back at photos.

Shop around

My wife and I make sure our daughter has everything she needs and that we want her to have, we just make sure we get things for the best price. We shop around, look for deals, buy second hand and see what we can pick up for free. Just because you can afford something brand new doesn’t always mean it is a good investment and just because you can’t afford something brand new doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it.

My wife and I proudly only use cloth nappies on our child because not only are they a great money saver, they are better for her skin and much more beautiful than disposable nappies. Yes they may be more work but that it isn’t a factor in our decision making process, as we just want to do what is best for our child. Best for your child isn’t always buying everything and buying it brand new and this is what I want the world to understand.

Ideas

Last weekend my wife and I made a sensory space for our daughter using ideas we found on the Internet, a box, tin foil and Christmas tree lights. It didn’t cost us anything to make yet our daughter loved it and I think it will aid her development. In this internet age it is easier than ever to get deals and ideas, so there is no excuse to be lazy and just buy the first thing you see.

My advice for this week would be if you have children is to enjoy them, want the best for them but don’t get stressed and worried about affording things as everyone with a bit of effort can get the best for their child.

Generosity

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My wife and I are expecting our first baby this year, an event that we are super excited about! One thing, which has bowled me over since the time we first announced this news to friends and family, is the generosity of others.

I love how life events like this one can bring out the generosity of others and give them the ability to be generous. I think on the whole we are a very generous world; we just all need that opportunity to be generous.

Accepting it

One thing that is hard for many people to do, is to accept generosity. As well as being a generous world we are also a proud world, which can make accepting generosity hard, but I think it is important that we all do, as accepting generosity encourages people to continue being generous.

When receiving generosity it is important to be thankful. Accepting generosity with a thankful heart and showing that thankfulness can mean the world to the person who is being generous to you and is worth more than anything else you could do for them in return.

Sharing

The thing with babies, is that there is normally someone you know or someone in your family that has had one and now has clothes & toys that are no longer being used. People don’t want to throw these things out, so most would want them to go to another child and want to free up the space in their house.

Babies grow up and grow out of things so quickly, so personally I don’t see the point in investing a lot of money in clothes. Don’t get me wrong we have brought a few things, which we like and can’t wait to put our child in but I would never go overboard as there are already so many nice baby clothes out there that aren’t being used and are looking for a new home. I don’t see the point in spending hundreds of pounds on things that will only be used for such a short space of time.

Not a charity case

Accepting things like clothes and toys from others doesn’t make you a charity case or poor, it just means people care for you and your family. Accepting these things is a wise financial decision and it means your money can be spent on other things to make your home and the life of your family the best it can be.

Try where you can to not question peoples generosity. No matter how much you question it, it doesn’t mean you will ever truly know someone’s intentions. Me personally, I like to believe the best in people, so I try not to go down that road.

Being generous to others

There will be periods of your life when you are on the receiving end of other people’s generosity but it won’t always be the case. There will be periods in your life when you are the one being generous to others, but it might be only by taking generosity now that it puts you in to a position to be generous to others later in life.

Never expect or plan to receive generosity just appreciate it when you do. People will show you generosity in many ways, some will be in possessions, some financial, some in time and some in care, just be ready to notice it when someone is being generous and acknowledge it.