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

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Guney Ozsan

I'm father of 2 yo remote developer expecting a second baby in autumn. I'm happy to see you started a thread on this. Nobody told us how hard it is and we caught unprepared in a new city we just moved that we know nobody, no relatives, no friends. It is hard, don't be scared but be prepared so that you can handle it well.

First of all always keep in my mind that everything is temporary (although some of them takes months). You'll have a new baby every week (sometimes everyday). How she needs care and how you live will change a lot during the first year. Things will change a lot. You'll be looking after a different baby every week and every month. On gold advice is update yourself as much as you can. After she is 1 year old, things will stabilize pretty much. It will still be difficult but you will be more certain about expectations from you and your life.

I don't know how this fits life with Covid 19 but seek assistance from relatives, friends, professional day care... whatever you can get.

Forget about the first weeks. Prepare your work in advance that you can disappear for that period. My manager had 2 kids and when he asked about how much time do I need off, I said a couple of days would be good and he laughed for how I underestimated it. He said give us a notice when she is born and then they won't be expecting anything from you until I call them back.

Also prepare your work that first 3 months may be unstable. Prepare your colleagues for more asynchronous work and communication. This is especially important if you cannot get continuous in house help from a relative or a professional. Be open about your situation and update the team about the positive and negative changes in your situation all the time.

About first 3 months her cycle is about 2-3 hours. Sleep-diapers-feed. Rather than a 24 hour cycle adapt to this cycle. You need to fit your sleep, work and housework to this cycle. It is tiresome but doable (just don't forget it is temporary, sometimes it will feel your life will be like this until you die at 80). I should say luckily my work that time was 20h per week and I didn't look for more until 3-6 months old.

First 6 months, when she sleeps a lot and these are extremely valuable times. The more she grows up, the less she will sleep during the day, which means you'll finally get a nice 24 hour cycle, but she will completely occupy someone when she is awake. This means more labor hours for her, less hours for you.

After the first 3 months, biggest challenges are teeth and breastfeeding. Rest well when she is comfortable. When teeth are growing sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night and play with you (or breastfeed) for hours to get relaxed (for a couple of days in a row).

Support your wife. She needs a lot. Honestly you will have hard time psychologically, especially when working from home, there is no possibility to isolate yourself from any drama taking place at home, and this rises tension. On the other hand being available all the time is also a something gold. Talk to a friend, a psychologist, a relative, whomever you can. Not just for support, but don't feel alone when you are having hard times.

After baby, there is no home office. Entirety of the home is hers. Especially after she started walking around 1 year old it is time to move out. She will ask your attention and she will think that you prefer something else over her. Babies are extremely paleo and circadian creatures. It is easier for her if you go and come back with same schedule everyday.

After baby you become extremely picky about what you do with your life. This first feels restraining at the beginning but actually it turns out to be good thing that you don't spend your time (and your life) for anything in low quality. Most people live the most efficient times of their lives after the baby.

You won't notice much when she is only a tiny creature that only needs care, but she will be your best friend when she gradually become a human being over time. Then it is worth the fatigue.

Open invitation to any fathers (or potential ones), at any time you feel like it, if you need any advice, or assistance, or just want to talk and share something write me an email I'll be happy to share.