Kids are time drainers

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
UK-with-kids
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by UK-with-kids »

Lemur wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:24 pm
I found that by 4, I can pretty much leave him to his own devices during the day and my spouse and I check in on him occasionally when I'm working from home. As I'm typing this, he is sitting on the couch eating and messing with some crayons...quiet and busy :) Routine is key - Before, I start my remote work for the day, I take him out to walk a trail for an hour...come home; he plays with Mom and I work. Then at lunch, take him on another walk / play in backyard, and then after dinner do some playtime as my spouse goes to do her work.
I was interested that your 4 year old can be left to his own devices. That triggers a bit of a memory for me as I think my first child was a bit like that. But my second definitely not! Children are all so different - they are, after all, mini-humans. I think this is where the know-it-all theories and the parenting books go wrong, putting unnecessary guilt onto parents about what they're doing wrong.

On the other hand there do seem to be some universals, like having routines so they know what to expect. As you mentioned, starting with an activity seems to make them happier and more able to make their own entertainment for a while afterwards in "downtime". Whereas if you don't do anything at all with them they seem to get steadily crazier and crazier as the day progresses.

nomadscientist
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by nomadscientist »

UK-with-kids wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:23 pm
I think it's important to understand that children are always going to be incredibly demanding! It's something that's hard to imagine if you haven't been responsible for kids, and sometimes well meaning advice from non-parents can be a bit... err... infuriating?
Sure, I don't know what I'm talking about on the ground level, and am not trying to give advice :)

I'm just skeptical of beliefs which turn on "I never investigated, yet strongly believe it to be so," especially when they become fashions. Other poster has already implied I may have bad relationship with my parents, yet my prejudice is that hovering parents would result in social maladjustment later and either a back reaction in adulthood or even more pathological behaviour like trying to continue such a dependent relationship into adulthood. I'm not claiming that such parenting actually causes such outcomes, it would just be my prejudice if I had to guess. I think this may also have been the standard prejudice not very long ago.

That is not to say there aren't other reasons, perhaps purely practical, or perhaps just preference, to parent in that way - I wouldn't know.

BookLoverL
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by BookLoverL »

For me it's not that I've never seen any science about it, just that I've seen the science at some point somewhere within the last decade of my life and my brain doesn't usually bother to remember the specifics of data once it's done its job of convincing me of something, only the general principles. But I've definitely read some things at some point about emotional problems caused by lack of attention in early childhood.

I'm not a parent either, so can't really give advice based on experience for young kids. Most of my experience with kids is with teenagers, since I've done some work in secondary education.

Fiddle
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Fiddle »

If you can get external support you probably should and as this seems to hinge on winning over you partner, maybe listen in for where her reservations are coming from and tackle them.

Otherwise I think you need to push back and try to ring fence your time more.

If that doesn't work welcome to my world! I've been furloughed and while I saw this time as an opportunity to develop a new income stream my reality has been daddy day care responsibilities have expanded to fill the time I'm available, which is all the time! Makes me laugh with frustration sometimes, trying to get a something done only to denied because a nappy needs changing or whatever.

It's a tough trying to keep up everything you had before being a parent while taking on everything that comes from becoming a parent. Tbh I found for me it didn't work and I had to adjust my priorities. Resulting in accepting the situation, the new limitations and weirdly the new freedom too. My mindset shifted as I couldn't take things as seriously in work or socially anymore children have to come first, so if I need to tune out or park some work to attend to a pooey nappy and whatever else is required that's my new number 1task at that moment. Also I realised if I'm doing it begrudgingly that's what I'm putting over to the kid, so I do my best to be smiling and finding it funny/ridiculous, it wont last forever.

Alphaville
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Alphaville »

re: reseach...it’s basic knowledge and needs no research that the first 2 years of one’s life are the most vulnerable and requiring the highest degree of attention as well as physical and emotional contact. No?

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelop ... pment.html

As for pre-school development, I learned from conversations with teachers that early linguistic interactions are essential for vocabulary, literacy, brain development, etc. from the get-go. Lacking that, I was told one will never catch up.

Anyway, since the child’s needs are the primary concern here, the best option other than one parent stopping work seems to be finding someone to assist with caretaking during business hours, given that both parents are busy and/or constrained in their ability to do so.

A lot of working couples with no family help use day care. Which can be expensive and/or hard to find.

Nothing wrong with looking for help. All young parents need help, particularly in our weird times. Plus socializing with others is a good thing. But yes, all young parents need help.

I grew up with a loving stay at home mom, an attentive maid/nanny, nearby grandparents and great grandparents and cousins, plenty of interaction with my dad on mornings, afternoons/evenings and weekends, and still managed to give everyone hell :lol:

Seppia
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Seppia »

Thanks one above average salary coupled with basic ERE principles, we can happily be a single income family and still save a fairly large percentage of our salaries.
If DW were still working we would probably get to full FI faster, but as Jacob said, we know we can afford anything, but not everything.

I suggest the OP confronts his/her significant other fast about the situation, because it feels like it’s nearing a point of no return.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

mooretrees wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:59 am
We took care of our baby then which was manageable. But now that he's able to stand with assist, he's able to reach and grab more often which he's taking advantage of. And we have to watch him if he's standing for too long as he'd fall and hurt himself. He's also teething now, so he's crying more often.

My wife doesn't want a nanny, as she doesn't trust them, especially with the pandemic going on, she's a lot more paranoid over hygiene.

I don't have to work full time, but the current arrangement doesn't allow me to have focused, undisturbed time and space that allows me to actually be productive.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

Alphaville wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:47 am
i don’t know about summoning strangers in the time of covid, but yeah sounds to me like you need an au pair. surely cheaper than divorce lawyers :?

(i’m not trying to make fun of the situation, but it looks like tension has been brewing, and best to nip that in the bud. healthy compromise is a must in all marriages.)
Definitely.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

UK-with-kids wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:23 am
I agree. Before I got married and had kids, I would treat married people's reasons for not making more income as excuses. Now, I understand better that it's not all excuses, there are definitely some half-truths in there.

I feel like kids changes a lot in your life. For me, I think my life before kids and having kids is at least 70% different. But then again, you really start feeling for and loving your kid. It's a trade-off but it's a good trade-off for me. Even my wife who was very hesitant to have kids, now loves our son very much. Just that, I feel that not having kids shouldn't be "frowned upon". The whole idea of FIRE/ERE is about ourselves, and if you choose not to have kids, at least you can hear it from me, that you aren't missing out much as well.

As for the network of parents, yeah, we do have something like that where I live. We did try to join, but the community of parents with kids around my son's age seem not be very active though. We do read up a lot on parenting stuff and willing to invest in stuff that makes our lives' easier or aids our son in growing and hitting all those milestones. So far, he seems to be progressing at the front end of the curve and that's heartening. Maybe we'll try connecting with others once he starts attending preschool.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

Frita wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:14 am
Yeah. I wonder how me and my wife would feel if our son doesn't want to be close to us anymore. lol.

I'm definitely the rational and calm one. When we first got started parenting, whenever my wife loses patience, I'll be the one taking over. She understands my son much better now.

I do hope to have another kid, but as of now, I am definitely not considering it. Not sure if we can handle 2 at the moment.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

jacob wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:49 am
I definitely advocate being FI first then having kids. I can definitely see both working parents just outsourcing the parenting which I definitely do not feel is healthy. Thankfully I learned about FI early and manage to grow my business to a level where I don't have to be working all the time before I had kids. Just that right now, I hope to be making more money and afford a bigger place for my family.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

nomadscientist wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:24 pm
Is the constant supervision of children something truly necessary? I do not remember all, or even much, of my unstructured time being with my parents growing up. But all my friends who have kids now talk like they have an obligation to be entertaining their children every hour of the day during the lockdown (and consequently are going crazy). It's possible my memory is faulty, or that fashions have changed.
It's not that much about entertaining them, but making sure they don't injure themselves and when they are done entertaining themselves with their toys, that's when they start crying, and you'll have to come in.

Once kids are about move, they are always moving and reaching for things they shouldn't and putting them into their mouth or running, falling and injuring themselves. Combine all these with their cries of hunger, soiling their diapers and feeling sleepy while not being able sleep, and the math of constantly being disrupted every 15 mins adds up.

When I was growing up, I was taken care by a nanny for most of the day.

Alphaville
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Alphaville »

catpepper wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:25 pm
I do hope to have another kid, but as of now, I am definitely not considering it. Not sure if we can handle 2 at the moment.
don’t feel bad about this. my parents were planning on 3 kids, but soon after my little brother was born, my mom threw the towel.

and this was with her staying at home, plus a maid, plus family help, etc.

for a dose of reality, watch some old reruns of malcolm in the middle :lol:

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

Lemur wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:24 pm
So far, I'm past the sleep-deprived stage. My son started sleeping throughout the night about 2 months ago. I have a friend who's son still can't sleep throughout the night at 15months old. Can't imagine how tiriing it must be for him.

Right now, I am still seeing my savings grow. Hopefully it stays that way as he grows up.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

Alphaville wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:42 pm
don’t feel bad about this. my parents were planning on 3 kids, but soon after my little brother was born, my mom threw the towel.

and this was with her staying at home, plus a maid, plus family help, etc.

for a dose of reality, watch some old reruns of malcolm in the middle :lol:
Can't image how some people could have 5 kids. lol.

Frita
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Frita »

catpepper wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:47 pm
Can't image how some people could have 5 kids. lol.
The older kids help out. My spouse’s older sisters took care of him while his mom was out doing her thing.

Alphaville
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:11 pm
The older kids help out. My spouse’s older sisters took care of him while his mom was out doing her thing.
same thing as my dad, last of 7, raised by older sisters

they needed farm labor in those days :lol:

(but seriously, it was like that.)

UK-with-kids
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by UK-with-kids »

Something that links the questions around how many kids you might have, and whether you decide to outsource childcare, is the important factor of kids having interaction with their peers. The main reason that parenting is so very hard is that a nuclear family lacks wider support. In traditional/tribal societies (basically how we evolved and lived before we started farming say 10,000 years ago) there would be a large family group to help out which included experienced parents. And also lots of other kids for them to play with, whether or not related to them. One reason that activities for kids, daycare set-ups and so on are so good for a smaller family unit is that it partially replicates that "natural" situation. It's not just about outsourcing to avoid parental responsibility.

catpepper
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by catpepper »

Yeah. That's very true.

reepicheep
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Re: Kids are time drainers

Post by reepicheep »

I live in an intentional community.

There are ~8-12 children there (I dunno exactly), from 1 year to adolescent.

The pre-teens and toddlers are mostly self-supervised and wander around in a pack. I dont think formalized school is happening. Occasionally an adult leads a structured activity. I rarely see our teens. One fixes a lot of bikes, stealth like, often in the middle of the night. The baby gets handed around daily, lots of people help with childcare.

Two kids recently "ran away" together. They got about five miles out before they knocked on some door and said they were lost. Cops brought them back. They aren't allowed to play together unsupervised anymore.

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