Parenting In Tech: #FamilyMatters Intro

Posted on December 14, 2018 by ChadCrowellChadCrowell

Hello everyone! This is my first post for the #familymatters channel in the Linux Academy Community. I am so happy and excited to be here, I love talking with other parents about work/life balance and the challenges we all face having to balance the two.

I have just one daughter, and she is now two years old. I felt like I just blinked and two years went by. It’s amazing how fast this little one has developed. We went through stages of no sleep, earaches, stomach aches, but also smiles, laughs, first steps, and so many awesome milestone events. I am so grateful for my child’s health. She is making all of her developmental benchmarks, and I couldn’t ask for a greater child.

I feel that, as parents, we have some type of superpower. Being a parent, for me, has been a challenge in so many ways, but I’ve learned to power through and take the good things with the bad. To this day, I am impressed at my ability to get more and more done with little to no sleep. I have also gained the ability to sleep anywhere, at any time. This is just what we have to do as parents, right? Finding the answer to that question is why I’m here. I ask myself on a daily basis “is this normal?” I now know that normal is not normal, as everyone faces different challenges and uses different methods to overcome those challenges.

Time management is also a superpower we have. There’s no more staying up all night trying to get a project done or spending extra time to develop a new skill. Technology moves so fast, that it’s hard to keep up with all those changes. Meanwhile, you have to pick up from daycare, make dinner, pack lunch for the next day and get clothes washed because there’s poop everywhere. Oh my!

Sometimes I wish I had an extra eight hours in the day. The most frustrating part for me is when I can’t get something to work. I’ve tried five or six different things to make this machine operate a certain way or prevent the machine from acting up while precious time is ticking away. I can’t troubleshoot any longer, I have to let go of it and leave the problem un-fixed because I need to start dinner or pick up my child.

I’ve changed how I work considerably, and my morning routine is now more front-loaded, so it helps me to prevent running out of time at the end of the day. However, things still come up.

Starting here at Linux Academy has forced me to become an expert in time management. There are so many things that need to get done, it’s required that I spend an adequate amount of time to finish my project. No excuses.

I am so grateful to work for Linux Academy, which allows me to work from home and spend less time in traffic, therefore, allowing me to dedicate more time to my daughter and getting things done at home to maximize quality time. Before working for Linux Academy, it was hard. Especially when my baby was born. It was just a shock to the system, and all of my projects declined in productivity. I just didn’t have the time. I could no longer sit and troubleshoot for hours, I had to find better ways to accomplish tasks, utilize automation, rip and replace versus babysit servers, etc.

I found myself constantly wondering, “how do people do this?”

All of my co-workers were young, single, and able to spend long hours in front of their machines getting all their work done. Me, on the other hand, I showed up every morning at 8 am and left right on time at 5 pm. I had no other choice. Everything that I had been working on needed to be left until the next day. On top of that, there was no community to ask, “is this normal?”, and, “how do people get all this stuff done?”

Forget about learning new technologies or doing extra studying. There was no time.

I started listening to books (in traffic, of course) and podcasts about time management and sleep routines. I eliminated screen time that wasn’t productive. I tried so hard to cut corners and still be as productive as I was. I contemplated quitting and just taking a job that was less stressful. My health had declined quite a bit as well, so I even contemplated becoming a personal trainer, so that I could stay healthy while working, instead of hunched over a computer all day and night. I had no experience doing any of that, but I mean, at least that would give me health, right?

I eventually learned that I had to just focus on one thing at a time, and the book The One Thing by Gary Keller helped me with that. I started to simplify everything into just accomplishing one thing. It really helped clear my mind and not feel so scatter-brained, but also helped me focus and left me with a feeling of accomplishment because I knew I would be getting at least one thing done. Prior to this, I had been known for having tons of ideas, but never really see any of them to completion. Because of this, I later learned, I was my own worst enemy.

I believe I am in a better place now, and now that we’ve worked on my daughter’s schedule, things seem a little bit easier. Not perfect by any means, but easier. And I’ve learned that that’s ok. She is becoming more independent every day.

If you can relate to this story, please reach out to me. I would love to chat. I am always in the Linux Academy community waiting to help or just talk about things. I hope to share more stories with you in the future, as we continue this awesome dialogue through #familymatters!

See you soon!

-Chad

Check out the previous blog post in this Parenting In Tech sub-series, part of our It’s Okay to Be New series, here!

parenting in tech

 

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