RE: About having babies
I was going to leave a comment on Chris's site about his About having babies post, but I'm afraid I'll probably ramble on about this, so I might as well put it here.
I am a proud father of Abbie Loo, now 13 months old. I should probably preface this post with the fact that I've always wanted kids since I was one myself. I always had a knack for entertaining them and being their friend. Even in high school and college if there was a kid (under 5) at a party, I ended up playing with them over any adults. So when I met Julie, it was definitely something we discussed in the first few weeks of dating (we knew we would get married w/in two weeks of meeting). We both knew we wanted them, so it was just a matter of time after we got married.
Let's get to Chris's questions and my answers:
Would my spare time be so drastically reduced that I would no longer be able to work on open source?
I think it depends. Before Abbie was born, the earliest I ever got up was 6 a.m. Now I get up at 4 a.m. and sometimes stay up until 6 a.m. When I do this, it's always to code and it's about 50/50 open source vs. paid stuff. So, you'll still be able to work on open source, but you will have to sacrifice sleeping hours. In the first month that Abbie was born, I worked from home and got the Wrox deal - so I really had no concept of night or day. That's what got me on the 4 a.m. kick - and now I've found it works awesome for productivity-addiction.
Julie does yell at me a lot to "get off the computer" and "take care of your daughter!" She definitely does most of the work, and I feel my computer time is justified because I'm improving my skills to bring home more bacon. I'm not allowed to ever say I'm the one who pays for everything though, so I've never explained my justification. I guess I feel like Abbie won't remember this part of her life, so I can get away with it, but I'd better quit working so much in the next couple of years - it's not healthy.
Would we be able to travel?
This depends on you and your wife. Are you willing and ready to travel with a small child? Julie and I take Abbie everywhere and I think she's better behaved because of it. During the first year, Julie took her on an airplane every month and now she's an angel on the plane. If you're willing to put up with a crabby kid every once in a while on a plane, of course you can travel. They're not like dogs. ;-)
Do we really need any more babies?
No, but we do need more smart babies. Wouldn't you rather have your genes around to shape tomorrow rather than someone else's? Kids are the most rewarding thing in the world - some folks are addicted to it, which probably takes the coolness out of it. Two is good, if you have older friends without kids - they're the ones helping the problem. I know LOTS of folks without kids.
But then again there's the whole area of taking care of children with disabilities.
You sound like a chick - do you fear getting in your car because you might get in a car accident? ;-) I think depends a lot on your family history. If you have a history of disabled kids, you might want to think twice. Adopting is an excellent option - I've thought about doing it simply because I feel sorry for kids w/o parents.
Kids rock, no matter what anyone says. I've never laughed or smiled so much in my entire life before Abbie. We certainly don't have the night (drunk) life like we used to, but we certainly feel better about ourselves and the world. The coolest part is how close it brings your family together (husband/wife, parents, siblings).
And then you have Julie's Aunt and Uncle's opinion - party like a rock start until your late 30s, and then have kids. I prefer to party with my kids and I'd like to retire at 50, shortly after they leave. ;-D
Posted by Jenna on December 17, 2003 at 02:39 PM MST #
Posted by Vanity Foul on December 17, 2003 at 04:22 PM MST #
Posted by Unknown on December 17, 2003 at 04:31 PM MST #
These are all pretty much "they're worth it' comments. Which is okay -- I do understand that there are some experiences you can't simply read about to fully appreciate them. But you and I come from different perspectives on this -- kids are okay, but I don't like them as much as you do. I don't relate to them very well and can get impatient pretty quickly. That said, I hear it can be different when they're your own.
About accepting risk: I don't think it's thinking like a chick to be a little wary of getting into a situation where someone will be entirely dependent on you for the rest of your life. It's also a different type of risk -- when I get into a car or walk down the street I'm assuming risk for myself. It's a different matter entirely when you're assuming risk (and responsibility) for someone else. To some degree I can also control or minimize the risk dealing with driving (e.g., not driving at certain times of the day, keeping away from dangerous situations, etc.). I can't do this with reproduction, beyond keeping myself away from bad chemicals and such.
I really appreciate the perspective. In fact you were one of the people I had in mind when writing about open source coding with a family...
Posted by Chris Winters on December 18, 2003 at 06:06 AM MST #
I'm not saying I'm an expert on any of this, I'm just saying than once we got educated - I felt the risk was minimal.
Posted by Matt Raible on December 18, 2003 at 06:34 AM MST #
I could go on-and-on about how great being a parent is. Yes, I've given up a little: free time, spending money, freedom of speech (my wife won't let me cuss anymore), and other little things. That said, what I've gotten in return is worth so much more. There's not too many things that beat a big 'ol hug from my baby. My marriage is better, my friendships are better and my family time is better.
My wife and I have taken our son on a week long trip to Wyoming including airplane rides and tons of car time. He's been to weddings, sporting events, nice restaurants, parties, dozens of trips to and from Houston. He doesn't slow us down and he doesn't let us slow him down :).
I've been promoted since having a child, my wife has been promoted, we've moved into a nice, new house. I've changed a zillion diapers (actually my wife has, I've probably done 100,000).
Again, I've given a little, but got so much back that I highly recommend parenthood. I have a horrible website that is really nothing more then baby pics for the grandparents that does a so-so job of documenting our first year with our son.
Posted by Erik Weibust on December 18, 2003 at 08:06 AM MST #
> kids are okay, but I don't like them as much as you do.
If you have the slightest interest in children and you are just not confident or scared, you may be pleasantly suprised at the positive influnce that childern have over you, however if you know yourself that well, stay clear, ...
All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhood completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair. - Mitch Ablom -The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Posted by Greg Kedge on March 19, 2004 at 10:59 AM MST #
Posted by Fredrick Ronaldsen on April 22, 2004 at 11:28 PM MDT #