Just had my first kid. How do you manage the consulting work expectations and being a parent?

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As a fellow ECG-er I’ll say that our firm is one of the more flexible when it comes to parenting. But it could depend on what division you are in and the types of projects. I’ve found it fairly easy to log off between 5:30 ish and 8 pm to spend time with my young family. Then I pick things up again after kids in bed if needed or early the next day. Turning off the work brain can be hard, especially when things are heavy at work. Personally, I try to focus on the fact that saying no to work means that I’m saying yes to my daughter. It might not be as easy when your kiddo is little, but it will come with practice and be easier when they interact with you more.

helpfullike

Have a supportive SO. Understanding WLB is a conscious choice. And truly knowing that it’s simply a job. Turns out raising kids is exactly like being in consulting. More time you invest, lesser regrets later in your life. Like a client who doesn’t get enough of your time. They make mistakes, cost you a lot of money, might get you bankrupt, make super bad decisions, blame you for everything, and kick you in the butt once they don’t need you. Or it could be like a well engaged client who appreciates what you do for them, let’s you help them at the right time and uses your expertise to make their life better so they don’t make the same mistakes you do. It’s a constant choice what you do with your own time. Spend it with a firm which’ll kick you out the moment they don’t need you. Or cherish it with your family and kids who’ll really appreciate it once they have their own kids

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I do what I need to do to be the dad I want to be, and work in the time and space that’s left. If that isn’t enough for me to be successful at my job, I’ll find a new job. But it’s worked out so far.

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Thanks for sharing P1

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The fact that the frequent answer here is have a stay at home wife is so demoralizing as a woman.

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BA1, I don’t necessarily think SC1 is bashing women who have kids, she’s just saying that she couldn’t imagine leaving her career to be a SAHM. SC1, I hope you find your equal partner and hope y’all are the power couple you dreamed you would be. If you do decide to have a child, I think you’d be blown away by the love you experience, and you could give that kid a great life with your example of a strong work ethic. Whatever you decide will be great though. Good luck!

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Dear god this thread

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likesmart

By having a stay home wife.

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I personally don’t think that I would want that, but I know several women who have spouses that go above and beyond with home responsibilities. They cook, clean, coordinate, keep the kids straight, etc due to having a less demanding job. I just don’t care for the global assumption that women should stay home or would want to stay home. If they want to, that’s great kudos to them. But often when women stay home, their faulted for not “working” in the traditional sense usually when the topic of divorce comes up or in terms of hiring/pay.

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We are a two consultant household and have 2 kids under 5. Basically, 1. Get paid help- daycare/nanny or an au pair, and a housekeeper a few times a month 2. Set expectations at work- log off in the evenings after childcare ends and until kid’s bedtime; pick back up after 3. My spouse and I used to alternate travel before Covid. We don’t expect to travel as much now but will continue to alternate if it comes to that. 4. Remember why you’re doing it, and if it’s not working out find another arrangement.

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My kids are a bit older, but I set aside time for the family in the evenings. From 6-8 I don’t work, I eat dinner and hang out with the family. If you bring it up at the start of projects that it’s part of your healthy work expectations it can work, only a couple times I’ve missed that. Travel weeks I finish Friday at 4, and anything that still needs to be done can be done Saturday morning before the kids wake up. Having my wife be a stay at home mom is essential and part of the deal we made when I went into consulting. When my kids were younger I wasn’t as great at it.

funnylike

Wife was an engineer. She hates working and is happy to spend time with the kids, friends, and volunteering in school. Not sure why people think my life is sad. I like it a lot. What I make allows us to travel with the kids and do the things we want to. Took the neighbors on the boat to a sandbar yesterday and took the kids fishing this morning for Father’s Day and the little dude caught his first shark! (It was like 12” long, think it was a sandbar shark)

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Or leaving to go somewhere more flexible

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Do less work. Try to maintain quality.

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If you have both parents in the workforce and don’t have time to drop work for the kids (daycare, after school activities, sickness, appts, etc) you would need to get a nanny or similar. Otherwise, something’s gotta give. The says, it takes a village to raise a child—there’s some truth to it.

Appreciate the responses. I am really interested in how people turn off their “work brain” while being a parent. Kind of hard for me as before I was a parent, work was really my only focus.

Also, FWIW, my aunt and uncle are a complete power couple. She left salary land to work turn-aroundish/investment companies with a cohort of her fellow “out” of the workforce mom/wives. She didn’t make a dime for years and they lived off his salary (mid-sized company executive) but she worked (mostly) from home with an full time nanny/au pair in the house to cover much of the day-to-day and, in the meantime, built some wicked equity so, when her team finally sold, it made up for the “out” of workforce years.

I moved to industry 🤷🏻‍♂️

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