Don’t Be So Concerned About Money That You Miss Life

As some of you may know, my wife and I had our third child this past weekend. Having a child is quite the experience. I never thought anything could change my life like having a kid could, and each time the experience brings something new to my life. This is our first boy which is pretty significant.

The delivery was the smoothest out of all our children. There were no complications with the birth and both the baby and my wife are recovering well, with or without any sleep…

But with this birth I realized something. I didn’t think about money the whole time we were there in the hospital and for me that’s saying something. I’m not cheap, I’m just frugal and try and save where I can. I won’t pass on something that I feel is important even if it costs me, but things that I don’t feel are important I won’t be talked into. I’m stubborn, just ask my mother.

I got to thinking about this more after we got home and a lot has changed between our second child and our third, and even more between our first and third both in what goes on in our lives internally and what things affect our lives externally such as insurance and work. But none of those things ever changed the two or three days that we spend in the hospital.

With each birth, those days are hectic yet peaceful days. They are days full of worry but none of which concern money because no matter what happens, if we don’t have our health we have nothing. If my wife had problems or the baby had problems, no amount of money would stand between my getting them the appropriate care they need to recover.

Previous kids aside, this birth we worried most about my wife’s previous C-Section and what problems that could cause during the birthing process of our boy. The doctors very early on made it clear that even though our second child was a V-BAC (“normal” after C-Section) birth, this one was looking to be different because of how the baby was positioned and how the placenta was attached.

As the baby grew, we got more worried. The doctors measurements on the ultrasound machine showed a big baby and our second child always registered small. Well, all went as planned without a hitch. Our boy was bigger (7lb 11oz) than previous kids by about 1lb but it didn’t make a bit of difference.

Our doctors did what they were trained to do. The actual labor was the least intensive for my wife, the shortest and not even assisted like our second (vacuum). We couldn’t be more pleased with how everything went. We couldn’t be more thankful of our doctors and their hard work, the great nurses that were surprisingly chipper at 4am, and all of the hospital staff that made our stay so peaceful.

My point is that no matter what happens in life, money is not the most important thing. I know it is important and affects almost every aspect of life, but if you don’t take in those moments where life just stops all around you, no amount of money will ever make you happy. Those moments are priceless and can’t be bought with even the largest sum. Having a child is one of those life stopping moments, no matter how cliche this may sound.

What life changing moments can you think of in your own life? Please share them in the comments below.

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12 People have left comments on this post

» krantcentsNo Gravatar said: { Feb 7, 2011 - 03:02:28 }

Many people get caught up in money things their whole life. You are starting to recognize what is really important. It is family, memories or things you do together, children, and experiences. When it is all said and done, those are things I remember and enjoy the most. For the most part, they are free or almost free.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

It didn’t come over night, but after countless fights that went nowhere, I realized it wasn’t worth it sometimes. No amount of money is worth contention in the home and unhappiness with those you really love.

» Yvonne Dee Dee ChristensenNo Gravatar said: { Feb 8, 2011 - 12:02:00 }

lovely comments Jesse.

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Feb 8, 2011 - 12:02:00 }

Thanks Dee Dee!

» SquirrelersNo Gravatar said: { Feb 7, 2011 - 09:02:01 }

Money is really important. But, as you say, it’s not the most important thing in life. It’s a means to an end, and provides secruity and the ability to focus on what’s important – which in my view is family, also health and friends. It may be different from others’ views, but my take is that money just by itself doesn’t equal happiness.

Not much better than the birth of a child. Forget the topic of money at times like that! Which, it seems like you did…good for you.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

A means to an end is exactly what money is. The minute money becomes the end, you’re in trouble. You can’t take it with you! 🙂

» My Money MessNo Gravatar said: { Feb 8, 2011 - 02:02:26 }

I can tell you for sure that none of what I would consider the best days of my life ever had anything to do with money. In fact, money was the farthest thing from my mind on those days.

1. Marrying my wife of nearly 25 years.
2. Spending the day at Disneyland, and carrying my son everywhere on my shoulders. He had the best view there was for the parade that night. 🙂 I did think about Ben Gay a lot the next day though.
3. His high school graduation
4. His graduation from Boot Camp.

Actually I could go on and on. They all have to do with family and they’re all things that can not be bought with any amount of money.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Hah Ben Gay, I know that pain all too well. My daughter and I did the same thing when she was old enough to go to Disney for the first time 🙂

You sure sound like a happy man.

» Will @ HackingTheBank.comNo Gravatar said: { Feb 9, 2011 - 08:02:11 }

Love it! I know I’m guilty of getting too wrapped up in saving money to enjoy life. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I’ve definitely noticed it happening more often than I’d like to. I have to consciously make an effort to enjoy some things. It’s something I’m working on. Saving money allows you to be freer and do the things you enjoy, but it shouldn’t come with too many sacrifices that you miss out on life.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Hey Will, you’re new around here 🙂 welcome!

and agreed, I look at my daughter who is 4 now and wonder how she got that big. Even though we do lots of video and spend a ton of time together, I feel like I’ve missed so much because of obligations I have. I don’t want worrying about money to be one of those that stands between me and my kids.

» EvanNo Gravatar said: { Feb 10, 2011 - 09:02:19 }

I am so damn guilty of this! I can rarely take my mind off money and personal finance. I wish I were better at money-vacations lol

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Just make sure it doesn’t interfere with happiness, or what is the money focus for

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