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Discussion on: Developer with New Baby Coming Soon — HELP!

khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic

Let me start with the most obvious.

All babies are different, but worst case, you will loose sleep. Your wife will be able to cope with it better, as she has been dealing with change for much longer than you. And she will adapt quicker.

Just buckle in for the long haul and be ok with the fact that coffee may not solve your off day. People are typically understanding.

As far as making time, that really depends on how you can step away. Find small breaks if possible. The good news is they sleep a lot, so when they are young it’s actually easier assuming they don’t have complication or colic. But start small and often. It could be stepping up to feed with a bottle, to rock the baby to sleep, or change a diaper. Good news, it does not smell until they start eating solids really. Though the first two days it’s like black tar.

Kid first, career second. Focus on paying bills these first few months, use the time to bond. People don’t talk about this often enough, but it’s REALLY hard to bond with the kid sometimes as the father. My wife carried both my kids for 38 weeks. By the time they came, she was vested and bonded right away. With my first, it took me almost 4 months and was when she first smiled at me (it was gas). It will happen, don’t be frustrated, just focus on going through the steps. Skin to skin. Changing diapers. Feeding. Holding and cuddling. Etc. After you bond you will figure out quickly what you can and can’t do. The first few months will actually give you the most time to be honest.

I am a director of engineering. So I am right there with you. Believe it or not, you got this. Focus on keeping your team unblocked and there growth while you work. Then focus on the baby and your wife’s need. Then yours.

It is trade offs. Schedule time for yourself to do what you want to do. Make it transparent with your wife with her agreement. That is your time to do a side project, attend a remote conference, etc. But do it with her. But I would focus on doing this slower at first, and then you can pick the pace up.

For me, I game or watch movies less. My kids are not 3 and 1, and I do find time still. That being said my wife does a lot of her growth, while they are distracted. But her stuff is more portable than mine. So it’s about transparent compromise and your solution may be different.

On sites like dev, it’s easy to think everyone chases there career at all costs. But that isn’t true. Most don’t. It’s sad, but true. People here are trying too. So your in good company. But it’s ok to take a step back for your health and your families.

Also remove your wife is going through something wonderful but difficult. Be sensitive and put them first until you get into a a good place.

johnsalzarulo profile image
John Jacob Author

Wow. So many incredible nuggets here. Thanks fo much for taking the time to write this up. It really means a lot.

To me a huge takeaway (with career) is:

Focus on keeping your team unblocked and there growth while you work.

It's easy to forget how high leverage investing in the team can be 💪

The other part that's so crazy to hear is this idea that bonding can take so long. I did not expect that. That sounds tough.

Again — thanks so much

khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic

And don’t stress about it, you will bond in time. It is different for everyone. For me I never even held a baby or babysat a kid. So it was some real personal growth for me to welcome this thing into my life. But I would not trade it for anything. My oldest is easily becoming my best friend.