Episode 008 - Am I ready to be a parent?
With millennials having children later or note at all, Listen as Dr Ro coaches Harms on whether or not he is ready to be a parent!
On episode 008 Dr Ro and Harms simulate a live coaching conversation where Dr Ro challenges Harms on whether he is ready to be a parent and Harms challenges Dr Ro on how he made his decision to be a parent. The podcast is a must listen for new parents, parents of old and people in their 20’s or early 30’s who are putting off the subject all together.
Listen to this insightful podcast where Dr Ro and Harms talk this space:
- Why is Harms generation (millennials) having children later or not at all?
- What are our thoughts on the #birthstrike movement
- Challenging the assumption there is never a right time to be a parent
- Challenging the assumption, you can never be ready to have a baby
- What are the factors that make it the right time?
- What can you do to be ready to be a parent?
- What changed in Dr Ro’s lifestyle before and after children?
- Why are you having a baby in the first place?
- A final process you and your partner can work through to identify if you are ready
All of the above questions and statements go beyond the fundamental question ‘Am I ready to be a parent?’
As mentioned in this week’s episode here are some supporting resources either mentioned or relevant for you to learn more:
How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease >>
Turning Point: 6 step process for transforming your life >>
The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children >>
Improve your relationships with this video series >>
Please note – Disclaimer – We are not medical professionals and are not giving you medical advice. Always consult your own medical practitioner for any medical advice specific to you. In relation to the comments about preparing for pregnancy in this episode.
For a full read of the podcast, here is a full transcript of everything Dr Ro and Harms covered in this episode of the Seekardo Podcast.
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Learn more and connect with Dr Ro & Harms and the Seekardo team –
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Hi, it’s Harms here and I’ve got Ro with me for another episode of the Seekardo podcast.
And this is really cool one because we’ve got a bit of a twist today, and that twist is I’m currently in a quite topical situation in my life.
Which is asking myself the question:
- Am I ready to be a parent?
- The topic of this episode is are you ready to be a parent?
I have brought Ro in for this particular podcast from a different perspective almost from a coaching perspective, because like I said, me and my beautiful wife are going through this process of asking ourselves this question.
We want to be parents; we are thinking about children.
- Are we ready?
- Is it the right time?
These are things I want to focus on as part of this episode with Ro.
Ro you’ve got two beautiful daughters with your beautiful partner and I know that you’ve released a lot of videos recently into the public social media space on becoming a better parent. Becoming a more conscious parent and having spent time with you and your family, both you and your beautiful wife are very conscious when it comes to parenting.
So is this a good question?
Is this the right question to be asking?
Especially now where millennials are having a challenge with this.
Let’s start with that phrase and I can dive deeper as we go into the podcast.
I think it’s a great time to be asking.
There’s a lot of pressure I think on people your age at the moment. You look at social media people are off travelling and there are some amazing photographs of youngsters. When I say youngsters I mean anyone from about 20 to 35 years of age in that category genuinely enjoying life and at the same time, maybe still subject to that tidal wave of social pressure.
Which is, have you thought about having kids?
When are you going to have kids?
You are now married of course the next thing is when are the kids coming. It’s always the standard question, well it used to be when I grew up.
I think you’ve raised a good subject.
One of the reasons I’m doing more posts on it at the moment is because as I’m out in front of different audiences, I’m definitely seeing parents wrestling with how to be a better parent.
But then the flipside to that, there is the younger generation your generation, saying, “Am I ready to be a better parent? When is the perfect time? What about you Dr Ro When did you decide?”
I went through all of this. And my lovely fiancée we are not married yet and that’s another subject, should I be married before we have kids?
There’s almost a social pressure that people feel they have to. We’ve got two children and we are not married, so I think all these things come to bear and I think you’ve handled it really well. We’ve had conversations over dinner I think as well on this subject.
If you’re open to me asking you some searching questions, which I’ll be asking you but also hopefully the listeners can be listening as though they’re being coached and maybe taking some notes.
I went through this whole subject myself for many, many years actually going back and forth. Should I? Shouldn’t I?
That’s fantastic and that would be awesome. But before we kick off think it’s important to have a little disclaimer here, which is for brand-new parents, current parents listening, do not treat this as, “Oh my goodness, I didn’t do any of these things at all.”
Because remember the intention of the Seekardo podcast is to grow. It’s to be the best version of yourself and be around people who bring that growth out in you and the Seekardo podcast, spending time with me and Ro. This is the start of your journey.
So I think treat this as an experiential opportunity to reflect on what you did, what you didn’t do in the past. Or what you did that was fantastic and thought, “I did that, that was great.” Or maybe, “I didn’t do that I’ll do that going forward.”
Remember this is a no judgement space so you don’t have to beat yourself up. And the example I want to use Ro is I know on your property fundamental weekends sometimes
we spend a day after day one somebody is beating themselves up for buying a bad investment property, before they step into the room and actually learn how to do it. You show them how to run the numbers accurately, how to analyse a good investment and they’re beating themselves up.
We say don’t worry, draw a line in the sand there’s no judgement here because you just didn’t know.
So I think to treat it from that perspective.
I think the other thing as well as if you’re listening to this on your own and you are genuinely in a place where you are thinking about or have been considering having kids for a while. Absolutely get your partner to listen to this.
Because it might be that you’re feeling some sort of anxiety or frustration towards your partner and you may get some insights from this. But equally, it might be the other way around and they’re feeling frustrated towards you and something that we say during the course of this conversation during the podcast that your partner might listen to and get a better understanding of what you’ve been trying to get across as well.
Use it as a chance to share as well, particularly as this is a decision that has to be made by both people. It can’t be one-person sort of bullying through and pushing through, “We’ve got to have kids now.”
And that can happen as well Harms, one person could be so strongly influential in the relationship to the point where it can almost be a threat. For example, it could be the guy who is possibly older in this case, I certainly am older than my partner. But if you’re an older male in the relationship and you want kids and you’re thinking I’ve got to have them now.
That unconscious emotional pressure could put pressure on your partner who is younger in that example. So I think this a great chance to step back, to be reflective and as you’ve just said there Harms not to be judgemental but be insightful. Be aware, raise your awareness, turn frustration to fascination, turn any anger that you might have into awareness. So you can go through some form of transformation, total transformation if you get it right during this process.
That’s brilliant and you used a word there which is pressure and I think that’s a great way for me to link to where I want to start with this actually.
Before you fire some questions at me, I thought it would be a good opportunity to almost discuss around the topics.
Why is Harms’s generation (millennials) having children later or not at all?
So I’ve done a bit of research on this prior. I’ve looked at some surveys that have happened both in Europe and the US around the topic of if you asked me, why is Harms generation the millennial’s, having children later or in most cases at the moment, not at all?
Let me give you a statistic to start with Ro which is birth rate amongst women in their 20s has dropped 15% between 2007 and 2012 based on statistics.
In 2016 recorded a record low fertility and that was estimated to be around 62 births per 1000 women. When I actually look at this, that’s the raw statistic that’s basically data that has been found. And when I look at my core friends and I look at their friends and friends of friends and bear in mind at the time I’m recording this podcast I’m 30 years old. the time.
And actually there are not that many babies floating around.
It is a great way to put it, only a millennial would say that.
That’s a big drop actually. The fertility conversation is without a doubt almost a topic for a different day and that’s a massive pressure. I can’t even count how many people I’ve spoken to either I know or have certainly met during my journey over the last few years as a speaker who have themselves being, for one of a better word, struggling to be able to get to a point where you know that there’s a pregnancy and the baby is on its way.
There has definitely been a frustration of course the emotional pressure triggers are by a biological reaction in the body. For example, my aunt many, many years ago things like 10 or 11 years ago tried for a baby and when she finally just relaxed and said okay we are not going to have a baby that was our destiny. She then went and conceived and had two children.
Yeah, that’s very interesting. 15% as well drop-in birth rates amongst women in their 20s.
What would you say especially because it’s really focused around millennials not having children or having them later. From your generational experience just observing our generation and I’ve got a few points here but I’m curious to see what you have to say first, which is: Why do you think that is?
Why do you think our generation is having children later?
I think there’s a lot of uncertainty about relationships at the moment. There’s a lot more choice, you might laugh. Social media is incredible, it is really a crazy opportunist way to meet someone else and I look at it and think, had I been 30 years younger, I would probably have met maybe five to 10 times more possible partners. Not sexual partners necessarily but just people that have got a similar set of values.
I mean look at how now people can communicate so openly online.
Dating apps as well.
Yeah, so you can filter down. Back in my day, the concept of a dating app didn’t exist. You went to a nightclub or you joined at University we had the African Caribbean society, the Asian society, there were people that liked to dance, R&B societies.
We had all these different groups but that was only in the ecosystem of that University, and I’m using your term ecosystem. That is not one I would have come up with, that’s the millennials. But that was a very small ecosystem. Now you’ve got a global frigging ecosystem, it’s amazing.
I think that has made people hesitate towards may be committing to a partner. Added to which, because there’s so much choice if a relationship is not going quite as well as they want it to go, “You know what sod it, I’ll drop this person and go find somebody else.” Which I don’t think is a good thing necessarily.
So there are two major things happening plus on top of that Harms, careers are changing. There isn’t the same dynamic where in my day typically, the male would go out, get the education so would women, but then you got together and pretty much the man would work hard towards the career and the woman would traditionally have been told to have babies look after the kids. Which I think is the most important role in that dynamic, but it was traditional.
Whereas now people are saying, “Sod that, we don’t need to do that. We can wait later; we can get married later.” So that lack of commitment has led to I think people not necessarily committed to having kids as well.
I don’t know if you agree with that, but that’s my overall observation.
Yeah, that makes sense and with the career thing, it’s like, you know, the female in the relationship or even a male depending on how the dynamic is. The choice to pursue a career no longer has to be I’m going to choose either between my family or career.
You know it is, I’m going to choose my career now because I guess the system that your generation grew up in was not necessarily focused on fulfilment and purpose. It was more about the paycheck. So one person had to go out there, follow the system and work for a paycheck to keep the security on the house, the bills paid etcetera.
Whereas now my generation is seeking slightly something different from a career and almost life which is, “I’m going out of university I want fulfilment and a sense of purpose when I walk into the workplace.” They’re not settling for just a paycheck which is why we often see people come to your events, Communicating with Impact, Turning Point in the past, total transformation and things like this.
They are looking for a total transformation.
Would you agree with that?
Yeah, in fact, in my day and as you were saying it I was rewinding very quickly in my head in my day it was the career, but it was also focused on getting a home, settling down, getting stability. And that’s not a word that you see in millennials today, a sense of stability. Pursuing the corporate ladder, getting status particularly when I grew up being mixed Asian background, a lot of my friends were West Indian. It was a case of you needed to make your stamp on them in the marketplace.
There wasn’t the availability and flexibility there is today of having lots of different career opportunities. Entrepreneurialism now is growing so fast and this another subject for our podcast, it’s growing so fast. There’s so much more choice. It’s like you’re caught now in a river that is moving very, very fast now. It’s not like a meandering estuary that’s going out into the ocean which it was back in my day, now it’s so fast there are too many choices.
I think that plays out in a massive way as well. It’s almost like that journey you just talked about life, one of the things I quote when I’m doing my events is millennials are lazy and one of the articles was millennials are lazy because they want independence.
Well how does that make you lazy?
Millennials are lazy because they want life not a work life balance. Whereas back in my day it was about work and possibly a bit of life, now you’re saying, “Actually we want to enjoy our lives.”
And I agree with that.
If you think about it as a checklist of life and maybe five or six key things in there. Children being one of them, marriage being another one. They’ve just moved down. The fun, the longevity of that fun has gone from a few years, University get into a career, get serious, get your head down.
That period is extended.
It has gone from a few years to maybe 10, 15 years or more now.
Yeah, absolutely. That makes total sense Ro.
I researched some surveys and asked a couple of friends, sat down with my wife and said what’s your guys gut feeling, what’s your opinion? And you’ve actually covered most of them.
Here are some words that came out of the survey, there are some surprising ones as well.
The desire for autonomy, that’s one. The feeling of being able to be spontaneous and be able to do what you want, when you want, the idea of freedom, the ability to travel.
What I thought was quite cool actually which is, one is an obvious one, which is the cost of living and having a baby, and a large university debt, which wasn’t actually a factor in the last generation.
That’s also shown up.
So this was a US study in particular, but they have incredibly large university debts. So to raise a child you’re looking at typically $284,000 during the time of where they’re dependent on you. And if you’re adopting, IVF, surrogacy things like those scenarios, the cost greatly increases quite drastically.
So that’s another thing that popped up in the survey in terms of millennials. And why I am highlighting these points is I’m almost speaking to the older generation and saying the pressure you’re potentially putting on millennial’s just by simply making statements such as, “Oh okay it is time now to have a child, it’s time you’re married now.” Just how we started the podcast.
These are common phrases that are said, but it’s good to gain insight on actually, how do millennial’s feel?
How do people of my generation feel?
There’s another really cool big one which is, and there is a movement starting which is if I were to have an opinion on is quite scary. It’s a strong stance, but there’s a thing called a birth strike and this is the movement where people are not having children due to the impact and the potential impact of climate change coming.
So that’s a big one as well.
Wow, okay, so birth strike as in we are striking to not have children?
Correct. A big movement.
Okay, that’s a topic for another day. That in itself is an interesting shift in the mindset now as I’m listening to you, I’m thinking about a documentary I recently watched which I know you’ve seen which is the great hack.
The concept within the great hack was how organisations like Cambridge Analytica were able to take data or information, put it out to social media to create an unconscious movement. That movement was so strong that it would get groups of generations of people to literally change the way they did things or steered them that way.
So if I look at that and you say there is a movement right now online, which is the big the birth strike, it will be interesting to know where that’s coming from.
Is that genuinely a movement coming from millennial’s or is that some form of for one of a better word, a conspiratorial movement trying to steer young people? Maybe a campaign towards hopefully working towards the climate change which we all want to achieve in a positive way. But yeah, that’s a big one. I think we should tackle that on a separate topic.
Absolutely, and I think it is a big one. But I wanted to throw it in there because if it is real and a real movement and this exists, then actually it’s a pretty strong movement.
If you think about not doing what we are almost born to do which is reproduce and what we are engineered to do is reproduce. That potentially and you know this is just a topic I’m touching on again for another podcast, but potentially that has a big economic effect on the future as well.
Because low population drive big, big impact on the wealth of the country and it’s not all involved in that, but there are so many things that happen when my generation are saying and almost saying it out loud all these different reasons I explained, which is, we are having children later, or maybe not all because of all of these things.
So it will be interesting to see what governments do now to incentivise because that has happened in the past as well.
It has, well look at China for example, in that they restricted the number of children down to one. This could come into our conversation, whilst we doing this and that is, there is without a doubt in my mind having been through the physiological, emotional and almost chemical changes that happen during 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, is your desire to be a father or a mother without a doubt changes based on all those things.
The environment around you and it is just almost a hormonal process you go through. And this is what I want to come back to a little bit later, I certainly didn’t feel it in my 20s but I definitely started to feel it in my 30s. And now I mean tonight I left my kids and literally before I came to the office here I lay on the couch with my eldest in one arm and
my youngest in the other arm and they’re both just pulling my leg, having some fun and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
But I would not have been in that space 25 years ago.
Although somebody might be thinking right now about a birth strike the consequence of that could be if there is a sudden gap now, there is probably going to be a massive freaking surge in the future as there was after the war, when people were forced to have a birth strike because of the war. And then we had the baby boomers.
There are all sorts of indications to something like this.
You’ve actually started to touch on the process now, you’ve said that hormonal change. I’m 30 and I’m feeling that.
This is where I’m almost coming to you Ro and saying is there a right time to be a parent?
Is there anything you can do to be ready to be a parent?
My wife and I had a conversation before this podcast to take some notes down, this is a topic we are talking about, it’s very topical for us. Is there anything you want to ask Ro? And one of the things that came up is we want to challenge that assumption that all we’ve heard now for years, probably a decade now is, there’s never a right time to be a parent and you can never be ready to be a parent.
From your opinion is that true? I personally before I hand over the mic to you, I agree that there is never a perfect time to be a parent but I do believe like anything, you know there are things you can do to be ready. And I don’t get me wrong for those parents out there I’m not saying I’m ready to change nappies, the throwing up and all the other gross things that happen with having a baby.
I’m just trying to be logical about this and say like a marathon if I was running a marathon, I’m never going to be ready for that pain, the aches and the toll it takes on me emotionally and physically. But there is training I can do prior to that, to be ready for it.
Does that make sense Ro?
100%. It’s going to be interesting because I’m sure I’m going to start touching on subjects you might want to ask specific questions on anyway.
Let’s try and break that down so the first question is, is there a right time to be a parent? That’s different to what if I can be ready or how can I be ready. Is that right?
So let’s try and break this down purely from an age perspective. If you’re talking to a 16-year-old I personally think that is not really the right time to be a parent. But I’ve got to be careful saying that as a 53-year-old because there might be somebody at 16 that says, “You know what, I’m absolutely ready to be a parent right now.”
But if you think about it from an economic perspective, an emotional perspective as well emotional development, and just from a financial career and stability perspective, the question I think we found ourselves asking was, what do we want our children to grow up into?
What family do we want our children to grow up into?
What sort of parent do I want to be?
And we’ll come back to this at the end of the podcast.
So it has to be a deeper question than is this the right time.
It’s more about you as an individual because there is no doubt that there are some people at 20 years of age who are genuinely emotionally developed. And yes, they’re just naturally built to be a parent, it’s just in their core.
There are certain people I’ve met over the years and I’ve just gone; wow they are such an amazing parent. And they’ve said, “I’ve always been like this.” I’ve said, even back to 20’s? “Yeah I’ve always been like this, I was so ready, but we just didn’t have children until we got into our 30s.”
So I think the timing has a lot to do with the individual’s emotional development and it will be interesting to see what you come back to me and argue against or in favour of that point.
I think that’s a very big one, but it’s not just the individual it’s the couple as well. Because if you want to bring a child and again we are going to be contentious here, I have no doubt that some people will challenge or agree or disagree with this, but if you want to be bringing a child in as a couple, then it is my personal opinion, having coached so many people and been a parent that both of you have to be in alignment.
Because if one of you isn’t, children bring such a magnifying glass to the relationship. They magnify your pain, they magnify your pleasure, they magnify your beliefs. They certainly magnify your values and if you are not in alignment, what happens is you just get pushed apart by the very fact that one of you resents even more the fact that you weren’t ready or you didn’t feel you were ready for kids.
I think that’s one of the first factors. I’ll pause there because there are other ones I want to bring to the table, but am I making sense? Am I going in a tangent or am I in the right direction to the answer you wanted?
That makes sense Ro.
Me as a couple representing all the couples out there in my generation debating this topic within their relationship, which is, how do we approach this as a couple?
How do we have that conversation?
Are there some questions we should ask each other?
Right so can I coach you then?
Can I ask you some coaching questions?
Okay, you’re 30, your lovely wife is 29. So at what point have you started thinking about having kids?
Has it started from the beginning when you as an Asian? By the way culture comes in as well, we should raise that subject right away. If you come from a certain cultural background, particularly if you come from an African background, West Indian or Asian background, there is an innate part of the process of growing up finding a partner and then getting married. It is almost assumed that children are going to happen next.
So, is that a pressure that was put upon you and has it in any way brought you to this question at this point?
Or are you independent of that process?
I love that question, and I would say…
Bearing in mind your mum and dad are listening to this.
I know and I have promised my wife I’m going to give both parents a massive well done for this and this is again, whether it’s a good thing or bad thing that’s a thing for that particular family to decide. But a massive well done to my parents because our culture, the Asian culture does have that pressure.
We often see a couple get married and in the first year they’ve had a child. Again, no judgement, but that’s potentially occurred because of the pressures of that culture potentially.
So my parents and Geena’s parents, my wife, they are really cool. And we actually laugh about this saying, why have they not told us to have kids? So we’ve gone the opposite.
Hang on a minute, have they outsmarted us in a way by not putting any pressure on us? So big well done to them because they’ve really left us independently to make that decision.
To answer your question, we haven’t had that from our parents. Our parents have been quite good like that. But I do see it around us. I do see it in other social circles, and certainty culturally it is quite a big thing. And it really plays out in the fact that somebody meets each other in year one, year two they’re married and year three they’ve had a child. That’s an indicator, not a guarantee that’s an indicator to say that there were certain cultural pressures there.
Let me jump in there, I am going to bring a question to the table which is relevant to you in the sense that the question is relevant but bearing in mind we’ve got a broad audience here.
Now I want to tackle a subject which is not necessarily pleasant if somebody is watching this but maybe understands the distinction.
Without going into lots of detail because this is a whole different podcast altogether on relationships, and in fact I tackle this in the relationship’s audio and video programme within the Seekardo vault. There are all these amazing videos.
There’s a whole series of relationships and in there I talk about these four levels of relationship. Now in that vault video I talk about the fact that the first level of relationship is a trading relationship, it’s like dependencies, one dependent upon the other. So this is a challenge.
Sometimes people go into a relationship where a child is brought into the relationship and I’m not suggesting this is in lots of relationships, but some relationships have formed without necessarily being a massive love connection, but they connected together through whatever physical attraction.
And then one of the parties felt that, “We want to have a kid that will bring us closer together.” And the child almost becomes the reason for bringing the couple together and that’s a very dangerous place to be.
So if you’re listening to this right now and you’re feeling like, “I kind of want to have a child because I think it might help our relationship, it might bring our relationship closer or it might fix our relationship.” That’s a dangerous place to be because I’ve coached a lot of couples over the years where a child came in and the more the questions were asked, it turned out that the baby came into the relationship on the back of a very challenging relationship. And they themselves admitted afterwards that it was in hope that it would bring them together, but it didn’t solve the basic problems they were having
So I’m going to ask you the question, are you considering having a baby in any way because you think it might improve your relationship?
I’m asking brutal questions because you’ve given me permission to coach you.
Yeah, I didn’t give you permission to be this brutal though.
We are controversial on the Seekardo here.
That is fine and you’ve asked me tougher questions than that before. I’d say absolutely not actually. If I was to answer it openly I think me and Geena have had four, five, six years of an amazing time together and it could continue. We asked ourselves a question when we have conversations about it, and this has been a conversation for probably about two years now about children. And one of the things was would we be happy without children?
And the answer is yes.
And would we be happy with children?
The answer is yes.
Then we asked ourselves what would we be happier with?
I think you mentioned to start with what would our life look like with children and without children? And actually we love the idea of our life, the picture we created in our mind with children, so that’s what has started to prompt this now.
Let’s hold that thought because I’ve seen the two of you on occasions and I can see some of the triggers that magnify that joy of being a parent for you in your minds.
Going back to the main question, if I’m breaking it down as a coach is there any pressure or sense of pressure to have a child? No, so that’s not begging the question right now is the right time. In terms of you. there is a definite desire to have a child so you’re kind of at that point where you are saying should we, shouldn’t we?
So what do you think in your mind is the reason you’re hesitating that now is the right time? If I drill right down to the hub of the question, why would you even raise the question in your mind is now the right time?
What do you think is causing you to ask that question?
That’s a powerful question.
Because essentially if you think of it as a car we are accelerating, we are driving in the car and everyone listening to this children are in the future. I’m sure there’s a whole bunch of millennials if they’re listening this is a great thing to consider. And you go right kids and your break goes on, hold on a minute, is now the right time to cross the traffic lights?
What’s making it amber and not green right now?
So I would say, it’s almost firing the question back at you, but I would say it’s because of not knowing what changes are going to occur. And it’s probably to do with lifestyles. If I was to just elaborate on that, so Geena and I made at certain decisions at certain points in our life. One of them connected yourself to really just change our financial world.
What that created in our life were businesses, entrepreneurial spirit and financial independence. We don’t have a conventional job which allows us to, it sounds a bit crazy but it allows us to do what we want, when we want, whenever we want and at whatever time we want. So that’s our life at the moment.
You have more freedom than a lot of couples because you’ve developed that financial independence. And those people listening to this understand that I do highly recommend that you go listen to our podcasts that tackle this subject, because it is very important if you’re sat there thinking how on earth have they managed to achieve that?
That’s a whole different process, but parking that for a minute, the fact that you’re in that place means that your choices are different to somebody that is going out as a young couple working all week, only seeing each other in the evenings and at the weekends. They probably put more pressure on themselves to try and squeeze every minute of that time out they’ve got and children don’t factor into there.
If you’re a millennial listening to this right now and you’re working a 9-to-6 and then you’re coming back getting out occasionally during the week, having fun, going to the gym, partying, travelling when are we going to fit kids in?
You’re in a slightly different position to that or not?
Are you still feeling the same sort of pinch?
To answer that question I’m going to rewind to something else you said we are probably in that pinch because we’ve filled our life with lots of exciting work that we do.
In terms of entrepreneurial, you’re aware of some of this. If I rewind because you’ve raised a really good point you said, we are in a different situation to some of the couples out there now, but it was actually this scenario that we are talking about now, which is why we made the decision in the past about taking control of our financial
independence. Learning how to become financially independent through investing vehicles in business and entrepreneurial spirit.
It was the idea that instinctively we always wanted children, that was an instinct within us, so we had that conversation before we even got married. And I think that was important. So we were on the same page in the early days, so we worked towards this point now, which is we have the ability to be full-time parents.
That’s what has got us to this point, so it was that trigger the fact that we had no time the danger there was, we have no time to even raise a child. We are a young couple, we want to travel, we want to do all those things we spoke about. We want to have autonomy; we want to have a cool lifestyle. That has now led us to this point, but now we’ve achieved all that it’s a case of that original mission is it time now?
You’re basically on a train and there are several stations along the way. One of the stations was get to freedom and then we’ll have children. Now we are just pulling up to that station and the ticket instructor or the engine driver is saying, “Right those of you that want to have kids get off, we are carrying on anyway.” And you’re like oh shit we are only here.
Do we get off at this station?
So I’m going to go back to the question and it might be leading into the next question you’re going to ask anyway. But I’m going to come back to what do you think is still in your mind stopping you from saying, okay, actually, now is the right time. Is it just purely the uncertainty? Because it sounds like it is from what you’ve said.
Yes and it is uncertainty which leads me to the question which is, talk to me about your scenario as a parent of two beautiful children and spending time with them, also gives us a nudge to have children as well. That’s a big factor, the fact that you’ve got two super cute girls which is awesome.
So what changed in your lifestyle before and I actually don’t know, I’ve not asked you the question. What was your lifestyle like before versus now after children?
Let me rewind, I was 35 when I met my lovely Stina and she was in her early 20s. So there was an age gap between us there straightaway. I at my age I still wasn’t ready for children, 35 years of age. You’re five years younger than me and you’re thinking about having kids.
I went through a good part of my early 20s and into my early 30s with no really strong desire to have children. I knew I wanted kids in the future, but I was absolutely a travel nut, but I was also travelling I was pursuing my career. It’s the whole thing about pursuing an achievement in that age group. So to me, travel was just an opportunity to
earn money, to build up my credibility and that was the whole era then. You see it was going back to your career, your job, your status. Young Asian man trying to prove myself in my professional career as a civil engineer.
You couldn’t get to places the way you can today. So if I could get to somewhere hot or go out to the Caribbean places like that I would just take the opportunity because that’s what you worked towards, and you worked really hard, saved up that money. It is more expensive to go to places like that in those days. Now flying is so much cheaper.
So, all of that was taking over. I had no real focus at all or even thinking about having kids. Then we met and because she’s younger than I am, that still wasn’t a topic of conversation to start with. We travelled a lot, which we both have a very common value on, we just grew a lot so we went to personal development seminars, we went through a huge curve in terms of personal evolution. And children were a point of conversation, but they were always somewhere in the distance, I don’t know if that makes any sense.
Have you found that? It’s like a distant conversation.
It was two years ago until this year.
So then all of a sudden, that destination arrives at your doorstep. For us it came and here’s an interesting one, I don’t know if I ever told you this. We actually spent quite a lot of time looking at adoption after the huge tsunamis in Sri Lanka, we thought actually you know what, maybe we could adopt a child. And there was a lot of complications with going through that process, so that kind of stopped that. But the process of discussing it made us start to question what do we want to do?
I was financially dependent within a year or so of coming through my property trainings, the two of us had the flexibility to travel. I was speaking, so we were doing a lot of things together. But more and more we both came to a point where we said how amazing it would be to have a child in our lives, and we went through very heavily looking adoption process. And then we asked ourselves the question, what if we had our own child first?
What if we chose to have a baby together and enjoy the experience of that and then at that point decide how we want the future to be with other children. We felt it was just the right time and then the challenge for us was oh shit but what about the travel?
Because people kept saying, “When you get kids you’re not going to be able to travel. Enjoy it while it lasts.”
And we actually said okay, how about we consciously decide that we would not allow the children to inhibit our passion for travel and we made the travel a way of educating them and giving them a chance to experience things with us. Albeit we would do things differently and that’s what happened. We actually consciously built a picture in our mind
of being able to still enjoy the things that we have with a different dynamic, with having a child that we could care for, nurture, and we both had such strong values, we really felt we wanted to pass that on to a generation beyond us.
That was the turning point for us.
That was the total transformation it took in our minds to take us to a different level of thinking. I think it was the realisation that we could enjoy the things we still love, the travel. We could create a home and have the joy of watching the child and imparting our values onto them and still keep that connection. And because of the financial situation that didn’t really become a big issue, we weren’t really focused on that. I know a lot of people do but that for us wasn’t an issue.
So I don’t know if that’s where you find yourself at this moment in time, I don’t know if you’re in a similar place yourself?
Actually very similar place, and yeah I wasn’t aware of some of those things, that is really cool. Especially with the travel because that’s amazing in regards to, it sounds like you just adapted you know. You said how can we have the best of both worlds? Okay we need to potentially compromise this and that, maybe we don’t go to that destination but we go to this destination.
Is that fair?
Yeah, it was a decision.
We just said it’s our choice, I think that’s probably the point.
The older generation my mum’s group and that period it was like, if you have kids you have to settle down.
There is the sentence that’s in my head and you’ve probably heard the same thing.
“You have to settle down and have kids.”
That’s what I was resisting, that whole inbred baby boomers thinking, which was you have to settle down and have kids. And we were like how about we didn’t settle and we didn’t think down?
What if we just went complete variety?
What if we said right we are going to grow and expand; we are going to travel and we won’t allow that to be in our mindset. To the point where when Savannah was born after two and half years, we sold absolutely everything we owned, apart from our investment
properties and one small storeroom with a bit of furniture and we went travelling around the world.
It was amazing.
Cars got sold, you name it, beds, furniture, house and we said fuck it we are gone. And that is exactly what we did and then people were going, “Oh my god how did you do that?” We started challenging everybody else’s paradigm of the world because the very people that were telling us you’ve got to settle down, we were completely throwing it in people’s faces. Not in a disrespectful way.
Yeah through action, we are just going to do it.
I think that’s the point and this is true in everything in life. If you make the decision, this is how I want and I shape my destiny to be like that, this is how it is going to be. Yes, there’s going to be more financial challenges because you’ve got to allow for that in the costs. And yes, there are certain things you are not going to be able to do as much, but then you can still choose at times one of you stay with your child and the other goes and enjoys maybe an activity, sport, whether it’s climbing, walking, mountaineering, some of the things I used to love to do.
It shouldn’t stop you doing that, but what I did find as time went by certain things I’d outgrown them anyway, I didn’t feel like I needed to do it. I talk to you and I don’t see you having the need to go out, get pissed and party the way you might have done five, six, seven years ago and I think that is a natural maturation. So that will happen anyway with anybody listening to this.
I think that’s a really interesting point because that’s where I feel millennial’s and my generation will naturally start to go into that mould, where actually we are tired of doing this stuff.
And what’s really cool there is if you take your scenario that you’ve painted a picture there because you just said actually, we are not going to settle. You were able to have the children and if I go back to just read off some of the points in the survey for why millennials are not having children is a desire for autonomy, you had that. Spontaneity, the variety, you had that.
You had the freedom; you had the ability to travel.
Yeah. All of those things.
And in terms of the costs, you had built your financial stability before you decided to have children, so that was ticked in the box as well.
If you’re listening to this and you’re a millennial there are certain things that can be done I guess to be ready in order to still do the things you want to do, that you love doing as my generation because I love all those things as well and still have children.
I think that’s a cool message that has come out there.
Well also Harms, one of the ones you talked about was the impact on the environment. I challenge somebody who has that philosophy and I’d say my daughter goes to a school where they grow vegetables in a two and a half three-acre plot, which is a biodynamic farm. They’re organically grown vegetables, which are then sold on to local organic store where local people who get enlightened into buying organic, or able to buy it from children that have grown it. We are educating, she already has a passion towards saving certain species of animals so if we don’t bring children up with a different level of emotional development, how on earth can we expect to transform the world?
You don’t change the world by inactivity. You actually do it by exactly the opposite.
So, to have a birth strike to help the environment there is a counterintuitive argument there to say, well, but what if we brought up the new children with such a level of enlightenment and understanding of the environment, that they become our future ambassadors for changing the world.
It is a radical statement I know, that’s my view on it.
That’s cool. I didn’t consider that because I actually saw this movement and the people who are behind this movement they have that level of value; they have that level of enlightenment for the planet and the environment already.
So it logically makes sense. You impart that onto these children and they’re going to grow up with even a more powerful voice because they’re not going to stand for it, they’re going to question everything. They’re going to say, “Hang on a minute, why is that happening?”
They’re going to say it even stronger, so I think that is a very fascinating point.
So it leads me to another question Ro which is you almost are playing out the life and
the scenario in the way you made your decisions with your partner Stina, with the scenarios that you have created there, which is almost the life that millennial’s want to lead because that’s why they’re not having children.
So my question is, what did you do, or what can we do as my generation to get ready?
Let’s say if I’m saying Ro I’m ready to be a parent.
What can I do though to gear myself up to be the best parent possible?
Okay, so let me go back and ask you the question because I can’t let this go, I have to get it in my head. Is your gut feeling right now that you are ready?
The whole thing about is now the right time and I’m hoping we tackled it for most people, but there are factors such as finance, maybe that can come into this right now I guess. But going back to my question to you is, what has shifted you and Gee from the point of asking that question? Because I’ve had fun with you and I’ve sent you videos of my two playing especially the youngest. And then I’ve got these broody comments back from your wife.
I guess I’m going to throw the question out to everybody.
Anybody listening to this and you’re just feeling instinctively that you want kids, if you’re holding back because of finances, because of the work situation you’re in. I think you’ve got to go beyond that and first of all, ask yourself the question, do we really want children right now?
And if we do you genuinely want it, then you say, “Right sod it, we are going to do it. We want kids, we will create the environment that we want for our kids.”
As opposed to waiting for the environment to come to you. I.e. waiting for my life purpose, waiting for the financial situation etcetera.
Now that’s not to say there may not be a point where it is not the right time because you really are not in a good financial situation, that is different. But if you’re just comfortable but you’re using it as an excuse, that’s the only time I’d challenge somebody and say, well hold on a minute have you actually sat and looked at the finances and checked in with that?
I know I’m going off on a bit of a tangent but I wanted to try and sweep up behind us there.
Do you both feel actually you have made the decision and it’s just been almost a form of an excuse till now?
Where are you at?
What’s your honest reflection on that before we go to the next question you asked me.
I would say the gut feeling says yes and I guess maybe there are a few factors. I don’t think finance is it, I think it’s the things that I spoke about which you’ve almost clarified and in just telling your story there. Which is can life still be similar to what it is now and the relationship dynamic we have which is amazing after children as well?
I think that was the key point and when you told your story where you said, “Actually no, we are consciously going to make a decision that we are going to carry on and the children will be a part of that, so we may have to adapt a little bit, but there will be a part of that.” I think that’s answered it for me.
Okay, so I mean to add another factor to this which I didn’t mention. We were running a business together, we had our property business but also I was out speaking, Stina was involved in helping with the branding of my book at an early stage, although that came after Savannah, but she was involved in the business. She came out, she looked at properties with me, she helped do some designs for graphic design back in the early days.
We made a decision that when the baby came along and we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl when Savannah arrived, I would still be there and be part of the family as the dad. But I would then just take that leading role and there is no need for her if she didn’t want to at that point to be so involved with the business.
And actually she chose not to. She comes from a strong Scandinavian background, where there’s a really big desire to create a home and make it ‘Hygge’ as you probably heard the term a lot these days. That’s what she chose to do and for us that was right.
That’s another thing, people think, “My business is not going to grow. This is going to stop.” But we just felt that we wanted to bring a life into this world and we wanted our values to be imparted into that child, rather than just parking the child with somebody else and getting back to the business.
And that was a conscious decision we had to make and that’s another big factor you’re going to face with you and Geena. When you’re at that point, it’s more about what you want your child to experience as a child and what role you want to be as a parent at that moment.
I think that’s an important part of this, is this the right time question, because that is going to come into the personal development arm of what I want to say next. I don’t know if that’s making sense?
That makes sense Ro, what you’re saying to myself and everybody listening at home is almost have an open communication with your partner. And like you’re asking me the challenging question ask each other the challenging questions, which is how involved.
And we actually asked this question bear in mind for those listening I’ve spent time with Ro, so I’ve had some of these questions thrown at me before but we thought this is a great way for him to ask deeper questions which he has, thrown me off guard. And also assimilate the environment because sometimes if you’re listening to this at home right now, me and Ro will be sitting over the dinner my wife will be there and we will literally have a mini coaching session there and then.
And after the coaching session finishes we are thinking, oh my god, this would have helped so many people because we are not the only people in this scenario, so that’s almost why I can almost throw some of these questions back, because they’ve originally come from Ro himself.
One of the questions Ro is the question that me and Geena asked each other is, what are our work expectations?
What are our business expectations of each other when we have children?
How involved do we want to be in raising the child?
Who’s going to take the leading role in the child?
Who is going to take the leading role in the business?
I think again just saying that phrase I said earlier it was important that we were both on the same page when it came to that, because that is going to be a challenge. How does one of us step away from the business and still the work and tasks get completed?
But we are on the same page with that, so I think that’s important.
I think in this process as well I mean we are talking quite left brain here and it’s a shame I don’t know if she is around, I’d love to pull Geena in on part of this. But if she was here, you’d hear a very different flow of conversation, because we are two blokes chatting to each other over a subject which is emotional, but I think in this whoever is listening to this right now don’t think for one minute that this has to be a left-brain conversation.
You’ve really got to talk about and I remember us sat at the dinner table and seeing it in Geena’s eyes welling up when we talked about it, was how is it going to feel to be a parent. Describe the feeling the flow of it when on a daily basis you wake up in the morning, how do you want that to look?
How do you want the flow of the day to be?
How do you want to communicate with each other?
As much as there’s a nirvana and that’s a conversation for another day, which is how to be a better parent. We have one script in our mind of how we want it to be, but it doesn’t always play out that way.
You have to at least hold that image in your mind and your heart before you start to process, because otherwise it just becomes a logical sequence of right, “You’re going to do this and I’ll do this. We will manage our time like this and you’ll manage your time like this. The kids will do this and then we will do this.”
It can’t really be like that. It needs to be more of a painting a picture of the experience and how you’d like it to be and then you will have to just mould and certain things you’ll have to drop.
I’ve said this to you before without doubt, I know that my speaking career could be in a completely different direction right now, had I not had the kids, but I chose to have the kids. So that meant that the choices I made were based on where I was prepared to go and for how long I was prepared to go and even to this day, I was in Singapore recently and there was a point in the trip where I was loving what I was doing, giving huge amounts of value to the people I was sharing with. But my heart was like I want to go back and see my kids and that’s just what happens as you evolve as a human being.
So you almost need to timeline yourself into the future and picture what it would be like to be a 30, 40, 50, 60-year-old parent, how is that going to feel?
I’d say the other thing Harms yourself as well but look at some of the parents out there who are older than you, that you think wow I love the way they parent and take notes. Make emotional notes and say to yourself, actually there is a big part of what they do that I’d love us to be like that as well.
That’s the preparation, it’s the factors that make it right. So you’re talking about the preparation, massive amounts of personal development, reading, understand your values. The turning point book I wrote years ago that would be a great process to go through just to explain that.
If you get a chance to come on to our Seekardo vault we have some really cool video series there on life balance, relationship, time management. These are all the things you need to do because to have a child you have to manage all those things.
That’s awesome Ro.
There are a few points I want to touch on there which is actually fantastic. Because yes, I am approaching this from a logical perspective, a left point perspective, but what I’d say is something that actually helped me and opened my eyes actually, two things. One is listening to a podcast led by a female in this space. In this space of parenting in the space of this topic, that I’ve started to listen to that once a week to get a different feeling and understanding. Because from a male perspective sometimes it can be quite mechanical, i.e. “Okay do we have enough money? Do we have a roof over our heads? Can we ensure we feed the baby great food?” Those sort of basic level, almost instinctive things come from men in general.
The second thing is reading books on parenting, but ones are written by females and women that’s really opened my eyes. It really has. And that’s allowed me to access the
other side of my brain the heart space, because it is not natural and sometimes not natural in that role. Because when we are in a male-female dynamic in regards to our relationship for example, just talking about literally our relationship. I play that masculine role when it comes to this decision about being a parent.
I think if you’re listening to this at home and you’re a man and you say okay how do you access that? I think, go read some literature that is written by females and women because it is extremely powerful. Yeah I mean one of the books I read a few years back called ‘The conscious parent’ and I think there are more books evolving from that are written by men and women, but there are some great authors out there, lady authors who just give you a different perspective. And I think consciousness has to come into the idea of being a parent, going back to the subject or question you asked about factors making the right time. 100% what you’ve just said there is, you start to become more conscious.
Just spend a month when you’re out watching how other parents are with their kids and look more at the toddlers than say teenagers, because it’s those first five years that really you become consumed in being the best parent you can. Until it shifts to being the best parent you can but now they’re more conscious and I’ve talked about this on one of the videos I’ve just done recently. There’s a different type of parenting in the first zero to six years as there is from six years onwards.
We’ve noticed it ourselves. So I think that’s a massive one and then the other thing of course is people talking about finances, the environment and the lifestyle. How’s it going to be? How’s it going to change?
If you’re trying to hang onto a nirvana perfect single person lifestyle, where you know you are managing your finances exactly, your environment is perfect, you’ve got no mess around the house. You’ve got all your grooming clothes ready to go out and party and you can drop everything at a drop of a hat. You can be gone on off on a plane, off doing something different. If that’s what you’re looking for, then parenting right now is not for you.
I’m just sharing that with you. Because even though we travel we can’t drop everything. We still have to plan. So planning becomes a big part of being a parent. But if you want to weigh up joy of watching your child play in the garden and running in with a flower they found with a bumblebee on it, or they just stop whilst you’re walking along the street and they just suddenly stop and pick up a ladybird and they just point with their fingers, and you see the fascination in their eyes. And the innocence they have to every new experience that is something that gives you joy, then even remotely then I suspect you’re ready to be a parent.
I don’t know if that contrast makes any sense.
No I love that; it did make sense.
That’s a nice way to contrast it because if somebody is typically in that world and they’re debating this, you just made it quite clear for them. Maybe it’s not the right time because we are pretty much there in that second scenario that you spoke about. When we spent time with your beautiful daughters I was observing, I was like okay, this is how children are, look at how excited they are about these things. They’re just in their zone and nothing else matters around them.
You and I are having a business conversation over coffee and they are just whatever is going on at that moment, it’s a beautiful thing to see.
Yeah, so I know the other question you’re going to ask, but for people listening to this right now is it the right time? Hopefully you’re getting some reassurance. I know people say there is never the right time, but there’s a point of maturity. I think if somebody is 16, 17,18,19,20,21,22 years of age, there is still a lot of emotional maturity to happen there.
Go and find yourself. Go and take the time to research and understand personal development, understand values, beliefs, come and join us in the Seekardo spend more time around what we do there, because that experience is massively beneficial to your long-term personal development. And as a result of that you will be much more conscious about actually it feels like a really good time to be a parent right now.
Of course, some people may through circumstances end up conceiving a child through a moment of passion or whatever with their loved one and then they go, “Oh my gosh we are pregnant.” Well hey, something universally whatever you believe in has brought that child into your lives right now and I would say if that’s the case, start rapidly learning and developing yourself. Grow yourself now to be prepared and ready for this beautiful child that’s come into your life because you put yourself in that position, and the universe is probably saying right now is the right time. But you’ve got to evolve now to be an even better parent than you could be.
I think you’ve really touched on a few points there. I’ve made some notes alongside the points you were talking about. What are the factors that make it the right time?
What are the factors that make you feel ready that you’ve spoken about.
Finances, creating the right environment, understanding the lifestyle, understanding you can still make conscious decisions about your lifestyle. Having that open communication with your partner, what are the expectations afterwards?
And this is really orientated around painting a picture. I really liked that description you created. What does it feel like? That picture in your mind of when you have children as a family in the household. What does that picture look like?
What does it feel like?
How does it feel on a daily basis?
And then to really ensure that you as a person are in an amazing place and we’ve been on this journey now, eight, nine-years that you as a person, and me as a person know that I am the best person I can be. Never mind being a parent. But the best person I can be for this child is really to start to grasp the concept of personal development and building on yourself, improving yourself and being the best version of yourself you can be.
And that’s really what Seekardo is orientated for, that’s the community that we have around us.
Assuming somebody has got to a point where they say, right, okay, let me ask you a question. If you feel you’re ready now and you want to have children, what in your mind you and Geena were the next questions that you started to ask? Okay, so now we are ready, we want to have kids. What starts to go through your head in terms of thinking ahead of the preparation?
What are the main factors that you’ve started to ask yourself?
Okay this is a really cool one.
We actually reached out to your lovely partner to understand this. Because this is not a question that has come over night, are we ready to be parents? This is not suddenly we woke up; this is now a two-year process.
So we reached out to your lovely partner. We said okay we are thinking about children and we feel that we are ready, we are debating it. What do we need to do to get ready?
And just bear in mind just a disclaimer here, I am not a medical doctor but it was all about creating the best environment for the child. So this is now on Geena’s side, my wife’s side or your partner’s side, and that is doing some things that are a change of lifestyle. So, for example, no alcohol and these are practical things. And when we mean environment it’s not where the baby is going to come out.
At this stage this the environment within the body, the biological environment. So that’s some of the work we did. For example, no alcohol, that is a no-brainer. Just bear in mind with this, you know, the stuff that is out there and the stuff that you could be
reading about and researching and some of the resource material that Stina pointed us towards was phenomenal. Because you just have to trust me on this one, you’re not going to find this on a GP’s pamphlet, you know.
Yeah, that’s true.
You are just not going to find it.
She was like a research machine when we went through this, because we had two children she just kept refining it and was quite strict with me about certain things I did as well. There is the conception of the child, which is making sure both parents are really in their optimum place. But then obviously once the baby is conceived it’s really making sure that we nurture the environment, which is exactly what you’re talking about.
Yeah. If I was to give you some tips on stuff that we’ve been reading about, because once you trigger that with us she gave us a whole bunch of resources to go explore. Because I think I asked you the question and you said, this is not a question for me this is a question for Stina, and that was quite funny.
So no alcohol, even for the male this is often overlooked. Even for myself no alcohol. Going through a process of detoxing well before you think about the child. As soup cleanse or something like that, a juice cleanse something that really detoxes and almost resets your body. Ensuring you have the right minerals and vitamins, ensuring you have the prenatal vitamins started at the right time, making sure you have a healthy diet.
And here’s an interesting one and this is one of many, this is really up to you to go do your research because I’m not a medical doctor on this one. But here’s one that really threw us and almost frustrated us because through the research and through some of the books that we were reading, they explained and Geena said to me that she got a bit annoyed about it, which is for example fish. Fish should be stopped five years before you think about having a child and that’s the sufficient time it takes for the mercury in the fish to actually detox out of the body.
Otherwise it detoxes into the child and that has its own complications. I was like, what why is nobody talking about this?
I read something Harms a couple of years back where they tested the umbilical cord of a child and they find they found over 200 pesticides in the umbilical cord. I remember reading it I think it was prior to Liv being born. Now we’d been organic even prior to Savannah, which is our firstborn and then Liv is the second. But we had our blood tested even before that and you’ve been through this process which is live blood analysis. And the lady that tested us said “You’re eating well; you can see that from your blood. This is not something a typical doctor would do, but what I can tell is that you are not organic fully.” So she could see traces of essentially pesticide traces in our
So that was a wake-up call. Mercury as you’ve mentioned is another and teeth is another one. If you’re going to have the mercury taken out your teeth have a very good conversation with your dentist because if it’s not done properly it can concentrate in the body and of course where does it go if you’ve got a child inside you? Or if you’re breastfeeding for example, because it all gets concentrated back through to the baby.
Now, again, we’re not GPs here and we are not trying to give advice. But I think it’s about making people aware of these things, which is what you’re saying from the start.
Yeah, that’s it. And to get ready there is actually some work involved and it’s quite exciting. It’s pretty awesome. It opens a whole new chapter of research and knowledge and exciting material to work through in, and actually understand. Here is a great example actually Ro because if all of that information was overwhelming and it is was like this is too much to deal with right now, that would have been a good indicator that actually we are not ready, we don’t want children.
Whereas when Stina sent us resources we were like, oh my god let’s start working through them. Reading the books, going through certain websites and starting purchasing the vitamins, going through a super cleanse. And if you’ve gone through a soup cleanse for 10 days it is not the most pleasant experience. So to commit to that I think I’ve almost answered my own question. Are we ready to have children?
I think that’s another good indicator, what are you willing to do to get really ready to create the most beautiful environment for the baby to be nurtured in?
I think there’s a caveat to add here and that’s you are talking very much from a conscious person’s point of view here. So the average person is probably not having this conversation right now, even though they’ve thought of having a baby. To some extent, if you’re coming and you’re listening to this and you’re in this world that we are in right now in our ecosystem, there’s a whole level of consciousness that comes into play.
So you’re talking Harms as a conscious young man and as a future parent who is thinking that way. Whereas there are a lot of parents that want to be parents, but they’re probably not thinking about this. They’ll be eating the normal stuff they eat; they might be eating non-organic and all those things, but they may actually genuinely still want to have kids.
We’re not preaching here to say you have to do that. I think what both myself and Harms are saying if you want to really create the best opportunity for your children seriously look at your diet and think about the impact that could have on that baby that’s
sitting inside the mum or will be at some point in the future.
That’s fair Ro.
You’re a contrast to that and I’ve been in that environment and also observed other people in the environment where they say, “We are saying trying for a baby it’s okay. one glass of wine won’t hurt. It’s okay, one beer won’t hurt.” All of these phrases that come out, if you’re conscious you can protect yourself from it. But if you’re not and you’re not surrounded by the right people who are having the right conversations around you. That becomes a challenge, how to say no in those scenarios does become a challenge.
But when you’ve got a whole bunch of people like the Seekardo community you have your back and we’re having a conversation which is stronger than the average conversation out there which is more powerful, more impactful on your life. That’s when you can really start to make some conscious decisions and it’s much more pleasant way. Because if you’re by yourself you almost succumb to that peer pressure and you say actually, “That’s right, one won’t hurt.” Whereas if you’ve got a hundred of us saying actually, it will hurt, don’t do it put that down. Then it’s a pretty cool place to be.
You know what I want to pick up on this, I know we are coming to the end of the podcast, but I think this a good point. I know people who are in the world of professional speaking who profess to be a certain way, and yet their behaviour about what they actually do is different to what they say in a public space. I think what can sometimes cause people to have challenges, again this is a personal belief, an observation, but over the years of coaching and working with people I’ve met a lot of people that struggle have to kids. But they’ve worked through it and I’ve done work with them on a personal development level not a biological or medical level, but just working on their mindset.
If fear is in play. If stress is in play. If you add to that a diet that is not really the most nirvana experience for the child or the conception of the child, any toxicity added to the stress. The biological reaction of the body. I honestly believe from what I have observed with people can definitely have an effect on that conception of the child and certainly long-term health of the child.
That’s again only an opinion, you have to go and seek your advice on this and talk to doctors, but I think also wear a common-sense hat as well. You have to have conviction. I see this in both you and your wife, you have conviction, There’s a lot of people who don’t have that same conviction they bend very quickly under social pressure and without realising it’s all those little factors that ultimately, possibly are leading to them not having or being able to conceive or creating the best environment for their child.
It’s a big subject and it might be controversial for anybody listening, but it’s worth us just
talking about here whilst we are on this call.
I think we are done, that was awesome. If you’re dissecting this and thinking what was the structure in? We went a bit more free flowing today, Ro was coaching me, but if you consciously look at the last part, which is what other factors do you need to do to get ready. There’s a whole bunch of bullet points there and they will be in the show notes at growthtribes.com/podcasts.
That list of things to do will be in the show notes, the personal development. Things like have you considered a soup cleanse, what things to do regarding your finances, have you got the right environment? Just to prompt you and we can’t tell you exactly what to do in those scenarios because your lives are going to be different.
You have to create the right environment for you and what your picture is in your mind. My picture of being a parent is going to be completely different to yours, it’s going to be completely different to Ros. But that question alone should help prompt you to start thinking about a picture. Is that the best way to describe that Ro?
I think so, there are a few things I made a note of it as you were speaking earlier that I thought would be good to just leave people from my side, tell me if that’s okay to do that or if you want me to wait.
No I think now is a good time to almost close this off, end this podcast. It has been a fascinating podcast for myself, because this is so topical for me. So me listening to this it is selfishly for me, this podcast.
Just to wrap up from my perspective with you, has it reinforced your belief that you’re ready now? Some of the questions I asked at the beginning, do you feel as you’re talking this through that you’re absolutely there in terms of ready to have children now?
Yeah, I think the answer is 100% and listening to some of your stories and I think what really and again this has been a long decision. We’ve had this conversation privately over a dinner table as well, so this is a nice way to almost simulate the coaching environment for myself personally yes. And I love the part where you and Stina said actually we are not going to settle; we are not going to do conventionally what people do.
You continue to live the life a millennial wants to live and the service has proven that with your children. And you’re not alone Ro.
If you look at YouTube and these real-life families out there that live their life on their terms, it’s great to see. They’ve made a decision that they’re not going to do the norm and they are a great inspiration for all of us. They really are. As are you and your wife Ro, it gives millennial’s permission to say actually, you can go and continue to do the things you want to do with children. That is a possibility.
To try put it in perspective this year we’ve been to Denmark, the Maldives, we were out in Australia and New Zealand, we’re just about to head off back to Sweden in about a weeks’ time. I think we are in Portugal as well this year, so you can do all those things. Yes, financials come into play. But that’s another conversation for another day and that’s about having a plan for your wealth, which if you haven’t got that you must plug back into us separately, because that’s something that you can get some guidance on.
But make the decision, make it right and then just get behind it and it will happen. In terms of questions there are four, five things that maybe I want to leave everybody with and then I’ll hand it back over to you Harms.
For anyone listening to this thinking, “Oh my gosh I need to talk to my partner about this.” If your partner hasn’t actually listened to this, please get them to have a listen because I think the two of you need to talk about your vision of how it will be to be a parent. Both your visions. Don’t have one person forcing the other. But maybe first of all sit down and just write down on a piece of A4 one-page summary describing, or if you want to go for a longer one, just describe how it would be for you as a parent.
- What would life be like?
- How would it be and feel to be a parent?
- What would you do on a daily basis?
- How do you want them to be?
- How do you want to be with your kids?
- How do you want the relationship between you and your partner and the kids?
I think that’s a great thing to do. Create a vision and then share it together and see and look for the commonality there, really important.
Coupled with that the second one is, what are you excited about?
Because a lot of people talk about, “We’ve got to handle finances, how are we going to manage the time? Who is going to go to work? Are you going to work? Am I going to work?”
But what about just sitting down and saying what excites you about being a parent. What if you looked around some great parents that you know and say, “Right, I love that.” Imagine being able to watch your child walk for the first time, or the first time you get on a plane and they look out the window. Or the first time for example, when my daughters this year saw stingrays, swimming right up to their feet. Or Savannah who
was 10, learning to scuba dive this year in the Maldives. I mean these are things that are just amazing.
What excites you?
How is it going to pay out financially? That’s the third thing I’d say, don’t get too caught up with it, but just think about how’s that going to happen?
Who is going to work?
Do you have any provision for that?
Just think carefully about the type of structure you’re going to have. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur already which is great, maybe you are in a job. Which one of you is going to be the primary income earner? But then, what if you were to put in place some income-producing assets like for example properties, bringing in £500,000, dollars, euros or whatever it is, your currency. Imagine that coming in on a monthly basis. How much would you need to make your life a little bit more comfortable?
The last one is travel. What things would you love to do with your kids?
What experiences would you have loved as a child, what could give your children the chance to do?
Because actually we’ve done that. We’ve made part of our own childhood come to life through our own kids. I think they’re the four or five things that for me would be great things to go away from this podcast.
That’s phenomenal Ro and those will be added to the show notes. So for me, there are no actions from me. I think I mentioned it at in there which is my biggest thing would be to read some of the books, read some of the resources.
And get plugged into some personal development. I think why we are so conscious and why we are asking these questions and even having these discussions, is we’ve started to work on personal development many years ago now. I know that’s just a phrase, personal development, but that’s time management, relationships, wealth management, all of those factors play a part. Health, how we manage our health and once you start to work on those areas over years, it doesn’t happen overnight over years with the right people around you, in the right environment, taking the right information. It just compounds and then you end up having a conversation like myself and Ro have had today, which is quite insightful.
So on that note Ro we shall sign off. What I’d leave this one with is hopefully this podcast potentially creates the next baby boom. We never know.
The notes will be, as always on growthtribes.com/podcast and you can find the show notes on there.
Finally, thanks Ro for this online live coaching session on the Seekardo podcast.
It’s been a pleasure and thanks for playing full out man, that was great.
That’s myself and Ro, signing out.
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