Children and Demanding Careers

The more I look around, the more I realize I'm an anomaly in private equity. I'm married, in my late 20s and have two kids below the age of two. I'm managing the work hours and traveling quite well, but I was wondering if others on here are in a similar situation and how you guys manage the demanding schedule.

Essentially, I work 12-13h at the office (typically 6ish to 7ish) before getting home, taking care of the kids for a little bit and then working an extra few hours if needed. I've come to terms with sacrificing sleep by getting up very early so that I can see my kids at tonight, something I wouldn't give up for any amount of money (which is in turn something that my 22 year old self would have ever said)

Anybody else in a similar situation? If so, what's your routine? Do you manage to fit hobbies in there or the schedule's too tight? How does the wife/gf/husband/boyfriend deal with your career choice given that kids are in the mix?

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Comments (25)

Nov 6, 2018

Early 30's IBD with 2 year old daughter here. My wife works so our schedule is that I take care of the morning shift and drive the toddler to day care ~8-8:30, my wife picks her up at 5-5:30 and takes the evening shift / dinner / sleep. I work fairly late and live really far away right now so can't make it back for the evening, but trying to buy a place that's very close to work so that daddy can be home for dinner and I have the flexibility to bounce back to the office as needed. On Sat/Sun I try to block out her awake times to be with her, and work remotely during her nap and go to work in the evening after she's asleep from ~8 PM-whenever.

Keen WSO readers w/o kids will notice that there is no personal time slotted...

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Funniest
Nov 6, 2018
Synergy_or_Syzygy:

Early 30's IBD with 2 year old daughter here. My wife works so our schedule is that I take care of the morning shift and drive the toddler to day care ~8-8:30, my wife picks her up at 5-5:30 and takes the evening shift / dinner / sleep. I work fairly late and live really far away right now so can't make it back for the evening, but trying to buy a place that's very close to work so that daddy can be home for dinner and I have the flexibility to bounce back to the office as needed. On Sat/Sun I try to block out her awake times to be with her, and work remotely during her nap and go to work in the evening after she's asleep from ~8 PM-whenever.

Keen WSO readers w/o kids will notice that there is no personal time slotted...

I bet you work your analysts like hell

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Nov 6, 2018

Hard for me to answer that question! Well, I do everything in my physical and mental capacity to avoid that. There are a lot of days where I'm working alongside the Analyst until 2 AM, then I have to get up at 6 to be a dad and commute to work while my Analyst gets 2 more hours of sleep... We probably work a similar amount of hours or at least a toss-up, I can cover on Saturdays for example while they cover me Sunday afternoon, then I cover on Sunday night, etc. I respect our Analysts a lot and hope they come away from their experience not feeling like their Associate's life circumstances messed them up.

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Nov 6, 2018

Great stuff. You're definitely living a more extreme version of my schedule. Reminds me of my time in M&A, when my first child wouldn't even let me hold him on weekends cause he didn't know who I was. Not something I'd go back to for any amount of money.

    • 6
Nov 6, 2018

wow this is incredibly fucked. Thats scary shit

    • 3
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Nov 6, 2018

Nightmare fuel... well, props to you, fellow Dad. Keep on keeping on.

Nov 16, 2018

I don't want to take anything away from this because you have kids and I don't.... but I just want to throw a separate perspective out there from personal experience:

My dad was always working a lot when I was growing up (probably put in 70-80 hour weeks for a decade or more and this is not a job that you can do from home) and he did very well for himself. I always looked up to him when I was younger but we weren't really that close in the sense that I would never come to him for advice or help with life/school stuff. I'm not trying to give the impression that he was nonexistent in my life but he was for a fact obviously less around than a dad who works 40 hours/week or so. We would still go on vacations. He would still take great interest in the schools I went to and the extracurricular activities I did, etc. but more from the perspective of making sure that I went to great schools or did the right activities and less from the perspective of taking time to go to games, etc.

All that said - I don't know if I ever really cared... obviously from watching tv shows and stuff you can understand that the cultural consensus is that parents should take the time to go their kids sports games but I honestly don't know if that mattered much to me because it just wasn't something I really experienced.

Since my early 20's, we started getting significantly closer to the point where I now freely discuss with him topics ranging from careers to girls to relationships to even deeper life questions. I do wish I was able to have that same relationship with him when I was younger but a) I have a sibling who was always closer to my parents than I was and is just more in-tune with people and their emotional vibe so maybe it was just me and b) at the same time the sacrifices he made for his career leaves me in a very enviable position relative to a lot of other millennials so I'm not sure.

I guess this is all just a long-winded way of saying that I can get why having kids changes your perspective completely on what matters in life but at the same time, raising a family in American and leaving them in a position better than where you started is hard and sometimes sacrifices need to be made.

Plus - kids don't even reach consciousness until they are 2 years old. How much of this stuff will they really remember?

Nov 12, 2018
Synergy_or_Syzygy:

and go to work in the evening after she's asleep from ~8 PM-whenever.

By go to work do you mean go TO work as in go to the office or remote work?

Nov 6, 2018

Depends on how much time needed, if it's a grind then have to be in the office to be efficient. If it's going to take the same time as commute to get done, then it makes more sense to just log in remotely.

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Nov 6, 2018

Thanks for posting this. Even as a first year analyst, this sits in the back of my mind and kinda freaks me out sometimes.

Dayman?

Nov 6, 2018

Simple fix. Dont have kids.

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Nov 6, 2018

The sad part is that you're probably being serious. Mentioning the fact that I'm a dad in interviews has actually helped me in all industries aside from IB. Senior PE professionals tend to have kids, meaning I was likely the only one they'd come across in a while that could actually joke about random dad stuff with during interviews, immediately making me stand out.

I had to go into a final round less than 12h after my second kid was born and I got the offer. The conversation changed the second that they realized I was coming back from the hospital.

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Nov 12, 2018

The more you post on this site the more and more I think you might be autistic.

Nov 6, 2018

Cool...? I don't care abut your opinions...?

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Most Helpful
Nov 8, 2018

Early 30s sell side banker here and have a 3 year old at home. I do my best with this whole work life balance thing where I work more or less 12 hour days in the office, come home for dinner, spend some time chatting with my wife about our days, and then log back in to work till midnight or 1am. I wake up early to walk my kid to school and then in the office by 8am.

On weekends I spend the sunlight hours with my family. If nothing is live I'll spend the night watching movies or T.V. and if I have work I'll spend my saturday night logged in from home.

The area that takes a hit is obivously my sleep and social hang outs with my single or friends without kids. I do see them sometimes but generally I wouldn't trade a night out with them for even spending a few minutes with my kid without a hangover next day. I never I thought I would have said that but I just love hanging out with my family (man life changes such in only a few years!!!!).

I can function completely well on 5-6 hours of sleep a night on a regular basis and on 4 hours or less for no more than 3 or 4 days straight before my brain just goes to mush.

The key for me is I have an incredible wife (full time mom) who is literally my soul mate and on the same page (mostly atleast...) that sometimes the job must come first when we are deep into a live transaction.

I am a big hiker and have trekked all around the world pre-baby days and have not done a major hike since my kid was born but I do fit in day treks on weekends but all my other activities and hobbies have gone by the way side as there just so many hours in a day and you have to sacrafice somewhere.

Life is definitely hard but I make a huge effort to be the best dad I can be. I love being a dad but I am also one of the few people on the sell side that actually like my job and see myself as a career banker.

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Nov 6, 2018

I see myself in a lot of what you wrote. I barely go out with friends because it would mean spending the little time I have away from my family.

Thanks for sharing, really appreciated!

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Nov 6, 2018

+1 for the story and +1 for reminding me of pre-baby days in Wanchai

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Nov 10, 2018

Honest question, is it worth it?

I have a LT significant other that I plan to marry, but I worry a lot about how I will balance career, family, and having any time for myself... I already never see my friends and know that will only get worse with more responsibilities added in

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Nov 6, 2018

It is. If I could do it all over again, I'd make the same decision. Nothing beats your kids' smiles when you get home. That being said, whatever little free-time you have takes a massive hit if being a present father is something you care about.

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Jan 25, 2019

I don't have a demanding career but hearing everyone talk about their kids I just couldn't resist.

I'm a new parent here my kid is < 6 months and very social but very demanding. He is our first kid and anyone who has child knows that there are a number of things they don't tell you ahead of time. From colic to baby acid reflex with no family around (within hundreds of miles) its been a real challenge. When people complain about only getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep, man I would literally kill for 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. We have been nursing him (Breastfed baby) and literally wont go to sleep when my wife is holding him because he loves to eat to the point where it distracts him from sleep (healthy appetite is probably my fault). Which means I can't do the stereotypical lazy dad who only changes diapers and helps during the day. Parenting is a 24 hour job, and to be honest as hard as it is its actually been pretty inspiring.

Having my son has shown me what someone can do when you have the right motivation. I have become fearless and understand just how effective someone can be even with no sleep. Its even inspired me to consider taking on responsibilities beyond my current role because i know that i can take it.

Those every 45mins to 90 mins where he wakes up after putting him down throughout the night got a little easier when we saw his first smile. It gets you through those nights when you are putting a screaming baby to bed every night.

For anyone who is in the thick of it, i hear you brother/sister. Hang in there and know that you are not alone! Stay strong and know that as long as you are trying and doing your best you are a great dad/mom.

I sincerely hope this helps someone

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Nov 6, 2018

Great stuff. Keep an eye out for when they turn 6 months +. They start sitting up without support, then they crawl, then stand-up and walk in no time. Then you realize you can barely rock them to bed given their growing size. Enjoy it man, my oldest is 2 now and I regret the weekend days spent working instead of watching him grow. Not a mistake I'm repeating with my youngest.

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Jan 25, 2019

Absolutely, I will keep that in mind. He's not quite crawling yet but its coming and fast.

Time flies when you're having fun

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Jan 26, 2019

Great and underrated thread. Not much to add other than try to be at an employer where you've "established yourself" to the extent you can when you have them as they generally are a little more understanding about the demands.