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#2. Don't despair. My son just turned 14mos, and in the last year I've had to make a lot of adjustments. What I've discovered, however, is how to make better use of my time on the bike. I can't get the same hours/week I did pre-fatherhood, but now I think the hours I do train are much more productive. I can say this because I think my form is better than ever. Actually, I know it is!
#3 Being a dad is simply AWESOME.
1) Get your significant other interested in training. Mine runs. It's easier to get away for a few hours if she gets to also get away for a few hours training for her marathon.
2) Learn to ride indoors. It was painful for me. But I finally got used to late-night rides on the trainer. I put the kids down (my nightly duty), then head out to the garage/gym. It's pretty miserable, after a long day of work and family to put in another 2 hours on the indoor trainer, but it's what I have to do. I put the bike in front of the TV and can at least catch up on my DVR'd shows.
3) Negotiate kid ownership. That is, I own the kids on Saturday. She gets them on Sunday, when I do my long outdoor rides. I also try to head out early Sunday so I'm back by noon. That way, even on "my" day, I still hang out with the family in the afternoon. Now you won't be able to do this for at least a year (assuming breast feeding). Not only are you unable to nurse, but milk production means she has to feed or pump or she'll be in pain. But eventually, you'll get the chance.
4) Gift her spa treatments, or just take the kid(s) away at unexpected times. The goodwill generated helps alleviate the inevitable bitterness when you're off for a day doing a race or century.
5) Play the "health" card. You want to be around a long time for your kid(s)! To do that, you have to stay in shape! And to stay in shape, you have to ride! Use this only as a last resort. It's argumentative and does little to soothe her immediate kid-related frustrations.
Enjoy the new kid. And when it gets tough these first few months, know that it DOES get better. And soon, you'll have a moment like today when my 7 yo son ran up to me psyched that I was watching the Tour and said, "I hope Garmin wins today!"
Finsbury Park CC
My spare time usually starts at 9 PM after the kids are asleep. So it's a choice between spending time with my wife or with my bikes too often...
I don't know about most of you, but my wife ended up doing a lot more of the care than me, especially at night. Feedings and such. What I did was move my hours around. I would get up at 3 AM and be out by 3:30 AM riding for 2-2.5 hr. I would get home, take a quick shower and be out the door by 6:30 AM. When I would get home, I would do a lot more with the kids until they went to bed giving my wife a break. This became more regular as they got older and got some sleeping patterns past the first 3 months. So, instead of watching tv at the end of the day, I would be in bed by 9PM, which is shortly after the kid/s would go to bed.
Moral of the story is it can be done. You just have to be willing to move things around and prioritize.
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