Last month, as our family was getting ready to start our day I took notice of my wife, at the time very pregnant with our third child, who wasn’t acting her usual glowing self. An hour later while at work, I started to receive what I would call “uncommon” text messages… like “I think I’m in labor” and “when do you think we should go to the hospital?”
Being a financial advisor helped me plan for the unforeseen
Working every day to help others mitigate risk in their lives was a great help for me through what came next. I quietly excused myself from my meeting and quickly headed home. There, I found my wife already in her car, calmly urging me to take her to the hospital; I obliged. Thirty minutes after arriving at the hospital my wife gave birth to our beautiful Cora.
What nobody tells you about having a third child: it’s chaos
We are quickly discovering that adding one more child to our family is not a small increase of craziness, it’s more of a force multiplier; making things louder and more chaotic right from the start. Don’t be fooled if anyone says that adding a third child to your family is easy – it’s not a simple “plus one” and the impact is much greater.
I’ve heard it said that the days are long and the years are short, and having Cora makes this saying really hit home that much more. Amidst all the chaos, though, are some powerful life lessons.
3 things you learn when having your third child
- Having 3 kids is difficult but is the best kind of reward: Having children shapes my soul and my character. I’ve not found anything that is as fun… or as much of a test… as having children. Embrace the fact that raising children is a challenge!
- Children help polish away the bad times: Remember that all parents have the hardship of being imperfect themselves, and raising human beings who will no doubt also be imperfect (no matter what Instagram says.) However, this experience helps wash away the trying times of your life by replacing them with joy – if you allow it to.
- Children are like investing: Yes, a financial comparison – but so true. Both the big AND the small contributions to your child’s life and enrichment will matter in the end. On the surface, your kids’ constant requests can be inconvenient, but think about each time you say “no,” and what you might have missed. What was the opportunity cost of those moments? Did you trade a heartfelt quip with your child for something far less meaningful in the long run? These small moments are like the quarters in the change jar that add up over time – the big events like family vacations grow the investment even more – but don’t lose sight of each day’s opportunities. (Of course, you’ll want to invest in your kids financially, too, but that’s another story.)
- Children are our future: Like Whitney Houston famously sang, there is a great chance that our children will have an impact on someone’s life, whether locally or across the world. As a parent, this is a massive responsibility! You have a unique opportunity to cultivate this into your child, so they can continue to give back to the community in ways you have taught them.