Marriage, Motherhood & Money — The 3 M’s I wasn’t prepared for
I spent my 30’s being mad at a lot of people.
Because I was hit with the 3 M’s that nobody and nothing adequately prepared me for.
I expected the road to getting married to be tough.
Finding the ‘right one’, deciding to commit & finally taking the plunge to be ‘together forever’ seemed so amorphous, with just your intuition and not much else to guide you how to do this well or smartly.
I was quite certain though, that once done, the rest would be a piece of cake. My life would follow the ‘Happily Ever After’ theme, just like all those Disney movies, rom-com’s and romance novels.
All I had to do was smile and wait…for my happily-ever-after story to begin.
So I smiled expectantly, and I waited….and waited, and waited.
And then I got mad.
Mad at the people writing those stupid fairy tales, romance novels and making those unrealistic romantic movies.
Mad at other married people for making it look so easy.
Mad at my husband for not playing along to my stupid ‘happily-ever-after’ fantasy.
I had heard a lot about the work that went into the wedding. Nobody warned me about the amount the amount of work that went into a marriage.
I had heard a tremendous amount about ‘finding’ the right one. Nobody counseled me about ‘being’ the right one.
Or about the fact that sometimes in a fight you have to give in, even if you’re right (and I was always right).
Or that sometimes you just have to breathe and let things pass, even if you think your spouse is being an idiot. (Singing “Let it Go”, loudly in your head helps).
Luckily, I got over that. I’ve been married 16 years now and am happy around 74% of the time.
I’ve been told that’s a good average.
This is something else I was woefully unprepared for.
I envisioned motherhood to be walking with my kids in sunflower fields, baking cupcakes, or blowing bubbles.
Nobody warned me about the endless cycle of worry, anxiety and guilt.
About the fact that your body, heart and mind will never be the same, ever again.
That just when you think you’ve got things under control, there will be a torrent of new, unexpected, potentially unsolvable problems that will come cascading toward you at breakneck speed.
So again, I got mad.
Mad at other mothers who made it look so damn easy.
Mad at the media for only portraying mums who are perfectly put together, while whitewashing the darker side of motherhood like postpartum depression and the never ending guilt that weighs you down like a ton of bricks.
Mad at my kids for not being ‘little bundles of joy’ all the time.
But I got over that. My kids are now 13 & 15, happy about 65% of the time.
I’m told this is a pretty good average for teenagers.
This is a tricky one. Unlike the other two M’s, it didn't’ hit me all at once.
I had a very comfortable life and I wasn’t in any financial trouble to speak of. So for a long time, I lived under delusion that I was doing quite well in this regard.
Nobody told me about long term thinking and about investing early & harnessing the power of compound interest.
Nobody talked to me about taking control, planning smartly and building wealth early on.
The fact that my kids weren’t being told or taught any of this was a watershed moment for me.
I was mad at the education system.
I was mad at my parents and the generation before us for not realizing what a gaping hole this was in our understanding of the world, and how big an impediment in our ability to truly live a life on our own terms.
I was mad at myself for living under the ‘everything’s just fine’ delusion for so long because I realized how much I had lost in terms of money, time and self-confidence.
But this time, I didn’t just get mad. I got even.
I read, researched & studied.
I was appalled at how widespread ignorance of this crucial topic really was. I was dismayed at how everyone seemed either complacent or complicit in furthering this ignorance.
The few voices calling for change were drowned out by a cacophony of voices peddling get-rich-quick schemes, which seemed so much more palatable than real change, which can often be messy and hard.
I started an education company, KFI GLOBAL, that financially empowers teens, young adults & women so that they can step up, stand out and live a life on their own terms.
It’s amazing to see the difference this knowledge has on their behavior, mindset & their outlook on life because they now know and understand how money works, and more importantly how they can make it work for them.
I hope it will go a long way in ensuring that they don’t spend much time getting mad.