9

We have 1.5 years baby. We are proud parents. But after my baby entered in our life every thing has changed. Day by day we are getting less time for ourselves. we are even getting less time to sleep. Earlier our life was very planned and organized. I have time for my workouts, meditation, reading books and other personal stuff. Now I am hardly getting time to sleep. The same is the case with my wife as well.

Lately I feel it is impacting my productivity at both work and personal life as well.

How to manage things when we have kid and get some time for our selves?

migrated from productivity.stackexchange.com May 19 '15 at 10:21

  • It will get better. Meanwhile, swap out a few hours caring for the child so that you each have some "me" time. Try to identify a relative or friend or babysitter who can handle the child for a few hours at a time so you and your wife can have "us" time. – mkennedy May 18 '15 at 20:18
  • While this does come under the broad scope of Productivity.SE, this will gain better answers from the experienced folks over at Parenting.SE. – Rory Alsop May 19 '15 at 10:21
  • 1
    Take a look at Balancing children's needs with a parent's own needs for some initial suggestions. – Acire May 19 '15 at 11:35
12

These things help me:

  1. Time. Things get easier again when your kids get bigger. They'll never go back to the way they were... but they will get easier. Keep telling yourself that. It might even be true.
  2. Acceptance. You've got less time for you, work, etc. and that's just they way it is. Learn to see the time you invest in your child as more valuable than the time you spend at work etc. (There are relatively few people who can do my job, but just one who can be my son's Dad). I guess Mindfullness might help with this, but if you havn't learned it by now then you're too late, so you'll just have to learn to accept that, too.
  3. Involvement. Involve your baby in what you're missing. Pram-runs. Baby as free weights. Meditation on Kids TV (quite profound to the sleep deprived). Plus you get to re-live some of the best bits of your own childhood when you share them with your own kids, which can be awesome. LEGO Star Wars, anyone? (And don't tell me 18 months is too young for things like that. Nobody wants to know that just now.)
  4. Baby sitters. Family, friends and paid sitters and random old ladies in the park. All good, except the last one.
  5. Organization. Babies really stretch your organization skills, but the skills you'll learn now will never leave you. 10 years on and I can still change a nappy, eat my dinner and watch the evening news all at the same time (although I have to tell you, in my job a Software Engineer, this isn't as useful as skill as you might think).
  6. Share the Load. Do what you can to give your spouse a break. This may make little sense when you're at the end of your own teather, but the sacrifice is an investment in your relationship. Or so my wife told me.
  7. More Kids. Don't have any. But then, someone probably told you that about the first one, and you didn't listen then, did you? :-)
  • Your last tip should be the first one. Failing that, the reader should follow the rest. – learner101 May 8 '18 at 10:33
6

You write that your day used to be very planned and organized, and that you had time for workouts, meditation, reading books and other stuff. In addition, your question was migrated here from Personal Productivity.SE.

My first guess would be that you didn't have much slack built into your routine. Might that be right?

I am all for improving your organizational skills, as most other answers here suggest. But if you are already an experienced SE user, you likely already are pretty organized, and you may have hit a point of diminishing returns here. In addition, if you don't have much slack in your schedule (note that there is no TV in my example above), then there is little fat to cut.

The day only has 24 hours. If so far you used 8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, 1 hour each for your commute, for your workout & personal hygiene, for surfing StackExchange, for talking to your spouse, for meditation, and for doing chores (6 hours in total), and finally read books for two hours every day, then you have planned for every single one of these 24 hours.

Time does not grow on trees, and there are only very few "grownup" things that you can actually do together with a kid. Yes, as Kramii suggests, you can do a workout by running with a pram or weightlifting your toddler, but this is neither a very good workout nor really quality time with your kid - it's a least bad combination.

Bottom line: some "grown-up" activities may need to go if you want to have N quality hours with your kid(s) every day.

Sorry for being blunt about this. I have twins, and I had a hard time learning this. I had exactly the problem above: I am already pretty organized, and I had few low-worth activities in my daily routine that I could cut. I had to cut down on "grown-up" activities, and I still miss some of those. I have reduced my reading time, I haven't learned a new language in years, I used to publish scientific articles and cut down on that a lot, and for a while I reduced my job to 80%. I honestly wish somebody had told me that openly and brutally earlier on - it might have made the transition easier on all of us, including my wife.

So: take stock on where you are. Look at what you are doing at this point. Decide what "grown-up" activities you want to keep (communication with your spouse should be high on that list), which activities you want to cut back on, which activities you can meaningfully do together with your kids, and which activities you will need to suspend for the time being.

On the bright side, some "kids'" activities are a lot of fun for grown-ups, too ;-), and as your kid gets bigger, you will be able to introduce him to the things you cut back on. For instance, my twins are starting music lessons now, and I finally got back to the piano after a multi-year hiatus. And of course as your kids get older, you will be able to get back to (some) activities you had to suspend for a few years. Take a long term view of things.

And of course do get as organized as possible.

5

Kramii nailed it and I have a confession to make.

My first daughter 5 years back became the reason I truly started to learn how to organize my life. From a person with a lot of personal space yet not much of achievement, I became a person who had no personal space and far lesser time due to fatherhood yet with a lot of achievement and successful years.

However, now after three kids and 5 years later, I feel more organized and far more productive as I know my world is on fire and I have to serve my family with the best and thus I respect time so much that I regularly wake up at 5AM to focus on 'my' time and have started working on productivity hacks that made me achieve more in less: GTD, Sienfield, StackExchange and Habit lists all add up. I also picked up a job that is very respectful of office hours and thus my goal is to achieve all my professional tasks of the day within the 8 hours of work, no leverage to sit overtime as that time is booked elsewhere.

Social Media is limited, I don't pick up fights at work or home anymore simply because the big picture is that our time is really short, we better make the best of it. Be in the present moment to retain and improve focus.

Trust me, you will learn to even do high concentration work with kids screaming around and creating chaos that would wilt the best of us. You will come out strong and have the potential to win it!

2

I really agree completely with Kraami and Atif Abdul-Rahman. Adding few points of mine. Firstly I would like to say that I too am sailing in the same boat as of yours. I have a 2 year old son. I too had the same issues as you do but over a period of time I tried various things and got adjusted upto certain level. Below points based on my own learnings

  1. Prioritizing solves major of these things. So first prioritize among the things that you want to do
  2. At every stage of life, we do certain things more and certain things less and certain things we just stop. During childhood we used to play a lot outside, play TV-Video Games, Watch Movies. During college days hangout with friends. Now what if I say that after I started working I am not at all getting time to play Video Game or to hangout with friends or I can't watch a movie every night? You won't say that right? Because it's priority and maturity. You now know that Doing Job is imp. Thing. In the same way, after having kids, bringing up the kids is TOPMOST priority.
  3. Plan wisely. You want to do workouts. But not getting time. See if you can do cycling to your work. If yes then you will get 2 things done in 1. If you are commuting by bus, then try to listen to News or try hearing some AudioBooks so that you'll utilize the time in gaining more knowledge
  4. Reduce the time spent watching TV/Serials or with Facebook etc. They are huge timewasters/timekillers. May be earlier you had plenty of time, so you could afford, but not now.
  5. Your kids are your biggest assets. Your future. So it's equally important to give the time for them as you spend time in your day job. You are putting Fixed Deposit in the Bank called as LIFE, by investing time with your kid
  6. Don't try to do everything by yourself. Like Laundry, Ironing, Cooking etc. Whenever possible, try giving for Laundry or Ironing and enjoy time with your kid. Once in a while go out of lunch/dinner with your wife. Enjoy the moments. Surely it adds to your budget, but it's worth it. Just make sure that you are not over-doing it.
  7. Check if you can seek help from your parents or in-laws or any close relatvies, who can come and stay with you people for some months or weeks. Have that on rotation basis
  8. Very important. Make good neighbors and be very friendly with them. Most of the time, if there are any aged people in your neighborhood, they would love to spend time with your kids. And that will help you and your wife both to get some good time.

I hope these will help you find some good ways and wish you have lots of time to spend with your kid :-). All the very best.

1

The problems you describe are pretty normal for couples who have children. Brace yourself -- they get worse as you get more of them. It's a new lifestyle which you sooner or later will be accustomed to.

What you can do to improve the situation is to be even more strict about keeping everything in order, including your calendar and to do-list, because forgetting or not finding things can result in a lot of wasted time and anxiety. In some jurisdictions you are legally allowed to work fewer hours (for a salary reduction) when you're a parent; you may want to consider that.

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