You never really fully appreciate your parents until you have your first child. The amount of sacrifice they made for us whether it be their careers, thousands of diaper changes, fewer vacations and of course a boat load of cash. Nowadays some people are foregoing parenthood or having fewer children to live more adventurous lives. In other words more time for themselves! This is especially true for gay men where there is no expectation to raise a family. Of course there is nothing wrong with that we just decided to take a more creative path.
Being a stay-at-home dad has been the most rewarding and tiresome time of my life. Sacrifice is something I've learnt over the past six months. Who knew that a baby can't do anything on its own. It's crazy how dependent they are on you. Imagine you didn't change a diaper for a day and what would happen! When will they actually be able to live on their own and for us not to worry about them all the time? Some say never; my best-case scenario is when they turn 18!
So what do I do for the next 18 years that would give me the luxury of staying home with my daughter and make some money to put food on the table? Start a stay-at-home business. We've been watching the show Shark Tank over the past couple of years and thought we could do that! All we had to do was find what we're passionate about and match it with our top skills. After years of brainstorming we think we found our destiny.
I decided to get my real estate license. Buying and selling properties is something that I've always been passionate about. We've bought four properties in the past decade and I wish I’d bought more! Each investment has had a large return on investment. For us probably ten times more than our stocks, mutual funds and retirement accounts. On top of that, my skills as a professional accountant, headhunter and recruiter should transfer to real estate. If I had obtained my license ten years ago, I would have made a ton on commissions. Being a stay-at-home dad now gave me the option to follow my dreams. In fact my own Dad did real estate when I was born and I always looked up to him.
As a former accountant I must warn you of the risk involved with starting your own business. Most startups fail within the first year. It's not an easy task. There is so much competition out there for any type of business but if you follow your passion, add some creativity and hard work, anything is possible. We decided that we needed one stable income for our family; the other parent could take a chance on our dream business venture.
We wanted to stay true to our roots so we called our real estate company Modern Family Realtor. Our slogan is "Trust my Dads with your Real Estate Needs." It may not be attractive to everyone but we wanted to show the world that we're proud to be gay parents. As some of you know it's not an easy journey but we overcame so many obstacles to make it here today as a gay family. If we even tried half as hard in our business venture then I think we have a good chance of being successful too. Not everyone supported us coming out or getting married but I do believe in my heart that most people have accepted our small modern family. It could be the fact that we live in the beautiful multicultural diverse city of Toronto or that Jasmine is the cutest baby in the world!
Time will only tell if starting our own business will be successful but you have to at least give it a try. If the possibility of independence and freedom for your family are within your grasp then take a chance. You can go back to sitting by your desk from nine to five or try to live the Canadian/American dream. You have the best motivator right in front of you smiling and waiting to say their first words. Who wants to miss out on this milestone or the many others to come? I sure don't and I hope my business will flourish so I don't miss any of her big achievements! Go to our website to see how our daughter Jasmine helped us create our real estate practice in Toronto.