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Old 11-10-2016, 01:29 PM   #1
katie75013
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Poker & Parenting

It seems like everyone is getting married and having kids these days! I guess that's what happens as we get older

My husband and I have a 1-year old little boy. We are both full time poker players, however I have not worked much in the past year in part because I've been exclusively nursing this entire time. This makes it very tough to play a session either live or online. I recently did play some of the live events at the PokerStars NJ Festival though, which was awesome because I was able to late reg and start later in the day. As baby gets older I've been able to get out and about a bit more, but every day is still a struggle and I really miss my online sessions.

Any other full time player parents out there? How do things work in your family?
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Old 11-27-2016, 02:21 PM   #2
Honey Badger
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Re: Poker & Parenting

It gets tougher and tougher playing poker and being a parent especially if you have other sources of income. Being a male with two young kids it clearly puts you into a recreational player mode. I can play a low limit sng several times a week. My wife is also great about letting me run off to play live, but I don't do it often because I feel really guilty about leaving her home with the kids and feel like I need to give her more Mommy days where I am home with the kids.

I love playing and have been able to put a few thousand of profit out of my bankroll for non-poker related stuff in the past. But using poker as a secondary income as I have an another career poker is becoming more and more marginalized for me because as my kids are getting involved in more activities, it's hard to sit in a casino for several hours or several days playing a tournament while my wife is parenting.
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:32 PM   #3
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Re: Poker & Parenting

Is playing a struggle for your husband, too? If not, that would point to the solution to your issues. Time for him to stop thinking that he's "babysitting" from time to time and that he's got a 50% responsibility to care for your child.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:08 PM   #4
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Re: Poker & Parenting

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Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
Is playing a struggle for your husband, too? If not, that would point to the solution to your issues. Time for him to stop thinking that he's "babysitting" from time to time and that he's got a 50% responsibility to care for your child.
It's not that easy.

Especially if you're nursing. I have never seen a woman nurse or pump at a casino poker room. I think before you have kids especially if you're single it's easy to put long cash sessions and play poker tournaments. Not so easy especially if you're relying on family to be the caregivers for your children while you're at the casino because your spouse has a regular job much less running to casino play poker as well.

For me to three hour trip to the casino is just getting warmed up. I feel pressure to be at home with the kids and balance all the other priorities, Unless you're fully committed to earning your income from poker I think it's very challenging especially for women.

Look around the poker room and see how many women with very young children are playing poker. Not many. I know a number of dealers with young kids but very few female poker players with young kids. I just think it's a very difficult lifestyle with so many things pulling at you in different directions. And that's not even talking about traveling to tournaments with the added expense of bringing a family with toys in tow unless Mom or Dad are willing to stay home while the other goes. But how do you decide who goes if you both play? The one that is running better? Take turns? Not Easy.

If you want me to be perfectly honest with you I think one person has to be the fully committed primary caregiver and the other person focus on poker and that comes with all kinds of challenges, Even harder for one person to even have a regular job and the other person is a professional poker player with young kids without other family (grandma and grandpa for example) buying in to you playing poker and willing to be primary caregivers while you are at a casino.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:35 AM   #5
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Re: Poker & Parenting

Talonchick on pokerstars might be a good resource for questions. She just had her 2nd child and her husband at least used to play.

I suspect your situation is extremely rare! Good luck with all of it!
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:12 PM   #6
katie75013
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Re: Poker & Parenting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey Badger View Post
It's not that easy.

Especially if you're nursing. I have never seen a woman nurse or pump at a casino poker room. I think before you have kids especially if you're single it's easy to put long cash sessions and play poker tournaments. Not so easy especially if you're relying on family to be the caregivers for your children while you're at the casino because your spouse has a regular job much less running to casino play poker as well.

For me to three hour trip to the casino is just getting warmed up. I feel pressure to be at home with the kids and balance all the other priorities, Unless you're fully committed to earning your income from poker I think it's very challenging especially for women.

Look around the poker room and see how many women with very young children are playing poker. Not many. I know a number of dealers with young kids but very few female poker players with young kids. I just think it's a very difficult lifestyle with so many things pulling at you in different directions. And that's not even talking about traveling to tournaments with the added expense of bringing a family with toys in tow unless Mom or Dad are willing to stay home while the other goes. But how do you decide who goes if you both play? The one that is running better? Take turns? Not Easy.

If you want me to be perfectly honest with you I think one person has to be the fully committed primary caregiver and the other person focus on poker and that comes with all kinds of challenges, Even harder for one person to even have a regular job and the other person is a professional poker player with young kids without other family (grandma and grandpa for example) buying in to you playing poker and willing to be primary caregivers while you are at a casino.

This post is so spot on.
I hate to say I'm surprised that it's coming from a male poster, but I am! Happy though!

Nursing is an entirely different situation when it comes to working either inside or outside the home for mom. It maybe would be easier to pump, because that enables either parent to feed baby, but that's not how we've chosen to do it.

It's literally impossible for me to play a session online, at my desk, with a nursing toddler. So many reasons why. I def didn't think it would be this way, but you just never know how things work out. Plus, every baby is different, and you kind of just have to adjust as you go. I'm sure there are lots of other moms out there who could play a session with their nursing toddler. It just won't work for us.

TalonChick (Adrienne Carter) has a toddler and a newborn and she FT's stuff all the time on ROW Stars. I literally have no idea how she does it. We talk frequently but interestingly enough we've never broached this topic.
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Old 12-30-2016, 01:08 AM   #7
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Re: Poker & Parenting

Oh man - there have been a lot of lessons learned along the way.

When our first son was born, my partner took a hiatus from poker on his own terms - he felt like it was too much for both of us to be playing the volume we were at the time. For the first couple months, he was the chef and host extraordinaire to all of our visitors (we live hours away from our closest family).

We were well able to do this in part because I had worked sufficient hours as an Occupational Therapist and qualified for a year long maternity leave from conventional employment, so we had some guaranteed income.

During that year I played the UKIPT IOM main event when he was 4-5 months old. On break, I would sprint upstairs to an atrium, where he was with my husband, and feed him. Then for two hours they would wander the shops and streets of Douglas to the point where the ladies at a café nearby were cheering every time they saw them because they knew I was still in. I ended up finishing 12th fwiw. "Disaster" struck during the tournament because as we hit the bubble and they went hand for hand - the TD decided to take an unscheduled break in lieu of a break that was due to start in 30 minutes or so.

[Insert picture of a crying mom trying to explain to a younger male TD that he couldn't just change the breaks as he saw fit because my infant needed to eat. Look deeper into the picture and see me frantically explaining that my son is very small on the growth chart and must feed as often as possible, also that I have tried numerous times to pump and it yielded abysmal results.....]

A couple months pass and we head to PCA 2015, I played some events, but mostly did media stuff with PokerStars. You could have found me around any given corner nursing Carrick or in the media room. I think I avoided playing side events because of my IOM experience and that I wanted to be with my family and have a holiday. The only years I haven't won a side event at PCA were when I was pregnant (2014) and during the hiatus in 2015 - baby brain/mommy brain have been a real challenge.

Breastfeeding in public is uncomfortable for lots of women in day to day life - it's that much more challenging in a poker environment...men who are overall younger/less mature and very very few ladies kicking around. I don't think I am the only woman who has done it...but I don't know of anyone else.

So here we are now - 2016, we have a 2.5 yo and a 3 month old. What does poker look like for us? Currently I play most evenings when my Carrick goes to bed and Cian just hangs out either cuddling or nursing while I'm on my laptop. (If you ever feel slow rolled by me...it's most certainly unintentional and more likely a latch issue)

I worked one shift as an OT in 2016, so no maternity leave this time. Much more 'urgency' to be making money. I broadcast on twitch 2-3x/week for about a total of 15 hours a week, starting usually just after noon. Ryan works doing internet marketing and is out of bed well before 6am every morning. He still plays poker and is involved in the poker world, but playing is very secondary. I try to start my streams while Carrick naps, I nurse Cian while streaming and generally hold him throughout the stream. It's not ideal, but it works.

Being a parent has made poker so much harder BUT it is so worth it for us. Poker has allowed me to stay home instead of working away from home. It has allowed me to set my own schedule and allows me the flexibility to take time off when needed. (Our whole family has been sick on and off for two months...right now it's Cian and me...) If either of us worked a conventional job or outside the home, I have a hard time imagining how the picture would look.

In terms of game selection - I tend to play smaller field mixed games (greater frequency of winning, but no sensational wins), turbos (they suit my brain capacity at the moment - sometimes complicated decision making isn't a strength), PSKOs (gosh I love this variant...I'm a bounty hunter and it's nice to be able to lock in a win very early in the tournament).

This is working for us now - check back in 3 months when we have two toddlers. Carrick likes to play on his own a bit now, but when Cian starts to crawl am not sure what streaming will look like. We avoid screen time for Carrick, and will also for Cian - so there is no sitting them in front of a screen with any regularity (exceptions for sick days and unavoidable work conflicts/meetings).

Simply put - there are no clear answers, what works for us likely wouldn't for someone else. If it ever becomes too much for us to manage, we know that we will recalibrate to make it work, with the easy priority being the boys. There are a few pictures illustrating what that would look like but which we will choose, we don't know.

I feel a bit like I have written a lot but not said much...will try to follow the thread and if anyone has any direct questions, I am happy to address them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
Is playing a struggle for your husband, too? If not, that would point to the solution to your issues. Time for him to stop thinking that he's "babysitting" from time to time and that he's got a 50% responsibility to care for your child.
As a side note this comes across as overly snarky to me - whether that be the intent or not. I didn't see where anyone mentioned their partner 'babysitting', although I have heard that before out and about.

We never worry about percentages, and doing so seems to be a good way to fail at a partnership and parenthood. How could 50/50 ever be the responsibility split?
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:43 PM   #8
hotjenny314
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Re: Poker & Parenting

Such great info in this thread!

Only just over a week until I'm due to begin trying to figure out how to combine poker and parenting myself! I'm sure I'll have a million questions.
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