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Having Kids Impacted My Career, But Not In The Way You Might Think

The following was syndicated from Medium for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at [email protected].

When you become a parent your life is entirely changed — there’s no doubt about that. But even now, I can only thank my 2 little boys for these changes. Fatherhood improved me both as a person and a professional. Over the past 5 years, I’ve left behind working in an office, started worked remotely, and now, I’m putting all my energy into my own business. My kids were with me all the time (sometimes literally for 24 hours a day). And yet I never cease to find the continuing benefits of this close contact.

The biggest nightmare of every child-free  adult is that their life become uncontrollable madness when they have a baby. Sometimes, of course, things really are like this. And yet, it is children who force adults to slow down — to take a look around, reevaluate their lives/accomplishments/failures, and appreciate and love every moment of life.

Peering at your children will highlight your own nature. For example, looking at my son who is able to give an outright denial to some meal or occupation just because he doesn’t like it I learn from him the spontaneous and sincere behavior. I’m trying to learn again how to say “no” to everything that against my hair instead of tolerating and hope that things would sort themselves out.

When you have children, it can sometimes seem like you’re kind of developing backward. You listen exclusively to children’s songs, every meeting with friends starts with conversations about the kids, and you become an expert on all the latest trends in kids’ toys and activities. But at the same time, you receive a big gift: you, like your children, you can look at the world with a clear-eyed view once again. This is an important quality to have in your work.

When you have children, it can sometimes seem like you’re kind of developing backward

Each single day with the kids is not like the previous one. It’s like jazz: there is a tune, but variations are always different. To survive this kind of unpredictability with minimal stress, a work-from-home dad needs as flexible a schedule as possible and multitasking skills. For example, I used to feed my boys with a morning porridge and check my mailbox and even write code at the same time. When I have an opportunity to work several hours straight I don’t need a special program for time management: I learn how to quickly focus on the task without getting distracted with social networks and other unnecessary noise.

My children take care of my health and physical shape — they don’t let me sit at my computer all day without moving. Every day, they force me to go outside with them on walks, and we rack up at least a few hours per day in the city, with my younger one in his stroller and my older son on my shoulders. In fact, children can teach us how to stay in touch with nature even in a big city. I am proud to say that now I know every park, zoo, oceanarium or nature museum in every town we have lived or traveled.

My newfound connection with nature has even normalized my sleep and wake cycles. I always dreamed of this happening, but only thanks to my children I been able to make a routine out of going to bed literally as the sun goes down and getting up as it rises. I wake up at 6 AM. Every day. What a great feeling — I can do much more during the day now! The most important thing is to fill up with an obligatory cup or 2 of coffee.

My boys are my most important (and best) project. They are a 24/7 job that brings with it joy, fun, and a sense of peace, as well as exhaustion, anxiety, fear, sleepless nights, and challenging tasks, all at the same time. Without a doubt this is the best what can happen with your life and career, so stop reading it, and go make babies.

Leonid Bugaev is an indie open-source developer at GorePlay. Check out his twitter @buger.