Three years ago, my husband and I welcomed twin girls into our family. At the time, our oldest daughter was 2.5 years old. Going from a family of three to a family of five overnight brought a lot of joy, but was quite the adjustment.
I remember going to the hospital with my husband and my sister one morning. I was 6.5 months pregnant and had not been feeling well since the previous night. Little did I know that day that I would have an emergency delivery.
Our twins arrived ahead of schedule at 29 weeks. Every night, for 2.5 months, my husband and I went home, leaving our two-pound babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital, praying they would be able to come home healthy. It was the first time in my life that I felt powerless. I still remember the rollercoaster of emotions that I went through when our babies were in the hospital. My faith is definitely what pulled me through during those 2.5 months.
Until one day, we were able to take one of our babies home and we felt so much joy. Then the following week, her twin sister was cleared to come as well. I spent the next two months at home with the twins, before it was time to return to work.
The Race Begins
Ever since that day, I feel like I have been running non-stop. A few months after coming back from maternity leave, I started a new position at work. I was excited about the new opportunity until two weeks later when things started to go downhill. My director left the company, followed by his boss, who departed a few weeks later.
As I was getting adjusted to being a mom of three kids three and under, I decided to stay put and took on more responsibilities with each departure. In the next two years, I enjoyed three new managers and more instability at work.
My husband and I were working hard to secure a better financial situation for our kids. We were also doing our best to be there for our family. As a result, we were always running, preoccupied, and sometimes forgetting to be in the moment.
“The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” Socrates
Your money or your life
Over time, family and work stress kept increasing. My mother’s health started deteriorating, and my sister was beginning her battle with cancer. I needed to take more trips home and was running out of time off. That is when we decided that it would be best for me to take a break from the Corporate world.
The decision to leave my job with our last two kids still in preschool came at a cost. Though we appreciated the level of financial security that came with being a two-income household, my husband and I decided that we would rely on his income until I figured out what was next for me.
To make the transition to one income, we had to take a close look at our expenses. Up until that point, we had been pretty conservative with our spending, but we had to be even more conservative. Surprisingly, the adjustment has been easier than I anticipated and has brought a lot of joy.
Sometimes less is more
Going on seven months now, I can honestly say that what we have gained by far exceeds what we lost.
I get to spend a lot more time with my kids, and I’m more available for my loved ones. I have time to work on passion projects and to express myself creatively. I started writing a book and I get to dream again. I started meditating. I feel like I enjoy the little things in life a lot more. My days are full because I’m the kind of person who always feels the need to be productive. However, I have enjoyed not having to run through life all the time, and taking more time to appreciate today.
I’m incredibly grateful for what I have. I can say that for my family, choosing less has given us much more joy.
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