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If you have read my last three posts, by now you know that we have added another member to our family. Our second child was born 3 weeks ago and we have been lucky enough to adjust with everyone at home.
I am currently on summer break from teaching and my daughter is not going back to daycare until both of us go back to work. This means a little over a month of great family time! It has been pretty amazing!
We sleep in, go on mini-adventures and love on our two daughters under the age of 2. Most of those mini-adventures have been daddy-daughter trips, but momma and the little one have gone on a few of the adventures also.
From my perspective, my oldest daughter has required more work than our youngest. This may be because my wife can't pick up or hold our daughter for six weeks and my wife is in control of all feedings for our youngest.
Our eldest daughter is all over the place and into everything. It is a blast playing with and chasing after my oldest daughter, but sometimes it can be exhausting. That's just parenting, right? Despite the direct attention that our daughters need each and everyday, my wife and I have loved every minute of our month off together!
Essentially, We Get to Try Out A Mini-Retirement!
That's right, we have a whole month as a family, before I have to head back to work. That's a whole month of hugs, adventures, cries and even a little bit of tantrums. I wouldn't have it any other way!
I was introduced to mini-retirements by Chris at Keep Thrifty and Jillian at Montana Money Adventures! Chris and his family took a one-year plus mini retirement that began in the middle of last year and Jillian has taken multiple mini-retirements over the course of her family's working life.
Let's just say, both of these great bloggers have been great motivation for us to discuss the idea of a mini-retirement. Since, we aren't quite ready to jump into a full year long mini-retirement, why not look at this month as a trial? Perfect! So, what did I think?
Thought #1: Free Time
Something people have asked me during my summer breaks, "Don't you ever get bored?" My response is always "No." I have always been the type of person that entertains myself. Before my blogging time, I would clean the apartment and read everyday. I would get a work out in and I would prep meals for the school year. I have always used my time off to complete tasks and stay busy.
A whole month off together gives us time. Time that we don't always get during the school year, because we are both at work. Time to sit down and read. Time to trim the bushes. Time to take my daughter on mini-adventures daily. Time that I can never get back in the future.
Time off should never be just sitting around and wasting away. Time off is the best way to enjoy/stay energized with your life everyday.
Thought #2: Family Time
The other day, we were visiting my sister-in-law. We used this time to have a playdate with the cousins. The kids and even the adults loved the time. While we were there, my sister-in-law stated, "Enjoy this time, you never get it back!"
It has truly been a blessing that we had our daughter in the summer, which allows me so much time with the family. That's the idea behind a mini-retirement. It's not just sitting around, but it's a chance to make memories with your kids that most people don't get to make, because they are stuck in their 9 to 5 jobs.
Thought #3: Finances
Lot's of people struggle to keep their expenses down when they have idle time. Well, the opposite can be said for our family. With both of us not commuting to work, our auto expenses have gone down. Our daughter is not going to daycare. With more time to make dinner, we have not ate out as much. In general, staying home for a whole month is cheaper than actually working.
To pass the time, we go visit cousins, go to story time at the library, go to the park, and play in the yard. My daughter loves the outdoors and would be out there all day if allowed. However, the heat of a Texas summer requires us to mix up our outdoor and indoor activities.
The only 'activity' that I have paid for this month was a trip to the mall. I took my daughter to look at the fish at Bass Pro Shops and ride the carousel. That was a $5 dollar trip to the mall! Of course, I didn't buy anything to bring home!
Thought #4: A Chance to Recharge
Being a teacher, I essentially get a 2-month mini-retirement every year to reenergize and relax. With all of the hours I put in during the school year, it is a great break.
Every year, people go on vacations and take one or two week breaks from work. Lots of times, this is not a recharge time, but world wind rush to visit different places. I have even heard people talk about being more busy on vacation than they are during a work week.
The beauty of a month off or more is that it gets rid of the rush. It allows you to slow down. You have time to play in the yard. You have time to read. You have time to just relax a little. When we all slow down, life gets a little bit better.
Could we take the jump into a year long Mini-Retirement?
This is the first time we have had a whole month off together as a family. Sure, my wife had maternity leave the last time we had a child, but I went back to work a week after our first daughter was born.
This time is different and we have enjoyed every minute of it! As my wife was heading to bed tonight, I asked "Do you think you could do this for a whole year?" My wife responded, "Yes!"
It looks like we are in agreement in the Summit of Coin household! We have enjoyed one month so much and believe that one year would be amazing also. Next step, we need to set a goal to reach our mini-retirement goal! Sounds like a great date night topic!
What are your thoughts? Have you been able to enjoy even just a month long break from work to recharge?