the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Transitioning work musings by a dad

Warning – the following post is a series of meandering thoughts on my upcoming working more schedule and may read like I’m being a whiny little bitch, but are concerns from a somewhat at-home dad transitioning back into 9-5.

For the first year of Maggie’s life morDirectory off of Pixabay - lyrikbaume or less I watched her two days a workweek, and she was in daycare three, and then with both me and ITMama solidly through the weekend.

My day job employers allowed me to bring her in one day a week, which meant she was the toast of the office most Wednesdays she was there. It also meant when she was at work I’d be busting my ass to entertain a baby, fix whatever computer problems were going on, schedule meetings, type with a baby wanting her own keyboard, etc.

Honestly some of the time it was great annoyed users could be entertained by my babbly cute coworker, and she would be amused by them as well. This left me to the problem, which would be resolved pretty quickly.

Many is the day I left work soaked in sweat from hauling a 20+ pound baby about floors because they shut off the elevators for one reason or another and it’s really hard to take the stroller down up the stairs.

This left me a single work day to attempt to catch up on my self-employment gig – whatever needed done at the five properties I manage. It also left me the weekend, which was usually jammed with lawn care and attempts to enjoy life a little.

Basically I had the baby in my clutches four days a week. I liked it. She got to go to daycare three days a week and play with other kids, the balance felt right.

ITMama’s contract ended at her employment recently, and with it so did our daycare. This put baby at home seven days a week during yet another sick and teething spurt, which ITMama has been holding down except for job interview times.

I’ve been there two days a workweek and the weekends usually, and my main gig had been mostly early days, although gradually increasing hours as projects have accrued.

It’s been an odd year for me, odder last month or two. What’s odder feeling is I’m going to fill up my two off weekdays with my current employer with some on-time with a former employer making me a full time tech, which will mean I’ll have to do my landlording and blogging gigs more on the weekends and put me with less baby time.

I mean, not that I really miss the teething and sick portions, but I’m finding I do miss the teething and sick portions and being there for the rugrat. I also won’t have much time as the baby wakes up at eight and goes to sleep at seven.

There’s something amazing about the honesty of the one year old… be that that she’s honestly pissed off that her teeth are hurting, or the joy in playing with sunglasses, and even though it’s currently harder than work to take care of her, it’s something I miss when I’m at work.

I’ve considered in the past seeing about more time with Maggie at the office, it’s possible, but the load is kind of absurd since she can’t self-entertain at the moment and also as I have several thousand dollars worth of equipment that’s not baby proof laying around the place.

Tomorrow I’m going to work for the other company for a day, and next week I’ll be working full time again when you put the two companies together. Full time plus whatever the properties take on the nights and weekends.

It’s kind of odd the dueling desires for more free time and more baby time. I’ve got to admit I find a lot of the time I’m wondering if some of the internet is right and I’m actually a horrible person, or doing what’s right for baby.

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I’ve found that I don’t know what I actually want for Maggie sometimes. Or perhaps I’m a bit conflicted because of selfish interests, but I don’t particularly feel good about going into the solid 9-5 world, although in this case it would be 8-3 (on call,) 8-5, 8-3 (on call,) 8-5, 8-2ish.

I don’t feel good about the 9-5 route because there’re very few employers that can engage me in tasks for that amount of time. I sit around twiddling my thumbs, waiting for things to copy, researching creative people. I also don’t feel good about being in a situation where I don’t feel comfortable going home to hug a munchkin for lunch.

I think anyone with a 9-5 and kids is probably looking at me laughing, saying “suck it up,” but I wasn’t raised in a traditional setting, this American Standard is completely foreign to me both in concept and in execution.

I am also on call 24/7 between work and the properties. There’s no telling a tenant to call back later that I can’t’ deal with a busted water pipe at the moment because I’m sleepy, and part of my flexability with my main job comes from being able to do it anywhere in asynchronous chunks.

That’s how I have multiple support clients, tenants, a main job, two blog jobs, and am generally feeling schizophrenic most of the time and twitchy whenever the phone rings.

Eh, perhaps I should just suck it up and ignore it for a while. I just keep being reminded that nobody ever died wishing they’d been in the office more, I also don’t feel quite the noblest bastard having ITMama deal with a cranky tooth monster alone while I sit in a chair and send emails to telco providers for yet another phone transition.

Ideal situation would have the baby in a daycare four or five days a workweek, with a couple of short days that potentially could get longer if something major came up… oh, and I’d be a three digit multi-millionaire as I don’t find the billionaire title appealing.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.