re: Hi, I'm Michael. I'm a dad, work remote, developer now working as a designer, love full stack JavaScript + side projects. AMA! VIEW POST

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re: Got any funny stories about being a WFH (work from home) dad developer? Also general wisdom for an eventual parent who plans to WFH while taking ca...
 

Nice that you spelt out WFH ;) As far as funny stories go, we all know about the BBC dad where his kids walked in on him. Those happen quite often during stand ups. It was embarrassing at first, but then I embraced it. Being a dad and having my kiddos burst in the door to tell me they need a hug or drew something for me has often been the highlight of my day.

WFH has been a blessing since working in tech, all you really need is a laptop with decent battery life and a phone plan with tethering and you're good to go. I've had stand ups while shopping at Costco, have worked out of my minivan while being on road trips and been able to do things with my family and say that I was there for so many awesome memories.

As far as wisdom goes, just let work and life ebb and flow through out the day. The more I tried to set a hard line between the two, the more it stressed me out and the more it stressed out my family. It's all just life and if you can make it work, it really is an awesome thing.

I also recommend taking notes. Because as a parent, I'm lucky if I even remember what I ate for breakfast. My current setup is creating a new markdown file in a Dropbox folder and writing notes and reminders in it throughout the day. This allows me to regroup when I have to step away and remember and share with my team when I sync with them during daily stand ups. I also used Git Standup when I was on engineering teams making daily git commits.

WFH as a parent isn't for everyone, but if the company you work for or if you're a freelancer and can make it happen, it is quite rewarding. It's not easy filtering out crying babies in the background and having to step away so many times during the day while they are young, but if you're like me and hated the fact you were missing so many of your kids' firsts, you'll gladly make it work.

 

As far as wisdom goes, just let work and life ebb and flow through out the day. The more I tried to set a hard line between the two, the more it stressed me out and the more it stressed out my family. It's all just life and if you can make it work, it really is an awesome thing.

This is interesting, it runs counter to just about every WFH article I have read. How do you keep yourself from working too many hours or losing focus on your tasks? I love hearing differing perspectives!

Ha!

Working too many hours isn't a problem. Our family is pretty routine so I work within the constraints. Meaning I work normal business hours. But if I need to step away, I do and just make it up in the evening. The wife and kids will keep me in check to make sure I eat and get off work on time.

As for the focus part, as mentioned above:

I also recommend taking notes. Because as a parent, I'm lucky if I even remember what I ate for breakfast. My current setup is creating a new markdown file in a Dropbox folder and writing notes and reminders in it throughout the day. This allows me to regroup when I have to step away and remember and share with my team when I sync with them during daily stand ups. I also used Git Standup when I was on engineering teams making daily git commits.

 

No problem Andy! Can't wait to hear some of your stories in the future :)

 

Sometimes the kids intentionally join stand up. Today my youngest joined. Mom was vacuuming the other room and she didn't like it, she's 1. She has the unofficial title of webdev trainee

Awesome :) What's even more fun is when other devs have kids as well and everyone joins in on the fun!

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