Raising kids and building software are two of the most complicated tasks in the world.
How is it for working developers’ parents to manage their two parts? On one hand, we want to give our best at our job because it is the place that gives us safety and on the other hand we want to be involved in our kid’s life and enjoy every single moment of it.
Instead of rising and shine, caffeinate and hope for the best
One morning out of many during the quarantine:
You woke up at 7:00 am by an alarm clock – aka the baby. Another night with feet in your face then hands and then back to feet has passed. You are tired, but the baby woke up happy, really happy, and hungry, which is a state of anger caused by the lack of food = feed me!
You are running like you stole something from the bedroom to the kitchen to cook breakfast and you notice that there’s no milk. Normally you would have rushed immediately to the store near you, but you can’t do this for safety reasons anymore.
Are you thinking about making a drama about this? Trust me there’s no point, you just need to peacefully wait for another 5 days for the weekly shopping session to get it. You are finding yourself holding the refrigerator door open looking for answers, and all of the sudden your gut is saying “replacing milk with yogurt is not such a bad idea after all and no one will notice”.
You are seeing disappointment because this was supposed to be that special moment of the day in which everyone is smiling at each other saying “good morning” while serving the breakfast of a champion in a place where birds are chirping.
After 5 minutes during breakfast, you are randomly finding yourself screaming: “Is he choking?!? What is that? That’s not food! Pull it out! Pull it OUT! Sebastian, please open your mouth for Mommy!”
You are happy because your day has a great start as the breakfast is finished and your working clothes are with no food on them. With a big smile on your face, you are looking at him saying “how can he wake up this cute every day?”
Oh, it’s already 8:20 am and you haven’t had your coffee yet. You remember that even bad coffee is better than no coffee, so you decide to drink the one that’s left from yesterday. Just one sip and you start hearing lots of meows coming from the bedroom. You are hurrying up to see what is happening with the cat: “Hey! Don’t pull the kittie’s tail. And no, we are not supposed to ride on her!”
Google Calendar just announced your 9:00 am meeting via Hangouts. For safety reasons, the best decision is to join it with the baby. The call has started, the introductions were made and all of the sudden his face is saying “Soon I’m gonna cry for no reason”. You are thankful for the existence of the mute button. I must tell you – the mute button is amazing.
Being a Parent and a Developer
“Programmer’s son asks his father: -Dad, why does the sunrise on the east and set on the west? Father: It works? Don’t touch it.” (source Reddit) or “Daddy, what are clouds made of? – Linux servers, mostly.”
First of all, for any child it is inspiring to have a parent engineer because they are always surrounded by really cool gadgets and they can benefit from their knowledge by understanding how things work, how to fix them including creative problem-solving techniques or how to write their first “Hello World!” program.
At the same time, it happens that the children are not always meeting the so-called specs 🙂 and lots of “Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy” are followed.
Even so, the love you feel for your children is unmeasurable, as you can see yourself in their actions and you laugh and love them more.
They’re cute, but babies are not the ideal co-coders
You are at your computer working on the Bitbucket integration for the developer’s module of Slashscore and suddenly your child decides it’s a good time to sit on your lap while trying hard to get your attention by waving his hand, as you desperately do your best to finish your work before the deadline. Of course, a waving hand is not enough as babies love to hit (hard) your computer’s keyboard as they have already gotten bored with the “disconnected keyboard” trick.
If you choose to work in an office, most probably you are missing out on important events from your kids’ childhood. The sad part is that they don’t stay children forever.
Working from home as a developer parent is the most enjoyable and healthy way to code. In your 70’s when we will look back at your life, you will remember the days spent with your family NOT a CSS reset implementation, or writing semantic HTML tags.
Raising a child gives you a new and deeper perspective on life showing you that there’s more than playing video games and it transforms you into a better developer because will experience a greater:
- Ability to endure stress and still be patient
- Sense of purpose in life.
Wouldn’t you agree that having someone special to build a robot with, a perfect partner to tear something electronic apart, make a stop-motion animation, blow up something, wear a cape in public or invent something in the pursuit of science are the best experiences ever?
Having a developer parent can only increase the child’s success in becoming a happy and stable adult.
As developers we have more flexible hours, we can work from home, we have job security than most other professions. Even though juggling work/life is always hard, working in the software world is one of the easier professions in which you can do it.
After testing out work from home (at Wingravity we had this “work for home” policy before it was cool) we seriously cannot imagine how we can ever go back to an office and fixed schedules.
Life is short. Don’t waste it by neglecting your loved ones and choose a very flexible company where you can work from home most of the time.
To All You Wonderful Developers’ Parents Out There: We Salute You ❤️
This article is for you. You all are amazing!
PS: Your children will always love you!