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Woodworkers with small children - how do you budget time for the shop?

by skeemer
posted 05-29-2013 11:00 AM


40 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1233 posts in 879 days


#1 posted 05-29-2013 11:10 AM

Congratulations on that cute bundle of joy!

Just wait awhile she may enjoy helping you in the shop.

-- Bill

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Tedstor

1505 posts in 1377 days


#2 posted 05-29-2013 11:35 AM

I have three boy (8/4/2). I’ve spent more time over the past 8 years cleaning-up pee, poo, and vomit, than I have in the in the shop. Thats just part of the gig. You SHOULD be spending the lion’s share of your non-work time with your kid. Thats what makes you a father vs. a sperm donor. You’re doing the right thing. But you already knew that.
To answer your question: Focus on small projects that you can complete in a few hours. Trivets and cutting boards for example. Maybe grab a lathe and make pens. You could likely complete the cut list for a small project while the kid is napping (assuming her room doesnt share a wall with your shop). Then assemble during the next nap. etc. etc. Larger, more complicated projects will likely prove too time-consuming and will make you more frustrated over your lack of time. Refinishing and/or restoring furninture is another relatively fast project you might enjoy. Restoring tools can be fun as well.

The day will come when your (beautiful) daughter will command less of you and your wife’s attention and you’ll be able to spend more time in the shop.
Of course, thats when your wife will tell you that she’s pregnant again :)

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1064 posts in 1031 days


#3 posted 05-29-2013 11:52 AM

YES!
First I will say, “Congrats!”.

Then I’ll try to help you with some advice…
The shop will be there. The time to enjoy your little one will slip away. My kids are grown now, but I always cherish the memories of when they were little. My youngest is still home. He’s 27. He still kisses me and his mom goodbye when he goes to work in the morning.

If there is work that needs to be done, and for which you need some shop time, then your wife’s way of helping might be to take care of the baby while you work in the shop. But there’s a balance. No matter how much work you have to do, you still have a wife and a baby. The shop work may simply get broken down into smaller chunks of time so you can go hold your daughter while mommy takes a nice relaxing soak in the tub, or just goes out and reads a few chapters in a book out on the porch, or whatever makes HER feel good.

The jobs will take a little longer because now you have to spread your time and spend it wisely. If your wife has jobs for you to do that she wants done in a hurry, then you adjust the balance. A little more shop time.

But always, always, always, take time for them both above all else. You already know what’s important. Prioritize your time accordingly. :)

I’m in my 60s now. I was killed in a car accident in 2001. Every single day is a gift and TIME….. time is both your friend and your enemy. Time with family is precious, but time is also being spent constantly and you can’t stop it, so whether you spend it with them, spend it in the shop, or spend it doing nothing at all…..you’re still spending. Get the most you can out of it.

View camps764's profile

camps764

813 posts in 1104 days


#4 posted 05-29-2013 11:54 AM

Congrats!

I’ve got an almost 2-year-old. An amazing, understanding, encouraging, patient wife is a huge asset.

My schedule – normal 9-5 day job – pick the kid up from daycare at 5, family time from 5-8. Kid goes down to sleep at 8 every night like clockwork. From 8-10 pm is my ‘shop’ time every time night. I try to do my loudest work on weekends. Careful planning will be your best bet.

I try to plan my projects around this. So Saturdays/Sundays I try to do any routing/planing and rough cutting to length on the miter saw. Weeknights I do a lot of ripping on the TS, sanding, hand planing, glue ups, assemblies and finishing.

To be honest, the first 9 months or so I didn’t do much in the shop, and then slowly made my way back out as the kid got more independent and we got more sleep.

Good luck! In my opinion they’re the best thing that can happen to you.

-- Steve. Visit my website http://www.campbellwoodworking.com

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firefighterontheside

5789 posts in 601 days


#5 posted 05-29-2013 11:59 AM

I used to take mine outside when weather permitted. When it was cool I would put them in a warm suit and put them in the exersaucer while I worked. I had kid sized earmuffs for the loud noises. Frequently they would fall asleep. Nap time was definitely the best time. Does your wife work or is she just on leave? Right now ,y youngest goes to daycare 3 days per week which usually gives me one or two days per week to work outside. Things will get better, but it is slow to happen.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15519 posts in 1312 days


#6 posted 05-29-2013 12:03 PM

If I wrote a post, it would be almost identical to Charlies. My youngest just had my third grandchild. You’d think it gets easier. It doesn’t. I worry about my kids 24/7, and now I have grandkids to boot. A few more birthday parties, more graduations, soon to be more ball games. You’ll get the picture. You will get better at using your time and as Charlie said, cherish it. Its life and its just not worth it if there isn’t some joy along the way.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

488 posts in 727 days


#7 posted 05-29-2013 12:08 PM

My guy is 10.5 months old now and I do the exact same thing as Steve, he’s sleeping around 7:30-8 and I hustle it on out to the garage to start making chips fly or fix one of the other numerous things I have at any given time.

Prepare for all that free time you had to now be gone especially in the beginning it can be hard if you have a child that doesn’t sleep well, then you won’t want to go out and work you’ll be heading for the bed rather then the shop.

Get in a routine quick and during the WOO (window of opportunity, can’t remember what months that is) get out of rocking them to bed and just put them in the crib, mine cried for the first couple weeks but then learned it was time for sleep and now just curls up and off to dream land.

Also Congrats! She is beautiful

My future shop helper

-- Nick, “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime's work, but it's worth the effort.” ― Fred Rogers, Be My Neighbor

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chrisstef

11452 posts in 1751 days


#8 posted 05-29-2013 12:31 PM

Everyone has pretty much said the same things I would suggest. Im a new father too, our baby boy is now 9 months old and crawling (look out world). Like you my wife was home with the screaming midget for the first six months while I went off to the 8-5 work day. The way I did things was always spend that time after woerk helping the wife and relieveing her of mom duties for a while. Obviously its good time spent for the both of you.

When the little one goes down to bed that’s where id sneak my shop time in. I spent the first 6 months of the baby’s life sharpening all my hand tools and tuning all my machines. Its work that can be stopped at any moment and picked up again at any moment for the most part. Now that he’s a bit older and his naps are fairly scheduled I can bust it down to the shop and do some work. The best part is I don’t have to waste my time fidgeting with my tools, everything Is ready to go. When time is a precious commodity you want to spend it productively.

Ive also started a work bench. I find its a long term project and that works well for my situation too. Its for me and I know it wont be done over night so little by little I can chip away at it. Having a basement shop its also given me the opportunity to work on my hand tool skills. So far ive drilled and mortised everything by hand with a brace and a chisel so I don’t wake up the house with noisy machines.

Congrats on the little one!! And while everyone else is showing off, I might as well do the same:

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4984 posts in 820 days


#9 posted 05-29-2013 01:04 PM

Congrats, I’ll agree with most of what was posted above, but I’ll also add some comments as a wife.

Nobody says it aloud very often, but as wonderful as parenthood is, it’s usually an atomic bomb in a marriage.
Your lovely, most likely independent, intelligent wife has been reduced to a milk-making, sleep deprived, ugly-feelin’ humanoid who discusses poo more than any other creature.

I can only speak for myself, but I pretty much hated my husband for being able to go out to work, go to the gym etc etc in the first few months/years of parenthood. Even the way he breathed annoyed me. Don’t rat me out, but I know many women who went through the same thing.

Yes, you will be able to find shop time here and there when the planets line up properly, or the grandparents swoop in. But be forewarned – if your wife gives the big sigh and says “sure honey, go into the shop. I know it’s important to you” DON’T DO IT, before asking what you can do to help first. Or better yet, just do it. If at all possible, take a day off here and there to give mom a break.

To make a long comment longer, this is an important time to invest in your marriage. No matter how strong it is, you’ve just introduced a new component.

Cute component, by the way.

Congrats!

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

488 posts in 727 days


#10 posted 05-29-2013 01:41 PM

Heed what Sandra said, I can’t count how many times I said something I wanted to go do to my wife and I got the death gaze, giving the wife some free time or a nap goes a long long way in keeping her from murdering you in your sleep.

-- Nick, “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime's work, but it's worth the effort.” ― Fred Rogers, Be My Neighbor

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1696 days


#11 posted 05-29-2013 01:49 PM

Congrats to you! Once the little one gets on a better sleep schedule and starts sleeping through the night, then you can more easily schedule in your woodworking time. I do most of my woodworking later at night. Because we have neighbors not too far from my garage, I work primarily with hand tools, and run the loud power tools on weekends, or try to sneak them in briefly before its too late.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View etumos's profile

etumos

11 posts in 601 days


#12 posted 05-29-2013 02:02 PM

Two years of darkness my friend. At least where your personal life and hobbies are concerned. It has been tough but I squeezed out a priest now and then but nothing that I could not walk away from for weeks at a time.
The others have said it, bond with your little one. Your shop will be there.

-- Jason; Auburn, WA

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JoeinGa

3648 posts in 751 days


#13 posted 05-29-2013 02:06 PM

CONGRATS! She looks like a KEEPER! :-)

I’m 60 now so I certainly cant ADD to this advice. As best I remember Saundra has stated it pretty spot on from the gals point of view. I remember many times getting that 60-yard-stare and a big sigh and it usually meant ”Dont you DARE leave me alone again with this baby. Get yer ass back here and take your turn with her while I go upstairs and soak in a nice hot bath!”

And to the rest of you who have posted pix of your young’uns…. They’re ALL a bunch of cuties! And who knows? Might be a future woodworker or two in there to boot!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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Kreegan

1452 posts in 891 days


#14 posted 05-29-2013 02:14 PM

Get into turning. Flat woodworking takes too damn long. You can finish smaller turnings in less than a half hour once you’ve got the basics down. I work in the shop after my son goes to bed and when he’s napping on the weekend.

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donaldpmoran

105 posts in 858 days


#15 posted 05-29-2013 02:37 PM

It is tough. I have a 6 year old daughter and a 3 year old son. Work is from 6am to 4pm then family time until their both in bed, relax with the wife and in bed at about 10. I usually get about 3 hrs on saturday and 3 hrs on sunday. I would love more time but I would rather spend the majority of my time with the kids while they want to spend time with me. I know as they grow up there will be more time in my shop as they discover new interests. Just be patient and enjoy these years like when they will give you a hug for no reason at alll.

-- Imperfections make it unique!

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

212 posts in 695 days


#16 posted 05-29-2013 04:42 PM

Hey, congratulations!
My girl will be two next month (and our son will be here in about 8 weeks) and I too have been learning how to still spend time in the shop while being the husband and father I want to be…its really tough.

I will echo what Sandra said. Kids are tough on a marriage. Its really hard to be as patient/compassionate/etc as the other spouse needs when running on 3 hours of very broken sleep a night.
That being said, 2 years into the chaos, our marriage is stronger than ever (albeit much different).

Wood and projects are patient, they will wait as long as you want. Wife and kids not so much.

I have found that when I get home (5ish) my wife likes me to spend some time playing with our girl in her room. I will wear her out a bit then we will all go have dinner. She goes down at 7:30ish and then we have time as a husband and wife.

THIS is the part that doesnt seem to be mentioned as much so far.
Yes the kid is asleep and you can now relax, but this is the time that my wife needs to talk to an adult (instead of simplified baby speak allllll day) and we can reconnect.
We can be husband and wife again instead of mommy and daddy.

I usually stay up later than my wife a few nights a week to get out into the shop. I have found that sanders and smaller power tools go unheard, and am getting much more comfortable with hand tools.

I tend to run out to the shop on the weekends to make as many cuts as possible and prepare for the week. As minor cuts come up during the week I will just use my hand saw and miter box.

...This is my current rythym but schedules around my place seem to be in a constant state of change. We’ll see how much time the shop gets when #2 is born.

hope this helps.

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BigRedKnothead

5784 posts in 727 days


#17 posted 05-29-2013 06:35 PM

“Two years of darkness”...lol. Most of it has been covered. I don’t have a 9to5 so I get more shop time than most. It is very tough while they are little and so needy. It does get better. One of the reasons I got into hand tools was because I could have a little on in my shop (playpen, swing etc.)

I know one reason my marriage has been a success thus far is because we make in effort to give each other time for our hobbies/interests. I make sure my my wife has time for running, she makes sure I have time for woodworking. She got even more motivated to give me shop time when I started making nice furniture for her and the kids;-)

-- Red-- "I'm a lumber hoardin', finger nickin', sliver cursin', breaker trippin', summbuckin woodworker ya'll"

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Underdog

556 posts in 780 days


#18 posted 05-29-2013 06:36 PM

I didn’t really get time for the shop while the kids were growing up.

Give it about 20 years?

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Spur

82 posts in 772 days


#19 posted 05-29-2013 06:52 PM

It’s never too early to teach em to work wood. ;)

I am fortunate both my boys have an interest in working with me. For the baby years, however, I used subliminal suggestions for “essential” projects baby or home related. Some of them panned out (not as much shop time as I would have liked, but I got some time). She really didn’t like the idea of paddles with the boys names engraved on em for some reason. I always thought the visual reminder would be the best deterrent.

-- Henryk, South Carolina

View skeemer's profile

skeemer

94 posts in 1109 days


#20 posted 05-29-2013 07:03 PM

Thanks for all the great responses everyone, just the kind of advice I was looking for. Like I said, I am not in a hurry to get back in as I am enjoying every minute with the baby, but it was hard to see how that changes over the next few years until I heard from some of you.

I do like the idea of working on sharpening, tuning up tools, and organizing in little bits here and there until I have more time down the road.

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bondogaposis

2741 posts in 1096 days


#21 posted 05-29-2013 07:03 PM

Congratulations, don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of shop time when she old enough to drive, and you don’t have a car to go anywhere.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

212 posts in 695 days


#22 posted 05-29-2013 07:22 PM

Those first couple months are insane and you kind of just have to power through and make your you all survive.

Even if it is just to organize and sharpen tools….I find it extremely refreshing (usually after the girls are asleep) to dissapear into the man cave for a bit of silence. Seems to slow life down considerably and I can focus on only one or two things at a time instead of constant multitasking.

Life with children is a whirlwind. Take some time to yourself to breathe.

When I was became a dad a mentor sent me a letter and the main point of it was:

It can be really hard to justify time away from your child. (thats usually a great sign, meaning you want to be a good and present dad)
But always remember that it is better for a child to grow up watching a Mom and Dad have a healthy relationship (meaning TAKE DATE NIGHTS) than for both parents to be present all the time yet be at odds with eachother.

In the same vein he also made sure to reinforce that this means breaks for you and your wife to take alone as well. Dont run on empty all of the time just to be there all of the time.
Find some time for you both to charge batteries and then re-engage. You’ll be a better dad for it.

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BTimmons

2177 posts in 1229 days


#23 posted 05-29-2013 07:37 PM

Like it’s already been mentioned, sharpening and tuning tools is great. Don’t leave out jig making and overall shop improvement, layout, and cleaning.

My little girl is 3 and finding shop time is tough. She knows that I make things and will sometimes prompt me, “Daddy, can we go in the garage? I wanna go build.” She gets a kick out of having a little rubber mallet, and she also thinks that handsaws are neat. Every time a cutoff falls away she says, “wow!” Of course, I can’t do anything complicated and/or involving power tools when she’s around. Weekend nap times are pretty productive, though. I’ll take the baby monitor out in the garage and I usually get an hour or two to myself with no interruptions.

Some mornings I will set my alarm an hour earlier than usual, brew a big cup of coffee and head out to the garage. The way I figure, it’s much safer to be using tools after a night’s sleep (even if it is shorter) with the addition of coffee, when compared to feeling totally worn out at the end of the day when everyone else has gone to bed. Of course, until your kid is regularly sleeping through the night you probably won’t have the energy or the willpower to sacrifice an hour of your own sleep in the cause of shop time.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

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Shawn Masterson

1262 posts in 693 days


#24 posted 05-29-2013 08:15 PM

Forget me time. Always make time for momma. I try to send my wife flowers every week. I send her a text of some pretty flowers, she knows I am too cheap to really send flowers. She likes it. Kids will sleep through a lot. My oldest fell asleep at the table while I was hammering out the old windows in the dining room. I turned around and she was knocked out. she also rode on my lap while I mowed, till she got too big.

View redSLED's profile

redSLED

687 posts in 637 days


#25 posted 05-29-2013 09:42 PM

I hate to break it to you, but what I’ve told friends and others (now that my kids are 10 and 12) is this:

THE FIRST 5 YEARS IS A WRITE-OFF.

I told myself the above when my kids were born – and I was a happy man. My total was 7 years. I gave up 95% of my suntanning/beach time, washing the car, golf, longboarding, seeing friends whenever I wanted to, movie-going and woodworking during those 7 years. And I was happy – because I said to myself: THE FIRST 5 YEARS IS WRITE-OFF. Try it – you will be a happy man too. As each year passes, your “own time” starts to come back to you slowly.

Getting your kids to these ‘milestones’ sooner will also make your happy:

1+: gets their own toys, puts them all away all the time
1-2: potty trained
1-2+: other than mother’s milk, gets their own food, feeds themself, puts food stuff away
1-2+: cleans own face with damped washcloth after every meal
2+: learns how to tell time
2+: puts on clothes themself, on time, when you set clothes out for them
2+: always puts on their own seatbelt
3+: answers phone for you, gets remote for you
3+: kid sweeps up the kitchen and dining room twice a day
3+: learns to draw well with different utensils and drafting supplies, so they will not get bored fast and bother you
4+: load your kid up regulary with LEGO and let them be for hours

Good luck. Fail all of the above and you will be unhappier than you could be.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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joeyinsouthaustin

1286 posts in 817 days


#26 posted 05-29-2013 10:31 PM

The only way to do it is to make it your living. That is what I do… but I know where you are at, I played in a band before my daughter was born…. since then we played a show after 2 years, and are about to play another show 2 years after that… Hopefully you get more shop time than I have gotten band time!! :)

-- Who is John Galt?

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whitebeast88

3593 posts in 935 days


#27 posted 05-29-2013 11:57 PM

congrats on your beautiful daughter.mine daughter is 5 now and i go out anytime i want now she just goes with me and plays or draws on my stuff with side walk chalk.i won’t do any cutting with her in the shop but she kinda wanders in and out playing.the main thing is try to work some time in for the shop and let your wife have some time to herself,that helped my wife to be more understanding….

-- Marty.Athens,AL

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shampeon

1378 posts in 928 days


#28 posted 05-30-2013 12:31 AM

I’ve got two sons, 3 and 1. It’s a struggle to find a solid chunk of time in the shop. So you have to come to terms with incremental progress on larger projects, or simpler projects that can be done in a couple of hours. I imagine once the kids are a little more self-sufficient I’ll be able to schedule some after-bed shop time, but right now I’m usually just too tired.

I’ve had to fight my tendency to get tunnel-vision on projects and manage my time, so if you’re anything like me on that front, be advised.

And finally, I’ll echo what a bunch of commenters have said: your kids are only little once. As much as I need to get in some shop time for my sanity here and there, I’d never do it at the expense of quality time with my sons.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View skeemer's profile

skeemer

94 posts in 1109 days


#29 posted 05-30-2013 04:30 PM

Oddly enough, I guess I got a bit of support last night from my wife that I’ll need to find time to get out there and build furniture for her. She surprised me with a gift certificate for a custom brander so I can brand my projects. This was for our anniversary. So I guess it’s a bit of a hint that she doesn’t want me to completely abandon the shed!

Thanks again for all the wonderful replies. Also, lots of cute kids in the thread!

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CudaDude

122 posts in 1053 days


#30 posted 05-30-2013 04:56 PM

Same boat brother. Got a six week old and two other youngins. The shop will be there when you have a chance to get out there and work, but the baby won’t stay a baby. Enjoy it while you can. They’ll be grown before you know it.

-- Gary

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mikema

175 posts in 1330 days


#31 posted 05-30-2013 05:01 PM

I met my wife when my step-kids were 3 & 4 and we were married a year later. It really wasn’t until both kids reached double ages that I was really able to start looking at woodworking as a serious hobby. Before then, I had a basic set of tools, and did basic projects (lots of pinewood derby cars) For me, what freed up my time was when my step son lost interest in scouts, and I stepped down from a leadership role.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog: http://sawdustnewbie.com

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Elizabeth

811 posts in 1888 days


#32 posted 05-30-2013 05:11 PM

My guy is 14 months now. For the first few months, I had no time. For the next few, I sometimes got a couple of hours on a Saturday. For the next few, he was regularly going to bed around 7 PM and I often got 7:30 to 9 in the shop in the evenings.

Lately I could still do that if I liked, but I haven’t got the energy!

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MrFid

568 posts in 649 days


#33 posted 05-30-2013 05:34 PM

Same boat as well!

At five months old, he is finally starting to sleep a bit more consistently, so when he goes to bed at 7 or 8, I can usually sneak down to the shop for a little. Who knows if that will last. Like others have said, be prepared to work a lot slower than you previously were able to. Projects that I would have considered a weekend now take me the better part of a month. Since he’s been born I have started turning. I bought a used lathe on Craigslist (brag: $300 for a Jet 1220 and 5 Sorby turning tools!), and have found a lot of enjoyment in turning pens, bowls, baseball bats, etc. Haven’t turned since high school, and I am loving being able to start and complete a quality project between 8 and 10:30 pm. Plus, lathes tend to run a LOT quieter than a table saw.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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Dallas

3170 posts in 1232 days


#34 posted 05-30-2013 05:37 PM

Don’t take any advice from me….. I like children, usually with a speckled gravy and biscuits.

Until I was 12 years old I thought my first name was “Dammit”....... get me a beer Dammit! Go play outside Dammit! Dammit, Who did this?

Seriously, I don’t relate well to young children. I can’t reason with them, I can’t talk to them and I cannot deal with the “Me Me Me”.

My exwife felt the same way but got around it by having “Emotional issues” for 4 months at a time about every 3 1/2 months.
I raised my kids until they were in their teens, even though I drove truck over the road. Spend a month in a truck with a 18 week old for fun.

Good luck, I am really happy to see dads that give up time.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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helluvawreck

16033 posts in 1611 days


#35 posted 05-30-2013 05:45 PM

I’ll have to say that all my kids are grown, now. I lost my son. However, the wife and kids always come first and the kids will grow up before you know it.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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stefang

13623 posts in 2079 days


#36 posted 05-30-2013 07:27 PM

It is probably difficult to do much hobby work when you have a young family. I often regret that I didn’t start woodworking or any other hobby before I retired, but time spent with your young children are precious and more important than woodworking if one has to choose between the two.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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SquintyPolock

95 posts in 641 days


#37 posted 05-31-2013 02:19 AM

Since he was born, I bring my 2 year old son into the shop (which is also the laundry room). He hangs out with me during set ups, glueing, measuring, planning, drawing, and laundry folding. I get everthing ready to make a cut, then when I have a free minute, I make the cut while he is with Mama. Whatever I can do with out making noise or dust or thrusting some sharp object; he plays at my side. He has his own stool, so he sits at the bench with me and ususally plays race cars or hammers on the bench.

He has his own hammer; I let him play with my large sockets; my clamps; paint brushes, anything not sharp or swallow-able. I give him little tasks like sweeping up or holding on to a piece of wood or a tool; he likes to help. Since I teach him, he knows what’s pointy, what’s sharp, what’s loud, what hurts, and he stays away from the dangerous stuff. I always keep an eagle eye on him because he always finds some mischief.

Whatever I am working on, I budget 10 times the amount of time it used to take me; 9/10 of the time spent playing with boy and 1/10 spent working. I have to plan my time very carefully, so I can perform a certain task or cut in just a free minute.

As he is getting little older, he is developing his own interests and I share in his interests, so he will continue to share in mine.

Congradulations on baby girl! You will find a way to balance your time.

-- It's all in a day's work...

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ChuckC

724 posts in 1679 days


#38 posted 05-31-2013 05:44 PM

I have 5 year old twins and a 3 year old. It’s all about balance. If I’m not at work I’m probably with the kids and most of my shop time is when they are asleep. I’ve also been taking them into the shop since they were born (age appropriate activities).

My wife is a stay at home mom so when there are times she needs a break I’ll take the kids and she’ll do the same for me if I want to get a couple hours of shop time in when the kids are awake.

Enjoy your new tax deduction!

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Bernie

414 posts in 1581 days


#39 posted 06-01-2013 01:51 AM

Congratulation to you and all the young parents. Spend time with the family and like Sandra said – wives and husbands too.

To tell my story – we raised 4 sons and we now have 5 grand daughters. Now that I’ve been retired for 3 yrs + I can say I’ve been working the wood for about 35 years and I have almost 4 years of experience doing so. I was a local truck driver for the “Big R” so my schedule was long with uncertain end of day schedule. Besides being a dad and teamster, I was the local Scoutmaster for 20 years and mentored lots of young men. My free time was spent Scouting and with the family (wife was a Den leader).

Now the boys are all grown up and on their own. My wife earned her Master’s degree after raising them, has a good job she wants to work, and gives me the insurance. We got rid of the car and I’m home most of the time doing house work, cooking and wood working. I remodeled our kitchen last year by knocking down 2 carrying walls and adding part of the barn as kitchen space. I’m happy as a pig in mud!

I’m most happy when the boys come to visit. We talk about the Scouting events and family time while sipping our brews. I melt when I hear “Pepe…”

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

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watermark

411 posts in 687 days


#40 posted 06-01-2013 08:04 AM

First of all Congratulations there is nothing better then the gift of a child. The approach I tried was to choose 1 afternoon of the week with my wife that was set as my shop time which was easy for her to understand but the kids (8yr boy & 2yr girl) is a different story my girl chases me around every where when I get home from work and my boy hears me making noise outside and goes for the skateboards. This approach might work better while your daughter is younger but I am with you on the desire to help out the wife after a hard day and it’s usually the days you have some thing planned that the little ones are the most fussy.

From your post it’s clear you are on the right track and like most have said try and enjoy every moment soon she will be coming up and asking to look at the butter flies (bow tie joints) you are making.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

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