I wasn’t really sure what to call this post. I usually have a pretty clear idea from the get-go. But not this time.
My head is a jumble of thoughts and I hope to succinctly explain myself in this post.
One of the greatest challenges that we face as adults, and especially as parents, is learning to sacrifice our wants and desires for the sake of our family. I believe that the very act of having a child is one of the most selfless things that anyone can do.
However, it’s easy to make decisions subsequent to a child’s birth that are selfish in nature. Though, sometimes we don’t realize it because we tell ourselves that we are acting in our family’s best interest.
“If this works, we’ll make a ton of money and be able to get the kids anything.”
“But I enjoy it so much.”
The hardest decision I’ve ever made
As some of you know, I am going to MBA school this fall. I was very fortunate that two of the three schools I applied to accepted me. Both of them are excellent schools. Both of them offer a unique and valuable experience. But one of them would have satiated my pride. The other offered financial security.
I struggled day and night up until the deadline to make the decision. Ultimately, I had to realize that although both options were good options, the one offering security for my family was the better option.
And the amazing thing is that I haven’t really sacrificed. I’m going to an amazing school and will have my family by my side. Is there really anything else that matters?
So when is risk-taking the right decision?
I wish I knew the answer to this question. What I can tell you is when it’s not worth it.
- If someone’s life is put in jeopardy
I had the awesome opportunity to go skydiving before I was married. I loved it! As newlyweds, my wife and I discussed our position on skydiving and other such high adventure sports. For us, we felt that the risk of death was too high. Once the kids are out of the house, then we can take more risks. So no skydiving for 20 years. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t skydive or do extreme sports. You just need to find a line or balance.
- If someone’s health is put in jeopardy
I don’t think you can understand the value of health insurance until you have children. Dumb, unexpected things happen. Sometimes, a not so enjoyable job with good health insurance is worth the price.
- If your family’s finances are in jeopardy
I’m a risk taker. My wife and I have started several companies (and spent a lot of money doing it). But we always maintained a source of income. We never became a burden for someone else to carry because we wanted to try an idea out. Let me be very clear. I’m not saying to never step out on a ledge and start something great. You just need to find that line between risk taking and stupid.
Is your spouse onboard with it?
If you haven’t guessed already, this post is really for husbands. Many of us have the good fortune of having a wonderful wife that supports us. What that unfortunately means is that, at times, women go along because they are so willing to sacrifice security for us men chasing our dreams.
If you decide to put some aspect of your family at risk, make sure that you truly have her support. Just because she says, “Go for it,” doesn’t mean that she isn’t screaming inside, “What the hell are you thinking?!”
I’ll be honest, I get pretty angry when I see people making selfish decisions that put wives and children at risk. I’m tempted to start screaming. But I’ll refrain and just blog about it. Hopefully, I’ll change some attitudes.