By neildaemond, an 'any-stack' hacking grasshopper.
Taking notes while tinkering

Step 1: Find The Time

My newborn son arrived 3 weeks ago, weighing in at a whopping 9.4 lbs. My poor wife battled out 30 hours of labor, and finally the doctors insisted that she have a C-section. Now we’re learning as we go and trying to keep our heads above water.

Surprisingly, I have been able to get coding sprints in and accomplish things here and there. Sleep has been scarce, however.

At this point, I have a strong desire to be both of two things:

  • A good father and husband
  • A hacker who can productively make cool things

Step 1 for me will be to find the time.

“The timing isn’t right” -> News Flash!! There’s never a good time to feed, nap and change diapers 24 hours a day without ever getting any good rest.

The way I see it is that if you’re really driven to do something, then there’s no way to press the pause button. The only way to do something else as well is just to do it simultaneously. If you care enough, you will find the time to just do both and not allow for any other distractions.

I’m fortunate enough to work from home most days and in and out of client offices on others. A flexible schedule has allowed me to prepare for the coming child and to be there to help with nappies and support my wife as she takes on enduring tasks like breast feeding. Mothers’ are capable of showing tremendous physical and mental strength.

However, working from home and keeping a flexible schedule doesn’t mean that I have a lot of spare time, but the contrary. While people assume I’m always available, my timetables get filled up faster than ever, and it takes discipline to prioritize the right things. I’m often glued to my desk for days while I grind hard on a development project. I enjoy doing so, getting lost in an interesting problem, but it makes me far from sociable so I try to allow for lighter periods while planning out a project.

Regarding my new status as a parent, it’s hard to believe that I will be responsible for my sons well-being, and that he will need to be under supervision at all times for many more years to come. Therefore, I will need to try and learn how to splice my workload up more and get more things done during any ‘parenting downtime’.

Over the next month or so, I will be diving into a few projects while simultaneously working on being the best dad and husband I can be. I hope I can implement and talk about any strategies which will allow me to better balance parenting and programing/hacking.