I retired a little over 6 months ago at age 43.  Being so young, I still have kids at home.  Two teenage boys.  I have learned that it’s pretty hard to be retired when you are raising kids.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys and enjoy being their dad…most of the time.

Let’s face it, teenagers are a pain in the ass.  They are surly, moody and argumentative.  They think they know everything and anything you say is utter rubbish.  It’s almost like a job!  If it’s not one thing it’s another.  Grades, girls, athletics, chores, you name it.  If I’m not giving a lecture, I’m preparing for the next one.

Not that I’m a real disciplinarian or anything, though I do a pretty good R. Lee Ermey impression when the situation calls for it.  I’m actually pretty easy going, though I do love pontificating on the merits of hard-work and responsibility.  Most of the time we have a lot of fun.  They’re good kids, a lot like I was in many ways and wildly different in others.  I’m sure Jen, my wife, feels the same more or less, though she does get sick of all the testosterone.

Besides the job of raising them, there is the fact were kind of…well, raising them.  We need the bigger house, satellite TV, our 5 computers (I have two), etc.  They cost a lots of friggin’ money.  They drink enough milk to support a small dairy!  Really stretches our budget.  Still, that’s not the real problem, if you can call it that.

Out lifestyle is the issue, or lack there of.  We can’t really pursue our dreams, not all of them anyway.  We are somewhat tied to they house and them.  Sure, we can go on little daytime adventures when they are in school and they’re old enough to hang out at home in the evenings if we want to go out to dinner, for instance.  But it’s not like we can chuck it all and move into an RV or go on a trip on a whim.

I’m not complaining, just making a point.  I’ve moved into an intermediate phase, not quite retired.  Still it beats raising two boys AND going to work.  Best part is I get to travel and see them play sports and be there for them when they need me.  They’re way past the “mommy” years and need a steady, male presence.  I’m glad I was able to retire when I did.  I hope that it makes a difference in their lives as much as it has mine.

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