Recently, my time has been a little pre-occupied. Not so much because of all the awesome new technical innovations I have been able to work on lately like microservices in .NET, nor because of the awesome new features happening in .NET that is causing a revolution in the linux space, but instead, it is because of this guy:
I wonder if he is dreaming about code too…
In the past few months, I have had the great honor of becoming a father. And fun and exciting as that may be, I have to admit, it is a bit of work that takes away from a lot of time and energy.
In case you find yourself in a similar world, I am here to help by sharing a few of the awesome tidbits I have come across that make having a baby manageable in the demanding world of the tech industry.
Let’s get started…
OMG, how did we exist as a species without these things!? Initially they were a blessing as I ended up being stuck in the hospital with nothing to do while
my wife suffered and cursed me I went through the magic and miracle of birth. Only later, after our baby was born did I realize a tablet’s true magic!
I can lookup an immediately needed baby treatment. Or when I find myself bored as I walk around a room consoling my son, I can read tech news/books! Useful tip: read enthusiastically to your child, even if it is not “The Happiest Little Elf”, just the fact that it is interesting to you (like this blog hopefully) will pique your child’s interest by your enthusiam.
The daddy monolith then posted to the baby service…
My favorite thing about tablets: with inventions such as swype, you can still do basic work/email/chat and once again feel productive!
Luckily I was able to buy a few different brands of cheap tablets before the baby was born. Keep in mind, you have 9 months to buy tablets, so keep an eye out for sales, especially on deal sites such as woot.com or during Christmas (the kindle fire is almost a dead ringer for a sale for less than $35 at least twice a year).
Start reading “dad” books on your tablet!!!
A life saver for me was the book “Be Prepared”. A friend recommended it when we announced, and being a former boyscout, I must admit I was nowhere near as prepared as I thought I could be, but this book has had my back when I have needed it. I must admit, in this day and age, there really is no excuse for dads not to read something about parenthood with the availability of so much information.
The best part about this book: it tells you the things you really care about, like how to stop a baby’s crying, how to change diapers without getting poop everywhere, or how to sleep (spoiler: you don’t… just kidding, but it does have some good tricks for the worst of nights).
Broken up by age in months, and being a short read, it feels like I am reading cheat codes for parenthood.
Even nurses at the hospital asked where I had gotten my “experience”, whether it was from other children or having lots of siblings. Luckily my wife was there to inform them I cheated.
Use a standing desk AND a baby carrier at the same time
As developers, I think most of us are pretty used to the fact that we live a sedentary lifestyle almost to the point of sloth. As such, we have learned that standing desks are the “supposed” cure for our lethargic lifestyles.
Despite my unwillingness to conform to the new norm of standing desks, I must admit, it is not that bad when you are forced down that path.
Luckily I was able to find a few tidbits from Jimmy Bogard’s blog on how to setup a standing desk. I also was able to find some cheap chromebooks online, so this turned out to be a lot simpler than I imagined with my kitchen bar meeting my needs without having to go and get a lot of equipment from ikea (so far).
Also, if you find it too hard to concentrate and work with a baby on you, I have come to find that Star Wars Battlefront has the advantage of having perfect star wars lullabies and rocking movements that work for those middle of the night wakings as well.
Assume there’s a Technology for that
- Are you used to using Stack Overflow for all your code questions? Use the Parenting Stack Exchange for all your parenting questions.
- Or do you just need some tips for those midnight narwhal bacon feedings? Use Reddit instead.
- At the hospital for a long labor and hungry? Need blankets/pillows to sleep on while you wait? Or just need groceries and can’t find time to go out with a new baby? See if Amazon Prime Now is available in your area.
- Big into social media instead, there is a Ladies with Babies Facebook Group with all types of useful tidbits.
- Can’t get the baby to sleep in the crib? My wife and I swear by Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit and wish you the same luck we have had with it.
The above are just a few of the awesome little tricks I have come across with the help of technology, but I will be needing more in the upcoming months. As such, if you do find you have any tips, please share them in the comments!
And most importantly, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!