All things sparkly and beautiful

Editor's Letter, Parenting

Life as a diluted company

In my previous life as a stockbroker, one of the most dreaded words (other than “insolvency”) is stock dilution.

Company A acquires/merges with Company B by issuing its own shares to pay for the transaction. The existing stockholders’ shares often end up getting diluted.

It’s a bit like that with marriage and parenting, you know?

You started out as a growing company with great prospects. As adults, we have been taught to be independent and self assured. After years of self actualisation and organic growth, kicking goals along the way, you believed your company is now ready for something else. You decided to expand and move onto the next chapter. So you decided to get married and open your great life to another individual. You just gave half of your stock away to pay for this great transaction.

You, then, owned 50% of the stock.

After an initial period of trial and error, you believed you had ironed out the teething issues and consolidated your interest following the merger. Again, it’s time to move on because, we have been taught that doing well is not good enough. You have to achieve growth year on year and aim at doing better! Right?

So here comes the baby! It was supposed to be a 50/50 joint venture between company A and Company B. But Company B has decided to structure its own payment terms so you’ll have to shoulder the costs of this new venture the traditional way until Company B has them worked out. You have just given another 50% of your already diluted control of your company. You’re now left with 25% of what you began with.

If you thought marriage was hard, God, being a parent is way harder.

In a marriage, you are at least dealing with an occasionally logical man/man-child whom you can reason with. In parenting, you are dealing with a logically irresponsive child who can’t even articulate his thoughts. You can’t predict your life – in fact, you can’t even predict your day anymore. If I was an analyst and I had to value this stock, I wouldn’t be able to put a number on it. The Beta for this company has just shot through the roof for Christ’s sake.

You’re not half the person you used to be – because you are now carrying another tiny person on your shoulders.

But you try to carry on as if you weren’t carrying anyone anyway. And you keep trying even if there are hiccups. Most days are hard. Some days are just so, so hard. 

Deal with it, Adela. Just deal with it.

As I write this mumbling piece in bed, I have a screaming child with tonsillitis who has been kicking and grabbing me out of frustration. Two bouts of tonsillitis in 6 weeks – both from daycare.
Sometimes you wonder if all the sacrifices are worth it. You always wonder, but the answer is always “yes”.

So let’s not dwell too much on the fact that you had to take a video conference call yesterday in your Dolce & Gabbana jacket and snot-stained pyjama pants (with holes). No one knew except you. 

Doesn’t make the juggle any easier. But if I can’t deal with the daily struggles with super human determination, hopefully a sense of humour will get me through the day.

May the force be with you. xx

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