One year ago I became a father.
While this event made me the happiest man alive, it also carried a bunch of challenges.
I've always been an advocate of morning routines, meditation, sports practices and other healthy habits regarding productivity and personal balance.
Despite my efforts this last year all these routines have been paused because I couldn't find the right way to make it work. I've been wondering a long time about this and would like to know your opinions or silver bullet to have both these healthy habits while keeping your family balance in check.
Here is what a typical day looks like for me:
- 6:00 Waking Up, shower, perform some home chores
- 6:30 <-> 7:30 Leave to work: I have one hour of commute in train letting me check newsfeeds, catch up some discussions on slack, read a book or even play my Switch from time to time but no substantial work (coding)
- 12:30 <-> 13:30 Lunch break: One hour basically trying to learn something while eating (currently Japanese). My company network policy prevents me to do much and I don't have a personal hotspot... Even with Pomodoro stuff the amount of coding you can do within one hour and controlled network access is fairly limited.
- 18:00 <-> 19:00 Go home. The commute is basically the same as in the morning, watch videos and read. Once I arrive I take the relay of my wife to take care of our baby while she prepares dinner. Sometimes the contrary (I love cooking)
- 20:00 Dinner: Try to catch up with my wife about her day and mine and upcoming plans for the weekend of the baby
- 20:30 <-> 21:30 Baby Time: I play with my daughter, bath her, try to calm her down for sleep while my wife cleans up and do some chores (and vice versa)
- 21:30 <-> 23:00 Finish the chores, continue the discussions with my wife and if the stars align and it's a full moon the baby doesn't wake up and I can get some personal time to do real coding, writing and concentration stuff. (In practice 2 hours a week). Finally going to sleep for another day.
This year as a result, as a father it's been an amazing experience and my daughter is the cutest thing in the world. But I did make some big tradeoffs on my personal routines. My personal projects and blog have been on hold for a while, I used to run marathons but training has been a challenge and I'm getting out of shape. My meditation routine is often canceled within 10 minutes by tears or unforeseen events...
I did look online for "Routines for parents" but it mainly focuses on building a routine for your child ... Not how to manage the parents' routines while parenting
Here are my challenges :
- How do you handle stuff like morning/night routines as parents? My wife would gladly do routines too but someone has to take care of the baby. Do you do rotation throughout the week and weekend?
- I live in Japan, where the concept of babysitting does not exist. Even if we manage to get the baby handled by someone, it's a one-off thing and hardly becomes a routine
- I do read a LOT of content about routines, deep work, and healthy habits but when I read these authors saying they have a family I can't help but think "Where are your kids while you're doing a 4-hour deep work and going to the gym?" Does this mean that his/her partner takes full load of family life while they're doing their things?
- Even if someday I do find some time to do personal development or training, it's very unlikely that I can reproduce this miracle the next day and be back to a routine.
Am I missing something? Doing something wrong or should just get up even earlier to get those things done? Am I aiming too high as a one-year-old baby girl father?
You out there having 1, 2, 3 kids or even more, I DEEPLY RESPECT YOU AND LOVE YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART