Dads of DevRant: Will I ever be able to work on personal projects again? I have a half-complete project that was going really well, that I have immense enthusiasm and drive for, but I just can't get to it, kids/family takes up 100% of my time & it's honestly depressing me. I'm finally at a stage in my career/skills where I could complete this; the technicals and business are all within my grasp, but I've fucked myself by having a family, my life isn't mine any more, I gave it up. Not their fault. But will it ever get better? Maybe someone out there understands this pain; nobody around me does, I keep it inside.

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    I think u fucked up bro. U shouldve done all of that before getting married... Not to mention having kids... Its like a hoe getting ran through in her whole 20s and then she wonders why she cant find a man to settle down with in her 30s and 40s. It doesnt get better because life sucks anyways. It will only get worse and harder. Real
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    @b2plane Ur probably right; warning to the rest! FML
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    Did you not think about it before having kids? Every single parent I know has to do that. The non deadbeat ones anyway.
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    Relax. You havent fucked your life by starting a family. In fact, according to your genes, you're technically a success. Go you!

    Anyway, if you want it bad enough, you'll MAKE time for it. Like some dudes straight up bring their kids to the office.

    But life "ruined"? Nah dude.
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    It's just a shift in your priorities. It's a good thing that family takes the #1.

    As babies they (might) sleep a lot, so you got that time to yourself. When they grow older, don't be hesitant to leave them play by themselves (helps if you have multiple) or binge watch some series on tv/tablet. At least my kids actually need the latter from time to time, they get tired from all the interaction at the daycare. Or have them draw in the same room as you, for example.

    You won't get the 100000%% focus flow ofc but you'll get something. You'll learn to prioritize better, focus on the thing that needs to be done first in your hobby project. You can plan when you do household chores etc.

    Personally, fudge programming when I'm not working. I need to chill my brain. xD
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    You will. At lower pace ofc, ~50slower, but you'll still be able to work on them. You just have to agree with your partner in advance which evenings/days/nights you'd like to reserve for coding and she/he may make arrangements to cover for you. Even at those hours, don't expect to be 100% detached from your fam - family does not have a PAUSE button.

    Btw, your spouse can ask you for some hours-off. It's a quid-pro-quo kind of thing.

    And even if it weren't for coding, covering for each other and taking some time for yourself, hobbies and chill, is a good and hwalthy idea. Keeps your mind going and saves from burning out.

    After all, all work and no play... Makes a hubby grab an axe and start chopping doors :)

    edit: talking from my personal xp and good practices I've read of.
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    Na, it will feel like that in the beginning. But you as your kids and wife will realize how important it is with your own time.

    Yesterday I spend 12h playing with Linux and Unix shit.

    / Father of three kids
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    @Linux "your kids and wife will realize "

    please make sure to talk about it openly, because not everybody is picking up on social cues and otherwise it can feel like they're overlooking it while they might not be even aware
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    "I’ve fucked my life by having a family. My life isn’t mine anymore" - this right here is the root of your problem. And I don’t want to be judgmental because TBH I’ve had the same thought at times. But please get out of that mindset otherwise you may end up fucking your partner and kids’ lives as well. Yes your fam’ has got to be your top priority. Better embrace that fact.
    As for finding time for personal projects, I won’t add to what’s already been said. I personally haven’t managed to set time apart for a project. It can be frustrating at times but I strongly believe the time invested in my wife and kids will lead to much better "payoff" than anything else.
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    God knows I know that feeling.

    What can help?
    1. What @netikras said. Every damn single word.
    2. If one thing is for sure - children get oder and won't crave for your attention forever. If your wife is part of the problem too - be sure she will loose interest pretty soon as well xD ok the last one was a joke. But looking at by böse an collegue having grown up children. Things will be different. But i can assure you, little doses of freedom come sooner as you think.
    3. Be aware that not your family is the problem but the society you live in. I won't elaborate because you will allready noticed how it's created by and for old poeple.. Focus on what is really stealing your life, work, instead of family, you might throw the axe at the right place in the end or take other actions. Maybe you can effort to work less and spend the time for yourself, may it be two hours a Werk as a start. Even if you have to borrow money for that, this may be considered, because in the end it's about your psychological health.
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    Sorry to say this, it sucks to be your family. Thinking them as a roadblock instead of a team…
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    If wherever you live have high demand for developers, consider becoming a freelance contractor. That way, you can charge a shitload more than if you just have a regular job which gives you two options:

    1. You can take on a 6/12/18 month contract and earn enough to take 6 months off and work 100% on your own thing afterwards. Then, when money is running out, get another paid contract for a while before another 6 month stint on your own project.

    2. Negotiate a contract where you work 4 days a week, and spend the 5th working on your own thing. Yes, it's possible if your skills are in demand.

    As I said, this depends on where you live as our profession isn't equally appreciated everywhere in the world.
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    Family should come first and as have been said, to soon you will find that the kids no longer crave for attention and you have time for other projects.

    In the best case some of the kids wants to go into tech and you get to work together on your hobby projects.

    So do not despair, relish the time the kids see you as their god, the memories you create together will be worth more than anything else you create in the end :)
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    Father of four! Yes, you’ll get back there, slowly. It will never “be the same” as it was, but I still find time for my hobbies. Personally though, make sure you have another hobby other than staring into a screen- find a way to bring your kids into that first. It will open doors for other times in your life. For instance, if you like bike riding, grab a bike carrier and take the kids on a ride. Teach the kids chess, if that’s your thing … How old are your kids ?
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