It’s not uncommon to blame children for a couple’s inability to have nice things. My husband and I, however, have no one but ourselves to blame.
A year ago, my husband and I sold just about everything we owned - including our beautiful home and my beloved shoe collection - so that we could move into an RV and travel for a year with our kids. That year of travel has come to an end and we now have room to put stuff again, but we’re not running out to replace all of our stuff. Why? Because we don’t want to go back to real jobs.
At first, I worried we were being immature. Real grown ups have real jobs.
When my husband, Jared, quit his job so that we could travel, it was supposed to be temporary. He’d find a job when we were done traveling, even if it was in a different field (we often joked that he was going to use our time on the road to decide what he wanted to be when he grew up.) But then he got to spend all of his time with us, teaching and getting to know the kids in ways he’d never been able to before.
Real grown ups might have real jobs, but it sure was nice getting to spend time together.
I assumed traveling for a year would open up extraordinary career opportunities for me as a writer. As it turns out, spending most of my time traveling instead of marketing my business actually stunted my freelancer income (who knew!?) I was forced to re-evaluate my goals and thought about applying for sales jobs in our new city. But I hate working in sales, no matter how good I am at it, and I like having the freedom to come and go as I please and spend time with my friends and family.
Real grown ups might have real jobs, but it sure is nice to have lunch with my husband.
The solution for us, at this point in our lives, is to keep our expenses low, low, low and our savings as in tact as possible. That means we aren’t buying much and we entertain ourselves with free or very cheap options. It means we’re moving into an apartment instead of a large home. It means we still only have one car and have no plans to buy another one.
Of course, we still have bills to pay. Kids need to eat and they outgrow clothes. We have cell phones and health insurance and like to travel. Both Jared and I do need to work, but we have a lot more freedom to do work we enjoy when we don’t need to make near as much money. I have continued to write, now with more marketing, and have picked up several new writing gigs in the last few weeks. Jared has spent the last couple of months learning about daytrading (which, yes, scares the crap out of me.)
Is it immature? Maybe. But as I was writing this post, my kids were playing with their cousins in the next room and I overheard this conversation:
“I’m going to be a daddy when I grow up!”
“But if you’re the dad, you have to get a job and then you miss out on childhood!”
I think I’ll hold off on getting a real, grown up job for as long as I can, even if it means I don’t have (very many) nice things.
Do you have a “real job”? Do you ever fantasize about trading it in for something that paid less but required less of your time?