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.
Originally Posted by venice10
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?