{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "About to switch firms from federal / no travel to commercial / travel with two young kids (under 5). Looking for quick list of recommendations and survival tips to make this transition as a father.", "post_id": "5dcd86423b5751002be7a836", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 0, "bowl_id": "599aea2d2a4d83001641590b", "bowl_name": "Consulting Dads" }

About to switch firms from federal / no travel to commercial / travel with two young kids (under 5). Looking for quick list of recommendations and survival tips to make this transition as a father.

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I have similar advise as above. I have one 2.5 year old. 1) FaceTime is key, but also be patient when your spouse is stressed and FaceTime is harder for them. It might not work if the house is chaotic and you’re going to have to give it up in that instance. 2) something has to give. Related to the comment above, when I’m home I’m as present as possible. I’ve had to give up my own hobbies to make sure I’m making up for time away. I also work much less when I’m home. I have a relatively normal work day, but it’s light. I take my son to daycare and pick him up every day when I’m in town. 3) also similar to above, you’re going to have to do a significantly disproportionate amount of the work when you are home. It’s freaking exhausting, but if you want your marriage to survive you’re just going to have to be tired all the time and give your spouse the breaks when you are home. Take your breaks on the road and go to sleep early. 4) For us, communication is key. You need to be proactive and diligent about communicating so things don’t start to slip. 5) just be aware that it’s hard. As long as you both approach it acknowledging that this isn’t easy but that you’re in it together, you will be ok.

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I'm glad someone sees the same challenges I do

(1) Agree with both above. Do not underestimate the toll this takes your wife is taking raising kids alone. It’s REALLY hard work. So make sure she knows you appreciate the work she is doing takes, and help balance wherever balance can be found. (2) We got a part time nanny for half a day a week on Weds (nanny makes it sound fancy — really just a scheduled recurring babysitter) to help give my wife a moment of adult life and sanity. (3) Also, it will be really hard on you, too. Especially on the hard client engagements where your soul drops out on the flight Monday morning. (4) FaceTime is a godsend.

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I’ve already scanned this bowl and found a few good threads. This is right move for our family at this time and wife will be able to stay at home so appreciate comments focused on those tips (FaceTime, ground rules for team, maintaining weekend presence, etc)

So I have one kid under two with a second on the way. Not the same situation, but I'll share what's making it work for us. FaceTime/video chat is a big help. Having my wife and kid be able to see my face and hear my voice destresses the house quite a lot. When I'm home on Fridays, business hours are business hours, but I do all diaper changes. I wake my kid up every morning, and put him to bed every night im home. The goal is to lighten the load that your wife is about to take on while you aren't there. How that applies to kids that are older I leave to someone else to answer. The challenge I haven't solved yet is a real balance of taking on all that and finding some time for myself and my hobbies when home. I can't be on a sports team because I travel, I can't bring my Xbox, I can't woodwork, I can't do lots of things. Those outlets are limited to the time I have at home and are absolutely secondary to my family, but they are my outlets and need some time dedicated. Hope this helps

Appreciate the detailed responses! Thanks C1 - D1 - SM1. What’s encouraging is before this our arrangement was her + kids M-F and work weekends (medical field) which meant I’ve been doing work M-F then kids all weekend for a while now. What gives me angst is my oldest already doesn’t like me going to work - even 4hr away seems too much for him. So dealing with this transition and his feelings will be the emotional hard part. The physical hard part will be caring for the younger (still baby) so we are looking at supplementing (nanny, cleaning service, extended daycare for older, etc).

I think you received some great advice. I would also add: (1) try to outsource house chores (e.g. lawn service, cleaning, laundry, etc.) as much as you can. This helps in two ways, lessens the load on your spouse related to maintaining the household and allows for you to spend more time present on the weekends (honey do’s can get really extensive while your gone). (2) Also, having a support network while your gone is great help. My parents live nearby and they help a lot, from babysitting sick kids, taking our oldest to day care or even providing handyman service (so much crap always breaks when I’m gone).

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