/ Climbing for New Dads
I'm interested to hear what impact this had on other people's climbing (for either me or her) in similar situations. Did you bin it completely for an extended period? How long? Did you start getting out sporadically again after a few weeks? I'm used to climbing quite a lot, so I'm expecting a big shock (H-bomb more like).
We both climb, so we plan to do a bit of taking it in turns (a day each on the weekends rather than the normal taking it in turns), and also going climbing together at some suitable infant friendly venue. I guess bouldering is quite good with kids, maybe I'll become a boulderer(!)
Or we could team up with others in the same situation maybe. Any other top tips?
climbing? lets start with sleeping, sex and tv, then maybe getting to the supermarket and eventually a movie.
its hard but not impossible. all depends on the support your wife has, and what you really want to do. being with your kid is hard to beat for a fair while. let it affect you.
personally, we had the support for me to get out in the mountains (in a work capacity) after just a week, but recreationally was about 3 months (when the ice started so i really didnt care anyway).
days cragging probably wont be too big a deal - except for your head. thats a whooooole new game that one. your climbing for 3 now.
keep at it tho. my dad climbed and i thought it cool when other kids talked about their dads playing rugby. and the day will come when you get to bring them along and you wanna look cool right.
My daughter is 9 weeks old today. Iíve been climbing once, mountain biking twice and been for a few runs. Iím starting up the Wednesday night climbing session from this week. This coincides with my wife feeling ready to start going to circuits again.
I pretty much put my ďleisure activitiesĒ on hold until my wife was happy with where she was. Having a baby is pretty stressful, on mind and body, and my focus has been on supporting my wife, not going out and having fun. Sheís had to make a lot of compromises over the last 10 months so it only seems fair that I make a few too. My wife is very sporty so me going out doing stuff when she physically couldnít would have been a bit galling, especially as she ends up holding the baby!
Anyway, my only advice would be:
- Donít have any pre-conceived ideas about getting out during week 3 etc, play it by ear.
- Support your wife, sheís going to go through a lot and a little TLC goes a long way.
- Being a Dad is brilliant, enjoy it!
It's hard not to laugh :-)
Climbing, forget it, if you want to do your 50% of bringing up the little'un. A lot of men don't, of course, but that's another debate.
Firstly - congratulations!
Secondly - if you're anything like me your life and priorities will now have changed forever.
For the first three (or was it six?) months of my two being born, every spare second I had to myself was spent sleeping - wherever I was, and for however long I could get away with it. I had been someone who had a day out in the Peak every weekend, a couple of mid week trips to the wall, every Bank Holiday in the Lakes or Pembroke etc - then I just did not have the time or energy to even think about it for a while.
Once the babies were sleeping through the night, I started getting out every Friday night in the summer once they were in bed, and getting a full day out in the Peak once a month. A few years down the line, this is still what I do - no week-long cragging trips any more, Bank Holidays doing family stuff - and I'm quite happy with it. I simply can't imagine climbing like I used to. I don't miss that lifestyle, and I appreciate the relatively few climbing days I get more than I used to.
The weekend just gone, for example, I got to Baslow at 7.30 on Fri pm. Soloed and bouldered with my mate without stopping till sunset, and my tips are still raw. Even managed a few things I'd never done before, and I'll remember that evening for a while. Took the boys camping near Lathkill Dale with a mate and his two sons on Sat pm. Only their third night out in a tent and they had a brilliant time. That was really, really rewarding, and I'm now wondering if I can carry enough stuff for the three of us to bivi out on one of the eastern edges.
Finally - make sure you live close to somewhere like Burbage. 90% of my climbing nowadays is at Burbage North in the hour before sunset. I know everything off by heart, but if you've had a hard day, or not got out for a while, it's nice to let the body just take over without having to think too much about the routes you're doing.
Also, I don't agree with Bruce. Most of us need to have our own thing, and to put ourselves first occasionally. I have my Friday nights, and my one day a month, my missus has the dogs to get out with twice a day. She loves being able to slip out the door with them straight after dinner, leaving me to tidy up and get the kids ready for bed. Make sure you both get some "me" time (although you'll probably both be too knackered ar first!).
> It's hard not to laugh :-)
> Climbing, forget it, if you want to do your 50% of bringing up the little'un. A lot of men don't, of course, but that's another debate.
I think you're making some presumptions there!
I know two couples, where both partners are climbers and both have just had babies. This has not affected their climbing lives much at all. Both mums and dads get out, they just take their kids with them. If you want to do this it's clearly not an insurmountable problem, you just ned to know your priorities.
Have you tried this yourself? When they are babies it's not really on, what usually happens is one of the parents ends up doing mots of the work.
Thanks for the replies, some good common sense.
> Have you tried this yourself? When they are babies it's not really on, what usually happens is one of the parents ends up doing mots of the work.
But that sounds like an issue with the parents rather than the climbing itself??
When you do get out be prepared to drop several big grades and nap while belaying, don't bother actually trying to climb, just relish the open air and peace.
After the first year (assuming you only have the one) things will return to "normal" and you'll recover your grades fairly quickly as this is really just a matter of fitness. You may never climb as boldly as before and if you didn't wear a helmet before you may find youself investing in one. You will be perpetually short of time.
If, at the age of 2, you find your child to be climbing orientated then get used to climbing plastic and invest in lessons (climbing creche) so you can climb yourself!
Take it in turns at staying home with baby and going climbing with mates. (And it doesn't mean two for you and one for her).
We did the whole joggling baby in a pack pack while belaying at crag and wall, camping with baby/toddler (then 2 of them), trying to find child friendly crags etc and its OK, but a massive compromise.
But one thing that nobody mentions is that it's nigh on impossible to concentrate on tough crux moves and will your gear hold when your kid is screaming his head off at the bottom. Even if partner is there.
Don't put yourself through it. Have a day each and relax.
Kids start indoor climbing at 2? Wow.
> But that sounds like an issue with the parents rather than the climbing itself??
Absolutely, it would be much the same for any activity. Whatever happens there's no need to worry, you'll muddle through like everyone else, but it's a major change of life style, on the other hand have you got anything better to do than bring a new human being into the world?
> Don't put yourself through it. Have a day each and relax.
yup. asymmetry is the way. otherwise you can both end up ground down and barely surviving and that hurts the team. gotta be able and happy each as individuals so you dont lose the people who made it all happen to start with.
we do this across the game, making sure each gets decent sleep, quality time just each with our daughter, then whole days either as carer or free range (or as much as possible during the breastfeeding schedule). i love my dad/daughter time, and know mum will be chilled out when we return. its the time apart that lets us be together.
mum gets lots of time with other mums too, where i am not welcome. i talk dad stuff with my ilk.
> climbing? lets start with sleeping, sex and tv, then maybe getting to the supermarket and eventually a movie.
Congratulations, it's a whole new world waiting for you. On a personal note, my desire to still go climbing was very strong to begin with and I had made great plans on how to do it. I thought I'd be able to compartmentalise my life: work, social, climbing etc; but being a parent first of all changes your life, then changes you.
Hopefully you'll find a way that balances all that you want out of life- and if you do, let me know the secret!
a) become a breast feeding advocate.
b) be the one without the breasts.
We breast fed for the first 2 years (3 times) and I had almost no idea what was going on.
I think we had some back up supplies frozen in ice cube makers but that might have been a cooking thing.
We had a couple of bottles, some teets and a bowl of water, apart from that no other kit, whilst friends looked like they'd set up personal laboratories. People laughed at my incompetence and general ignorance of the whole baby feeding thing but you just say Breast is best and even the moms stop berating you.
As for the climbing, every kid's different (especially sleeping through) but strangely enough they are least active when they are youngest, so it can be easiest then.
It helps a lot if you can be more spontaneous rather than having to plan weeks ahead only to be rained off after a few hours drive.
Keep fit at home if you're not going out.
Congratulations, it's a great adventure.
It's impossible to generalise since behavior of offspring, attitude of partner, level of extended family support, work, geography, climbing goals, and effect on your head - an incomplete list - are so varied. I was lucky with 1, 2, and 4 and my climbing standard has increased compared with before parenthood. I have less free time but I am more productive with it and have a better focus on what I want to do.
In my experience, people who give up climbing after the arrival of kids were just looking for an honourable reason to retire!
We have just had our second two weeks ago and being the devoted husband I now am, I can't see myself going climbing any time soon. New borns need feeding every 3 or 4 hours which is pretty hard going when you are on your own and the more support the better. That said, after about 6 weeks, things start getting easier.
One compromise I did find really good was to get out climbing at the weekend, but start at 6 - 7am and finish at lunch time. You will be up anyway, but a half day outing is much more acceptable than a full day. If you fancy something like this, just send me a mail. You can get a full days climbing easily by lunch time if you put your mind to it.
Good luck. You have a few weeks to get used to the idea of only getting 5 hours sleep a night for a bit!
I was quite old (43) when we started our family. Since I had spent more than 20yrs climbing regularly, I didn't really mind getting out a lot less. My days out climbing dropped to almost zero for about 7 or 8 years. Then I started to take the children out climbing. Nowadays I am happy doing long easy mountaineering routes, either by myself or with the children. I have always been more interested in mountaineering, rather than pure crag climbing, so it's actually worked out well.
Also, I do much more cycling now. Since I live in the countryside with quiet roads, it's very easy to just jump on the bike for a couple of hours.
> Kids start indoor climbing at 2? Wow.
(That's my two yr old in the photo)
> Congratulations, it's a great adventure.
> It's impossible to generalise since behavior of offspring, attitude of partner, level of extended family support, work, geography, climbing goals, and effect on your head - an incomplete list - are so varied. I was lucky with 1, 2, and 4 and my climbing standard has increased compared with before parenthood. I have less free time but I am more productive with it and have a better focus on what I want to do.
I have reserved a evening a week for the last 20 years, this has generally worked, with only occasional weekend trips, this has kept me sane.
You'll find yourself doing mad things like turning up on the gritstone and at 8pm and leading 11 routes, your night vision will certainly improve as you eek out every minute available.
Generally the first year is the worst I only got wall sessions for about 10 months, also sloping off for an hours lunchtime bouldering will help to keep up fitness.
Buy a road bike; it's the best way of combining family duties with enjoyable exercise - you can go out from your front door for an hour and come home reasonably clean and feeling absolutely beasted. It will make you a lot fitter on the hills too.
> Buy a road bike; it's the best way of combining family duties with enjoyable exercise - you can go out from your front door for an hour and come home reasonably clean and feeling absolutely beasted. It will make you a lot fitter on the hills too.
+1 - exactly what I did.
To the OP, as others have said everyone is different in how they react and how much they continue to get out.
FWIW I climbed a reasonable amount following the 1st child (but still significantly less than pre-kids), but it really dropped off following no 2.
I found that its actually become more tricky as they get a bit older, as they are more active and want to see there Dad more, plus I don't feel its fair to leave my wife to deal with them all week and weekend as well!
Also, I found that as I was climbing less my grade has dropped and I feel less inclined to go out, bit of a vicious circle I guess.
I've since brought a road bike as I can commute to work to keep fit and get out for early/late rides when the kids are in bed, without eating into family time.
Spent all day Saturday at the beach and walking along the coast with the wife, baby and dog on Saturday. Everyone had a great day, the mrs got out the house for something different and I got some brownie points and then I got to go cragging all day yesterday.
When the mrs goes back to work in January things will need to change a little again as she works shifts, but luckily both sets of parents live within a mile of us so we have a lot of people around us.
I don't doubt that things will change again as they grow older, but I can't see me stopping climbing. If I start spending more weekends with them when they are older then I still have my evening cragging (which I do more than at weekends anyway to be honest). Weekends are generally just for winter climbing (which is a fairly short season), hillwalking, and the occasional mountain routes (again occasional anyway) and I can hopefully get her involved with the hillwalking once she is older anyway.
> We breast fed for the first 2 years (3 times) and I had almost no idea what was going on.
Interesting use of the word "we"
Personally I would say "bottle" as you say your partner also climbs and she will want to leave you with the baby and get out herself unless you're planning on being utterly selfish which I'm sure you're not!
I would suggest you wait until you are up to your neck in it before making a judgement. If you go down the breastfeeding route, then obviously there is only one person who can do that. You will also find that the sound of your own child crying shatters your heart in a way that other simply do not.
Suck it and see and go from there. It is quite interesting because when I when to register our number two last week, we had already been out for lunch, dinner and to the beach for the day. In the register office, I met another couple who had just had their first on the same day as us. This was the first time they had dared venture out. This is more or less in line with how we were when we had our first. It is a massive shell shock that takes a good couple of weeks to get accustomed to. Second time round has been a doddle by comparison.
I think the key might be in the phrase "just had babies". Lots of small babies (although neither of mine!) will happily sleep in car seat for an hour or two, meaning a trip to the wall or a suitable crag isn't out of the question. Once they start crawling, it's a different matter!
In reply to the OP:
Well, it all depends, doesn't it.... My husband didn't change his plans much with first child, got grounded for a while whilst we had two little ones to cope with and bedtimes were a bit crazy, and then escaped again on the excuse he was doing his MIA, and just had to climb.
My son is 5 Ĺ months old. I was very worried that having a child would be the end of my climbing. However itís been not only the best 5 Ĺ months of my life but I have also been able to keep climbing and getting fitter and stronger too.
In my opinion itís all about personal attitude and priorities. For me its family first, of course Iíve missed sessions because my sons been ill or my wife has been tired.
But Iíd rather be training at home, running (to keep the weight off) or doing a shorter (but more focused) session at the wall or even doing the house-work - than watching the TV or surfing the internet for example. Yes you have to make sacrifices, the biking and nights out drinking are gone, but I donít miss them!
Having a very understanding partner is important as are keeping the desire and goals, I often find it hard to head out climbing and leave the bambino & wife.
My regular climbing partners are very understanding and happy to be flexible on times etc (late or early start). this is a massive help and something I really appreciate.
I love climbing and I want to set a positive example for my son, climbing its adventures and its people are all part of what defines me as a person, I hope that one day my son will find similar in what ever he decides to do.
It would be far too easy to stop climbing; Iím not looking for an excuse to stop or the reasons to continue. If its something thatís important to you keep doing it! If it was football or even drinking in the pub no one would even question it.
At weekends I head out most Sunday afternoons, Saturdays are for the family, though I get a run in during a nap. My wife will usually do the same too. I get to the wall for a couple of hours twice a week and train at home on other nights. Yes youíll be tired but look at as training ;-)
Iíve probably done a bit less volume but generally climbed harder and been more focussed, Iím looking forward to taking my son out climbing but it will be up to him if he wants to more in the future.
Iím not a super psyched, self obsessed, super climber just a normal bloke climbing normal grades by the way! Get out there and enjoy yourself Ė just make sure you are the best Dad & Partner when youíre not out climbing too.
It gets easier once they are old enough to look after themselves/not fall off cliffs, as you can take them with you, but that is probably about 7/8 years old? I have also found that my kids prefer bouldering on small rocks, with the reward of jumping onto the mat, rather than all the faff that goes with setting up ropes and harnesses to haul them up a damp chimney.
Good luck with it all, and enjoy being a dad!
I'd book an assessment for this summer ;-)
I think I may have heard about his communication style ;-)
I think chances of getting out much with newborn twins aren't high, tbh. Have you got full assessment to do, or is a referral of some kind? My husband managed a one day deferral, so still manages to use the "have to climbing" line......
I did however try lots of different activities with my kid - we went xc skiing 2 years in a row to norway and i towed him around in a pulk, I now go skiing with him in the alps and here at home (he's now 5 and can ski down red nae bother!) and it's great. We go canoeing/cycling and climbing now - nothing extreme but to be in the outdoors and share the experience with my boy (and wife!) is fantastic....it may take a few years and a lot of patience but it pays off in the end.
As mentioned above it's all about the bouldering - indoor and out - we used to trad climb a lot but bouldering is so much easier to take turns and our 11 month old son seems to love exploring the boulders himselves, St Bees at the weekend was perfect for this. The few trad and sport routes we have done have been much harder to organise and you never quite get enough of a climbing fix. Bouldering you can be trashed in 45 mins and hit the cafe! If you are keen to climb, better to take turns on days or half-days, taking turns at the crag requires a very patient third person! So we haven't really stopped climbing, just switched to more bouldering and yes it's worth taking up biking, hill walking, scrambling and other sports which the baby (in trailer, back carrier) can join you for....enjoy, it's a great adventure!
Many thanks for all the advice. And thanks for the offers to get out, unfortunately I'm not local (minus 8 hrs, hence the sporadic posting).
What's noticeable is nobody saying they go to crags with other groups of parents & kids and share the responsibilities. Anyone tried that?
> I did however try lots of different activities with my kid - we went xc skiing 2 years in a row to norway and i towed him around in a pulk, I now go skiing with him in the alps and here at home (he's now 5 and can ski down red nae bother!) and it's great. We go canoeing/cycling and climbing now - nothing extreme but to be in the outdoors and share the experience with my boy (and wife!) is fantastic....it may take a few years and a lot of patience but it pays off in the end.
Skiing is definitely on the cards. I'm planning on getting a pulk. Apparently there's a push chair that can convert to either a bike trailer or a pulk!
Kids are rubbish at grade arguments ;-) Congrats btw.
> What's noticeable is nobody saying they go to crags with other groups of parents & kids and share the responsibilities. Anyone tried that?
Someone posted a week or so ago looking for other families to do just that.
We've got a Burley Honey Bee trailer which easily concerts to a pushchair and has pulk attachments if you are keen! Rather you than me though.
In answer t your question we have done a few trips to crags in the Ariege and Provence with lots of babies at the base and taken turns and this does work and is pretty sociable. You will not get much climbing done so pateience and sense of humour help here....Can be quite interesting when you are left with two babies and they both want attention or are crawling towards danger. Top tip here is a travel cot which doubles as a baby cage....
is tiring. Possible but demands dedication and understanding wife.
You'd get locked up for doing that :-) The other day I saw a story about someone who forgot his (or hers, not sure) and the child died from the heat... Personally I put leaving a baby unattended in a car on the same level as leaving your dog tied to a car bumper while you nip into a shop! Funny in cartoons but not in real life.
Car seats can be taken out of the car...
Don't worry too much you should get over the birth fairly quickly and so long as you keep up the exercises you should get your figure back within 6 months or so. You will be tired but with support from your wife you will soon be your old self again, and be able to get out onto the roks maybe once or twice a year, try and make it a deal for father's day.
Within about 10 years there is the hope that you will be able to get out more often, so long as you don't plan further additions to the family.
Oh! and congratulaions on the impending life changing event.
You don't have much contact with babies, do you? Almost all first stage car seats lift easily out of the car, and you carry them to somewhere more suitable......
> Car seats can be taken out of the car...
Of course but I took the suggestion to mean leaving the baby while having a quick climb - the poster said she didn't do it herself.
Maybe we were over protective but we've never even used a baby-sitter for any of our three, but we had them fairly late in life so going out on the town wasn't something we felt like doing anymore.
Not sure I agree with suggestions to replace with cycling - it's an (almost) equally time-consuming activity in my experience. Fell running is a far more efficient way for dads to get into the hills and retain some focus - it's certainly the direction I went in after offspring, and then gradually fitted some climbing and cycling back into the schedule as they got older.
> You don't have much contact with babies, do you? Almost all first stage car seats lift easily out of the car, and you carry them to somewhere more suitable......
I've had three babies (sort of)! and I was the one who stopped work to look after them... I don't see how you can climb and keep an eye on a sleeping baby though. Sounds like a recipe for ending up on the telly to me.
I can't see how bouldering whilst baby is asleep in car seat/buggy/etc in a safe part of climbing wall (which I've done a couple of times) is any worse than baby being put to asleep upstairs whilst parent is downstairs dashing around doing housework, with or without a monitor (which I haven't done with small babies, but is very common and accepted). Bouldering or even top roping, you could surely be with baby just as fast?
Lead climbing a multi pitch outdoor route would obviously be rather different!
This doesn't necessarily apply to you as the op but a lot of the replies...
Is climbing REALLY that important to you all that it can't play second fiddle for a few years? Is climbing unique as a sport that people find it impossible to just 'do it' rather than 'living it'?
There are other threads on here about really important things in life that are really about how it will affect their climbing. Choice of university, dream jobs, careers, marriages, girl/boyfriends all seem to depend on the availabilty of an evening's cragging. Now, some people are suggesting that it's ok to leave a baby in a car seat for a few hours whilst they go bouldering. No, that's not ok. A child deserves your full attention for a few years and if you can't be looking after it, someone else needs to be, whether that's family or a babysitter. You wanted the child, make the commitment. Be a mother/father who climbs. Not a climber with a child.
I think climbing is unique as a sport where even amateurs far from the top of the sport who are frankly carp in the grand scheme of things don't seem to think it's possible to stop for a bit and start again later. It's the same as an amateur runner, even a good one, thinking that they can't possibly have a few years off hard training without ever running 40min 10ks again.
Now, in terms of advice on how to keep active and not let a child take over your life, this thread has some valuable advice. I appreciate people want to carry on doing things they currently enjoy and I have no problem with that. But I'm worried about some people's attitudes, priorities and perspectives. I know these will all be deeply personal and who am I to judge? But society judges there should be an awareness that the wider community may look at these actions and consider them neglect brought on by obsessive behaviours.
Lets be clear, we're talking about maybe a few years out of 70+ where you put someone else first and you maybe climb once a week rather than 3 or 4 times. Not really a hardship is it.
Since having our Boy 20 months ago I have not climbed at all and I live just a 15 minute drive to a crag.
This is due to a combination of factors which include availability of a partner at short notice, weather and being ill.
I am also doing a degree at the some time, so a lot of time is spent undertaking that, reading, exams and assignments and my lovely dissertation next.
This is to the point that I am contemplating selling most of my climbing gear as I can't see myself doing a great deal for the next couple of years.
I have had a road bike for a number of years and its this I turn to for exercise as going swimming with the little one doesn't count. Every now and then I do the local TT to see how unfit I am.
I would see how things pan out for you, but you probably have more spare time than me so could go every now and then, but you may not have the flexibility that you currently have with doing family orientated trips as well.
Good luck either way.
If that's aimed partially at me, I think the "few hours" is something you've read into it. 20 min would be nearer the truth, and all that within very easy hearing distance. One of reasons my child went to the wall a few times is that, as a breastfeeding mother (who couldn't express), I couldn't leave my baby for a few hours at any point in the first 6 months or so......
Friends with a similar age baby used to leave their baby alone upstairs in its cot, screaming itself to sleep for over an hour, every evening, for the first six months of it's life, on the advice of their health visitor.
It's only a couple of generations since babies were left in the pram at the end of the garden for the bulk of the day. Only a generation since there were no supermarkets, and babies were left outside each shop for 10 min, for maybe an hour in total, whilst mum queued inside and bought stuff, because large prams didn't fit inside small shops.
Makes 20 min bouldering whilst baby is happily asleep sound fairly tame to me, but each to their own (within reasonable bounds....)
> Climbing, forget it, if you want to do your 50% of bringing up the little'un. A lot of men don't, of course, but that's another debate.
Totally agree with the above sentiment. With our first, my extra curricular stuff went out the window as it really was a two-person job. Though after the first twelve months or so I started to blag an hour after work on an indoor wall a couple of times a week.
Number two has been a different affair altogether: I mainly look after the eldest while my OH looks after 5 month old baby. We're almost two cohabiting single parents (in a good way mind!) Once eldest is asleep I'm often able to sneak off for a spot of cragging.
The way I see it, I'll regret not being fully involved in their early years far more than missing a few years of regular climbing and I've bred a future belayer (eldest has been on the wall a few times already :) )
To the op: Congrats and good luck!
> What's noticeable is nobody saying they go to crags with other groups of parents & kids and share the responsibilities. Anyone tried that?
Yes, just once when my first was a baby, and, personally, I wouldn't recommend it. I much preferred giving either my family or my climbing my full attention and keeping things separate. Would you be happy on the crux if you could hear junior bawling in someone else's arms? Would you be happy trying to soothe two other squawkers as well as your own if all three start at once?
Heh! Good onya, twins too!
I climbed obsessively for 20 years until having kids. I carried on climbing obsessively except that I only went out 3 or 4 times a year. I lost my main climbing partner (my wife) because we could be out at the same time and I lost contact with the others through lack of time.
I took up soloing in earnest: very satisfying even at low grades and, more importantly, very fast. Had some famtastic times zooming up mountain routes in Scotland and highballing in Northumberland. It's not for everybody but I enjoy the climbing I do now as much as I ever did. I'm very poorly located (Central Scotland)for any decent climbing but a combination of early starts and learning to run downhill means I can bag a route in Glencoe and be back for elevenses.
We also take it in turns to do outdoorsy stuff and this avoids (some of the)conflicts!
Having said all this, baby three is imminent. Perhaps I'll just be climbing twice a year from now on...
I think the developed world has gone so totally child-centric over the last 20 years or so it seems to have forgotten how people managed in the last few millenia...
A few thoughts in no particular order, my first just had second birthday, second is also due at the end of July.
ice.solo is always right. Bruce Hooker is always wrong.
This video "When" that popped up here had some resonance with me - http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67764, particularly the guy who was into biking, who described how he "topped up" on his passion for biking when and where he could and how he felt it helped him play the other roles in his life to the best of his ability. Other posters have mentioned a similar thing, you fill in the gaps in your life to enable you to do more - go cragging early or late so you can be around when the small one is awake and needs you.
At first my climbing was relatively unaffected - I got out about ten days after my son was born and had a day in the sun with my best mate. Looking back on it now that was more so I could offload to him about the traumatic birth than so I could go climbing (but that's another story). When my wife went back to work it suddenly got a lot harder to see the weekend as a day for me and a day for the family, as a day for me also meant a day when I had to ask my wife to be sole carer which did not quite seem fair, thus the dreaded brownie point system was born. If your wife is a keen climber this will probably be different for you - at least she'll understand the need to get out.
Kids at the crag -I am sure that this works really well for some people but don't let yourself become blind to the possible downsides. I think we have all probably seen some kids placed in dangerous situations so their parents can get their fix of climbing.
Lastly this makes me chuckle, probably will make you laugh more after six months of parenting but I hope other dad's reading this will enjoy it:
I used "have", not "had" quite deliberately! My only point being that anyone who's been involved with small babies since the introduction of the apparently indispensable "travel system" wouldn't assume a car seat was in a car, as so many babies now appear to spend the majority of their day in them.
Before travel systems became so necessary somewhere under 10 years ago, I can quite see why you'd imagine they were actually in a car.
Sorry if you take this as a criticism, it wasn't meant that way, I thought you meant leaving a baby in a car and as you added you didn't do it yourself it wasn't aimed at you. These threads about kids and climbing can often become "Who's the best parent?" style things, which isn't my intention. I hadn't thought of the climbing wall possibility either, never go to them.
When mine were little I wasn't climbing, I restarted much later on, but we went off for picnics a lot and camping as soon as they (number 2 came along exactly a year later) were toddlers. Once, when the youngest had just started walking, we were in Fontainebleau Forest and suddenly the youngest was nowhere to be seen... and yet we were both there, watching out, not climbing or anything, my wife doesn't climb. In a second she had walked behind a boulder and life seemed to stop... just for a few moments and we found her a few metres away but I'll never forget the fear.
So it may sound exaggerated but on this sort of thread I would never say children can fit into only a moderately adjusted life style, I think they have to be the main centre of life for many years, if not why have them? On the other hand a baby strapped asleep to their chair in an indoor situation probably isn't exactly in a high risk situation, I'll grant you that :-) Maybe I worry too much, but still nowhere near as much as their Mum.
I think there are some pretty extreme views on here. I managed to get quite a few sessions in when our son was small. I think it depends how driven you are. At one stage I would get up at 5 am and do the bottle feed, when our son had settled and gone back to sleep, I'd go bouldering and would be back home by 8am. I appreciate that this is a little extreme, but I think if you are determined you can always find someway to fit the climbing in.
When our son was older all went bouldering together with friends with children of a similar age. It meant that one set of parents could look after the children whilst the others climbed and then vice versa. Since we moved back to the UK we haven't met climbers with similar aged children. If anyone fancies family bouldering in the Peak (we have a two and a half year old son, please message me!).
We used to go climbing on local sandstone all the time, went away at least one weekend a month, and all hols revolved around climbing in UK, Europe, US. Then twin boys arrived. Huge shock!! For about six months to a year things were a battle, I got away once or twice, just for headspace as much as anything.
Then slowly things began to improve, and we were able to do more and more of what we used to do, took it in turns, some trips together. Now after six years, although it is quite different, we are back to climbing regularly, me more than her, I built a wall in garage (been in there tonight for 40 mins), I have run a lot more, become a bit of a mountain-biker, do yoga several lunch times a week, and am climbing at same level I was before. If anything through being more focused and organised I am prob fitter and stronger than I was.
On top of that we have fantastic times as a family with the 6-yr old bundles of fun, over the last year we have climbed diffs at Bosi, surfed at New Year, wild-camped in Langstrath, mucked about in the garage, gone cycling, etc etc. it's great! And that's saying nothing of all the other fun we have.
WORD OF ADVICE: don't forget your missus! When dealing with all the kid stuff,trying to reclaim your climbing life, trying to keep in top of your job, which suddenly seems more important, it's easy to neglect the one person who you got into this with. And if you are used to doing lots of stuff with her, as we were, then that aspect can be really missed. KEEP THINGS STRONG BETWEEN YOU.
But all in all, if you work hard at everything, and are patient especially at first, you will have a great time. Have fun and good luck.
My kids as babies both followed the Finnish norm of having their daytime naps in the pram in back garden as long as the temps were warmer than about -20.
OP: I suspect that where you live will have the biggest impact on what you do/don't do climbing-wise with small kids. Just checked my photos, I went ice climbing 5 days before my first son was born and bouldering 7 days after - but the boulder was about 5 mins drive from where I lived at the time, so it was easy to do for just an hour or so.
As I said, not all parents want to share bringing up their kids, until quite recently it was unknown. Personally I think it's something that anyone who doesn't might regret later on, climbing will always be there but most of us only have one shot at having a family. It's not a question of right or wrong, each person has their own set of values.
Somebody who works for my dad went sport climbing with his wife during her maternity leave, and the person belaying chatted/made coo-ing noises at the baby while the other person climbed, the baby was in the carry whatsit next to the belayer. Think he went away for a month or something like that.
They're both climbers and they both still climb, but how frequently or how hard compared to before they became parents I've no idea.
You could build a woody in the home to help with staying strong? Being a parent is probably much more fun, my brothers both love it... (:-))
i cant do my 50% of child rearing as i have to go to work.
> Buy a road bike; it's the best way of combining family duties with enjoyable exercise - you can go out from your front door for an hour and come home reasonably clean and feeling absolutely beasted. It will make you a lot fitter on the hills too.
V. Good advice - i also recomend supportive husband and bouldering - as is flexible no need to find partners good for short sessions - font is an ace family holiday mine are still young 2 & 4 hopeing for some more routes this summer - enjoy, kids are a relentles joy
Ps - help your wife get out loads too if she wants she will need it and will come back to you
Many useful advice and insights have already been put forward, but a couple of points from my own experience:
Prior to my daughter's birth almost 2 years ago, I hardly ever got out and was only able to climb indoors at lunch times. Since her birth, nothing has changed in this respect.
I did build a training wall in my garage; when wife and daughter go to bed, i hit it for an hour each night. This takes care of training, meaning that when i go to the wall, i don't have to waste time 'training' - i can just climb and enjoy it.
Also - if you want to get decent sleep, encourage your wife to breastfeed and also co-sleep. Ignore anything that says it's dangerous, it's not, so long as no-one drinks or smokes. We co-sleep and it's lovely; baby wakes up, wife puts a boob in her face, baby goes to sleep. Many times in the night I never even notice, and i'd say our daughter is a million times calmer, less anxious and confident than some of her non-co-sleeping, cry-it-out friends. And we're all very well rested in general.
Squirt will be 2 in a few months and seems hell-bent on climbing anything she can get near and as such will soon be getting her very own extension to my climbing wall, probably another panel on the side.
PS: I'm pretty sure leaving a baby unattended in a car seat, in a car, in public is against the law...
> i cant do my 50% of child rearing as i have to go to work.
And if your wife said the same? No kids, end of the human race? There's no reason it should always be women who sacrifice their careers.
Men don't get maternity pay.
This sucks for female breadwinners and hopefully something that men can help out with morewith future governmental changes with splitting leave equally or the dad being off full time.
then we wouldnt have had kids. of course women souldnt have to sacrifice their careers - many dont. my wife hasnt. nor did we have kids without thinking it thru.
i still get in maybe 35% of the process. thats the concession for putting food on the table. im sure millions of other fathers in the developed world will say the same.
"No kids, end of the human race?" how the f*cks that meant to be relevant to the conversation?
Don't worry, I'm not easily offended ;-). It's actually rather amusing to be criticised (by others, not you) for not focussing on the kids enough when they're young, as I've spent most of the last 7 or 8 years being told I'm far too focussed on the kids, should put them in nursery longer hours, work more, need to "get my life back", it won't harm them. Combined with the suggestion here that I should cut down to climbing once a week, instead of several times a week - erm, I think I've managed roped climbing about once a year, indoors or out, and bouldering, erm, that'll be the annual trip to Font....where I don't think I've managed a full circuit since they were born!
Actually Bruce, there is. It is called maternity pay and is currently only paid to women. For many people this makes all the difference on whether having kids is viable or not.
> Actually Bruce, there is. It is called maternity pay and is currently only paid to women. For many people this makes all the difference on whether having kids is viable or not.
True, there is a disparity in the system which encourages women to stay at home with the baby over dads. Having said that, I think it's an option for mums to choose to give up their statutory leave and have it paid to fathers who are then entitled to the time off work instead. I just think it's rare that women want to give up this time early on.
I've found that I still get out climbing fairly regularly and have a daughter under two. It's just carefully negotiated with my partner (who doesn't climb) and I try not to take the piss too much!
> True, there is a disparity in the system which encourages women to stay at home with the baby over dads. Having said that, I think it's an option for mums to choose to give up their statutory leave and have it paid to fathers who are then entitled to the time off work instead. I just think it's rare that women want to give up this time early on.
The mum has to have 8 weeks off. Any unused time from the 12 months they are allowed can be applied for by the man, once the woman has returned to work. You employer doesn't have to grant it, unlike maternity leave.
Don't expect much climbing in the first 4 weeks - I'm at 4 weeks 2 days and haven't got further than a 40 minute pushchair walk once a day (apart from work).
Sounds like we agree on that, people that say this don't seem to realise that "your life" is bringing up your kids, just as much as 9 to 5 is. Work alienates people more than having a family IMO. One of the instructive things for me is how it enables me to see how "housewives" have lived for centuries, in particular how being dependent on the partner financially feels. Even when it's a mutually accepted decision, year after year it can be a bit wearing, self esteem can take a bit of a knock especially as society wires us up differently. If every one had to go through a compulsory spell living like the other half it might help society a bit.
> Actually Bruce, there is. It is called maternity pay and is currently only paid to women. For many people this makes all the difference on whether having kids is viable or not.
But doesn't that only concern the period around pregnancy? It does in France anyway, after that the following years the "house person" has no income at all.
What do you mean around pregnancy?
My wife worked until the day before she went into labour. She then got maternity pay from her work and is now on extended statutory maternity pay. I was entitled to 1 week full pay paternity leave, and then any time after was unpaid. I took a week holiday and then went back to work.
Yes. But once maternity has run out, if you can get child care you can all go back to work and pretend nothing happened. However, given the inequalities in pay between men and women, chances are the man will still be the main earner in a household so any hope of equality one way or another is blown out of the window.
Plans are afoot to alter the status quo though, but even then it will be hard due to all the stuff my kids do at weekends.
They are 7 and 5, soon I hope to take my son climbing properly.
I think Bruce's point (and if so, I'd agree...) is that it's not the few weeks, months, or even a year of maternity leave that makes a difference to women's careers. Almost jobs, you can take that off, and jump in where you left off (and jobs where you can't easily, you tend to be senior enough to be (a) be allowed and (b) afford to find options like a nanny that work).
The real "problem", which could potentially affect either parent, are the years of small children. If you don't want to put them in childcare 8 am - 6pm every working day (and personally, I don't), then one parent needs to stop working, or to work very part time hours - neither being terribly compatible with a high flying career. And if you do go with the full day childcare option doesn't cover the staying late to finish a project, 2 week trips abroad, picking up a sick child from school, etc.
But don't the inequalities in pay largely appear after a woman has had children? I'm sure I saw something recently that suggested women without kids earned more than the male average.....
Certainly the case here. Give or take, I earnt the same as my husband before kids. I now work very part time, but even pro rata-ed my salary has dropped behind because that has limited by ability to have applied for other jobs - there are quite a few I might have applied for, with salaries higher than my husband's, if it hadn't been for the childcare thing. That might change again in a few years when the kids are more independent, but I'd probably be quite lucky to catch up completely.
Fist up, many congratulations! I hope that the next weeks and labour all go really well for you all.
Unfortunately I've not had the time to go through all the responses - although i suspect the thread has gone off on all manor of tangents since your post and your post has no doubt received a wide variety of reponses giving you advice of all shades.
My daughter (aka the happy bomb) is now 6 months old and it only just feels like her mum and I are getting our lives back in terms of time, sleep and energy. Personally, I didn't make a conscious decision to 'bin' climbing it's just that fatherhood completely took over my life!
Currently, I don't really have the time or the inclination to get back out for full days of climbing. I'm really enjoying this new thing of being a dad - and everything that comes with it. I never thought I'd hear myself say it but I'm rather partial to the odd family walk with pram! That said, I'm slowly getting back into climbing and I'm fortunate that New Mills Torr is at the end of my road so I can pop down there for an hour or so's bouldering and some time to myself. Prior to that I joined a gym which was a good (if not particularly enjoyable) way to do a bit of exercise.
If I can give you one piece of advice I'd say do whatever feels right for you and your family - you guys are the only ones that matter so just go with whatever feels right.
Take it easy and once again, best of luck for the coming weeks!
As another poster suggested, kit yourselves out for safe cosleeping and sleep deprivation won't be an issue (I'm currently laying between a sleeping OH and a sleeping 5mo and the only reason I'm still awake is because OH came to bed and told me you'd posted)
Feeding will have the biggest impact on whether you take LO to the wall/crag together or stay home individually. Personally, I like the lack of faff with breastfeed so LO can't be left for very long. I could do it when he was tiny but it's harder now that he won't take expressed milk any more so I don't bother. We climb with a 3rd or 5th person and I do very little belaying.
In terms of getting out, it's pretty much the same number of outings as before only I get fewer routes done. Post birth, I waited 3 weeks before indoor bouldering and nearly 6 weeks for roped. But then I'm not the most obsessed or committed of climbers. We've just booked our summer holiday where we'll be in a bouldering area with two other couples who have kids. I've also made friends locally with other mums who climb and meet them at the Works during the day when it's quieter to go bouldering. Sometimes I can't be arsed so just go along and chat/play while older kids burn off some energy on the mats.
Finally, don't bother buying a buggy. Just buy a nice soft structured carrier and then you can still get to many outdoor crags. My favourite are Sleepy Nico carriers because they are light, not too padded (so I can put a rucksack or pad on my back while wearing LO on my front) , fit us both (OH takes LO for a walk after work so that I can have some baby free time) and you can choose your own fabric so make it as manly or girly as you like!
Good luck to you and Jen,
> Kids start indoor climbing at 2?
Yeh, whatever, but, more to the point, when can they start belaying?
Depends how many pies you feed them..... Unfortunately if you remember to exercise them, they take ages to become heavy enough!
Even if they are well up for it and able, you will never be prepared for the "I've had enough" call of disappointment!
Hi congrats it is fully the next chapter. For the 1st 6-8 months I wouldn't have too many assperations for getting out too much or the pushing grades just enjoy any trips you may get and not be too hard on yourself as you will probably knackered. I would advise as Dave Macleod writes in 9 out 10 that maintance of strength/fitness takes much less training time than improving, so try and keep your toe in especially on the strength front, short fingerboard or bouldering sessions worked really well for me. Also you probably wont have much time for full days out cragging, so save the fitness training for when you have more time.
A big hello to the 2-vested one.
Hope all is well out there and the adventures continue.
Buy a beanie, a chalk bucket and a brush - become a boulderer. As you're such a short arse, there'll be a good few extra moves for you, so most problems will feel like endurance routes anyway :)
Didn't Steve Mac climbing Overshadow when is daughter was still 2 years old?!
I now have a 10-month old and a three-year old. My wife isn't really interested in climbing, but is keen that I should get to do it sometimes.
After the first child, I climbed pretty regularly after perhaps 6 months (some partners claim I climbed more!). Since the second I feel like leaving them both to my wife is burdensome, so I don't for more than half a day.
The oldest is starting to get into bouldering more now though and I wish I'd bought a mat before as it is the obvious solution
Well that's all very positive. Your 'model' seems quite like ours (and PeakDJ's when Natty pops); both parents climb and live near rock. We know other couples who climb with babies too, there are some nice picnic crags in Squamish and I'm fully prepared to not take it seriously and enjoy the fresh air as much as anything.
Wow, how come? I think it will occur to us, especially if the kids like it too.
Don't worry too much. My 4 year old now wants me to take him to the bouldering wall instead of soft play (they cunningly built a kids room). Both of them (4&7) think the ideal summer holiday is a week in Font and lots of time round the lakes of Cumbria. They nag us to go skiing each year, too. It's terrible......
I knew I had them pretty well trained when the big one just shrugged his shoulders when given a pair of football boots, but then when he got a pair of fell shoes for orienteering, he wouldn't take them off for 2 days ;-)
There's an awkward few years once they become mobile but need pretty constant supervision, but you can still find plenty to do, particularly if it's bouldering that one parent can boulder without spotter whilst the other minds small things.
Not read the whole thread but I have a six year old and a 18 monther.
The six year old regularly comes out for full days with me at the weekend, and has done for about 3 years. I have to stick to child friendly crags obviously and take an extra bag of toys/boulder mat to sit on etc but as long as the walk in isn't too far it works well (especially if you can make friends with someone with a similar age child). I've also gone out for days with the 18 month old, if doing routes it ideally wants to be in a group of 3 but I have had functional days out with two adults based at child friendly single pitch sport crags. Bouldering is even easier. Both kids by myself has been done when in a slightly bigger group of adults. I recently spent a week with both kids in Font where I got plenty of climbing done despite the fact that I had both kids to look after (the wife was struck down with D&V and spent the week in bed).
I think if you are keen to keep climbing and make the effort to get out then as long as your prepared for the fact that days might get cut short as children go into meltdown and venue choice has to be a bit more considered there is no reason why you can't find plenty of time to climb both with and without your kids.
I'd say the biggest trap you can fall into is the new-parent-thinking-that-great-parenting-is-making-the-child-the-focus-of-everything-competition. Kids are brilliant at entertaining themselves if they're given the opportunity to do it.
Anyway enough waffle, congratulations you're about to have a lot of fun...
Nik (climbing pretty much as well as ever)
Thanks. I hear what your saying Nik, I have some experience regarding that competition as I used to be a child. I had parents that had lives of their own as well as spending a good proportion of time with us and we turned out perfectly reasonably.
In reply to Lindsay:
I spelt your name wrong, I hate myself.
This thread is awesome by the way.
This morning is my sons first birthday. I finished nights yesterday slept for 2 hours before the remodeling nextdoor started again. Last night Heath thought it would be great fun to wake up at 3am. Bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Not every day has been like that though. I kind of knew what was coming due to one of my climbing partners having a boy the year before. As we lived an hour away from a good indoor wall and the weather being generally poor I decided to make a training wall in the garage.
When Heath arrived, the first 3 months were about getting by. Snatching sleep where We could. We feel out with our parents over our decision to breast feed and as such when I went back to work Helen had no support. This was tough. Gradually the grandparents came around although my mum is still weird. Evening sessions were possible after 6 months when he was sleeping through. But I think I got out maybe 5 times in a year. That's with shift patterns weather and child care all lining up. The wall in the garage has been a god send to keeping fit. Now I look after Heath 4 days in my 8 day shift pattern. I take the opportunity to train in his 2 hour nap times.
Now Helen has gone back to work we are in another period of adjustment. Evening sessions are possible but days in my 4 off will require Heath in nursery. Starting that after the summer hols. My wife is a teacher. They wouldn't let her go part time. So that's a factor as well.
I would recommend, trying to get child care for one day a month, a week if you can, where you and your partner can have some time together. We don't get this and things can get very stressed at times. I try and go hiking with a baby carrier once or twice a block. Cycle prior to work. You just have to fit things in where you can.
Support is the key. Friends and family. Ask and you will find you may get some help. Unlike us. Helen asked once and her mum came around and walked the dog lol. Nuts. It's sleep you need.
pardon my ignorance here.
im noticing a few people mention breastfeeding as some kind of major point of contention here, and not being in the UK dont know what yall mean.
same with co-sleeping. have noticed it getting special mention.
hereabouts both are considered normal, and with my daughter its all been fairly straightforward.
not meant as a hijack. keen to hear how it all effects dads n climbing.
Just a word of warning (haven't read whole thread so may be repeating): becoming a parent can have major effects on ones outlook on life and particularly on that of your wife/partner. Our experience was that my wife didn't really want to climb for many years, despite being a particularly rational person who could work out risks as well as anyone else (or better). But there is deep psychological stuff associated with being a parent. She won't know yet how she'll feel about these things, but it's probably best to go with gut feelings. For many years our main activity was orienteering which is much more child friendly. Personally, and there's no implied criticism of others here, I don't like to see young kids being left to play at the crag foot while mum and dad climb. This probably dates from the time when a mother whom we knew managed to dislodge a large block from the crag and only my wife's quick thinking in throwing herself at the climber's six year old daughter prevented a possible tragedy as the rock came crashing down where she'd just been standing.
We came back to climbing as main activity when the kids were teens, and have still done a lots of routes (even if, unlike Miss Jean Brodie) we squandered our prime! I wouldn't have changed a thing.
I have had two kids (yes, me - I am a lady). I was actually really strong after the first, I was quite ill and took a few months to recover physically but certainly when she was a year old I was going really well. I then got pregnant again, and have found it much harder with two. In all honesty that is more to do with suddenly changing career when I wasn't expecting to!
Number 2 child has also been a really poor sleeper, which took us by surprise as number one child always slept very well. This has had a huge impact on going away on trips, but we did have a great trip to Font recently.
In practical terms, we have found it easiest to take it in turns to go climbing rather than try to go with the kids. Partly this is because as the mum I always seemed to be the one who looked after them and didn't get any climbing done! It works out fine for us, and certainly as the kids have got older we have had more family days out where my husband and I accept that we aren't going to climb that much, it is more about the kids. They were both climbing at the local bouldering wall from pretty much as soon as they could walk. (They are now aged 4 and 2).
The best climbing trips have been with just one or two other families; any bigger groups just didn't work out very well, it was a bit overwhelming to have too many kids running wild.
Congratulations, enjoy it! You can definitely make things work for you, you just need to have a bit of give and take. And I agree, a bit of TLC for your wife will go a long way!
> Nik (climbing pretty much as well as ever)
I'm slightly envious of climbing parents who still have the nerve for what they used to do. I'm no worse at bouldering or clipping bolts than I used to be, but I just can't get my head around either leading or soloing near my limits now I have kids.
> I'd say the biggest trap you can fall into is the new-parent-thinking-that-great-parenting-is-making-the-child-the-focus-of-everything-competition. Kids are brilliant at entertaining themselves if they're given the opportunity to do it.
It is nice to give children time to ponder and daydream, and to use their imagination to keep boredom at bay.
> It is nice to give children time to ponder and daydream, and to use their imagination to keep boredom at bay.
Can't quite remember BUT pretty sure this is either an oxymoron or stihe!
I think it's *good* to be 'bored' as a kid and to have to do something about it - not sure it's 'nice'...
Having kids makes you climb harder when you do get out.....seriously.
> pardon my ignorance here.
> im noticing a few people mention breastfeeding as some kind of major point of contention here, and not being in the UK dont know what yall mean.
> same with co-sleeping. have noticed it getting special mention.
Breast feeding isn't contentious, but not every woman can do it or do it for long. formula is far more contentious (they even had to put disclaimers on the tv adverts for formula) but even then the message is there's no wrong way.
Co-sleeping is much more contentious and there are right answers. Sudden Infant Death syndrome meant a bit of a panic, how safe is your bed, does your partner come to bed after a few beers and a spliff, a few things to look out for. It's much more difficult to regulate temperature co-sleeping and giving a baby a consistent sleep experience (same environment).
We found they definitely slept better if they didn't start off sleeping with us (and so did we) but once they wake up maybe let them in.
Also we moved the cot out of the bedroom after six months, so they rarely slept with us after that, until they could get up and walk in by themselves.
It won't be long before people realise it's best to leave them in a crate in the kitchen.
Quite a lot of it is now 'sponsored' by the usual suspects - Pampers and the like IIRC.
I was amused by the condoms. They might as well just print on the foil covering - "Look! You now have a baby in a cardboard box. Next time think about using these first!" :)
They make good storage boxes once baby isn't using them anymore.
> I think it's *good* to be 'bored' as a kid and to have to do something about it - not sure it's 'nice'...
It depends how you see being nice I suppose, if the child has imaginative fun as a result of being bored, the person looking after them could be said to have been nice?
I get what you both mean though. (:-))
> In Finland new parents get a box full of baby stuff from the government and apparently it's considered perfectly normal to use the box as a cot.
That's way better than a Bounty Bag.
Thanks everyone for the continued feedback and for hardly any naughtiness or squabbling.
Word - after going through our bounty bag I was left with a large pile of rubbish and a very small pile of useful things. What's more no coconut filled chocolate bars in sight.
I think that it depends on what type of climbing you do and what your goals are. Before our son was born (4 yrs now) we did a lot of multi-pitch climbing.
Now we do more single pitch, swapping days for longer climbs, or making use of days when the grandparents want a day with the grandchild. For us the most important thing is getting outside and getting our kid outside. 95% of the time he is much happier if we are camping/climbing than when we are inside.
We started climbing pretty quickly after Finn was born (within a couple months). We were fortunate at the time to have a lot of people who were happy to come along to help out. By this I mean that we were always a group of 3 (or more).
We still get out for more serious climbing days, but more times than not we are out as a family, often with friends to enjoy the outdoors and climb.
Some days we get a lot of climbing in, some days not...
We found that an old tent footprint works great as a play area when it is damp, and packs pretty small/light.
Don't pack too many toys; rocks, biners and sticks are more fun:
Be prepared to work more, carry more and climb less. It gets better as you get a system dialed in.
Sorry but I can't be bothered to read the whole thread but I see that it's been said that all kids, partners, situations are different but I managed to keep it going pretty well with both of ours.
With #1 after the initial 3 week adjustment period I was off to the wall an evening or 2 a weeek and then either an hour or 2 running or bouldering at the weekend. After 4 - 6 months we got a system down that we still use today which is M: She goes out, T: Me, W: Her, T: Me, F: We both stay in and chill. Saturday and Sunday are weather dependent, if it's cracking flags I'll go out one day and we'll do summat as a family on the other.
We took our 1st to Font at 7 weeks and went on our 1st sport trip after 6 months. Bouldering works best but if you can find a suitable couple with sprogs (or a sympathetic 3rd person) then sport trips are well doable.
I don't really do any trad these days but have sport climbed and bouldered harder since having the kids...
Having 2 makes it a bit trickier but we spread them out a bit and now have a van and a good network of mates with kids so it's all good - only issue now is that I'm bloody injured!
Good luck and congrats... They're great!
> I think that it depends on what type of climbing you do and what your goals are. Before our son was born (4 yrs now) we did a lot of multi-pitch climbing.
We're pretty flexible. There's tons of bouldering here I've barely set eyes on, that might be fun.
That's very positive. Good effort on Ulysses btw.
Why was that then? In France it's encouraged if possible.
I found where babies are concerned parents go either one of two ways. Loving or flipping mental!
I thought perhaps it was the fashion in Britain at present, as these things come and go and it's not easy to keep up. Concerning parents, I see what you mean now and I remember similar things with mine, especially my mother. She always liked to put a bit of meat fat on the meat before serving it and this used to irritate my wife who has a bit of a thing about fat... I was fairly in the middle as I've always liked the taste of fat too - probably because I was brought up with it - the fridge was always bursting with bowls of dripping, probably from war-time habits, or the days when ordinary people couldn't afford butter. This sort of thing, like me washing an orange before peeling it - "It's perfectly clean, dear!" could get quite out of hand :-)
They've both been dead for years but looking back now I realise they meant no harm, maybe they it was a fear that we were judging them or simply like all parents she worried that maybe she hadn't done things right... and this came out as irritation. The truth was they were very good parents, although I probably didn't tell them this enough, so I regret the rows, it's too late to put them right now... So if things are as bad as you say, don't forget you'll maybe think the same too one day. The question of letting kids sip beer is another thing that we used to do as kids, and everyone thought it was a good joke, nowadays we have possibly all lost our sense of humour?
As for beer, he doesn't really touch it, but will drink pear cider if left unattended although mos would end up on the floor! :-)
cheers for explaining that. interesting to hear. hereabouts its quite different - sometimes for the same reasons you outline there.
and then in finland they get kept in a box in the garden! horses for courses.
that sounds like hell. i dont like these people and ive not even met them.
im wondering; do you get all sorts of bullshit about 'this is how we did it back in the day' type stuff?
personally, tho respectful of the past, filtering the dogma of bygone eras is half the issue.
I was thinking about the "lager on the dummy" point, and it's true it does sound weird, but I suppose people had a different attitude to alcoholic drinks in the past. I'm certainly not saying you should accept that, parents have first call over their own children, the problem is how to get them to accept that without screwing up relations with your own parents in the process. Lately I've seen reports about associations pushing for "grandparents' rights" concerning children, even court actions, which seems a strange trend.
Like billions of humans over the ages we all end up finding that having children has unexpected complications... and it goes on and on too!
Some of the modern fads can be just as much of a pain too though - there's no age limit for stupidity, and now lack ,of human ingenuity in the field either.
Congratualtions! I haven't read through the whole thread but here's my experiance -
My partner and I had our first child 8 months ago. We couldn't be happier and I'm climbing just as much as I was before he was born.
In his 2nd week on the planet he was out with us at the Cromlech Boulders! We are both very much of the opinion having children should fit into your life and not to change/drop things out of your life because of the decision to have kids.
I get out atleast 3 times a week and train at home also.
As far as getting out - One evening she looks after the little one and I get out with friends, another evening we both go out either together and someone babysits or I take the little one out bouldering on my own. Then I get out one of the weekend days all day with friends and she looks after the little one.
I think it's best to discuss what's best for you both and make sure you agree on something that works for you both so neither of you feel like the others doing to much.
I'm always prepared to drop my climbing days in the event she's had a bad day with the him or even if she just needs a break.
Kids are awesome, climbing is awesome. You can make time for them both and don't let anyone tell you differently or that you shouldn't be doing it now you have kids (I've had plenty of that!)
I definitely think it's easier if your partner also climbs, and if one of you doesn't work full time. My husband doesn't climb and we are both working full time, so while we both go out on weekday evenings for whatever we want, book club, football, etc. the weekends tend to be reserved for family stuff and a trip to the supermarket.
I don't mind if he has a day playing golf on the weekend every now and then and he would be happy for me to go out for the day, but every weekend would be a bit much if you are the one on your own. Actually it's easier & more fun to look after a toddler or two when there are two of you. Family days out are better than you think, nothing more fun than taking your toddler to see something new & seeing how they react.
I fully intend to climb again one day but I haven't since I was pregnant with my first, I am also in the road bike camp really. Running, swimming and cycling are easier ways to get outside in the fresh air - you only need an hour or so, don't need a partner, etc.
Luckily I had already fallen out of love with climbing. I still enjoyed it but I wasn't obsessed with it, although I can see that happening at some point in the future.
With climbing friends I notice it makes a BIG difference when both of you climb. When one does, it's all this negotiation and someone not pulling their weight. When both do, most families I know end up climbing a lot, lot less, and doing an adjustment to what and how they climb. Teaming up with other families is key. And it all depends on your child. Sleeping babies can be left in a carseat (in sight) at a climbing wall, but my baby didn't sleep much. Then when they start moving, most no longer want this.
Some older children love climbing, others find it supremely boring. Besides if they climb you end up getting little climbing in yourself. So it is all about adjustment. Sadly I am no longer climbing much and missing it hugely. However, my partner doesn't climb, and we moved to the UK so I lost my climbing friends. I am now hoping to find someone else with an 8 year old, so we can go climbing together.
Enjoy the baby!
Grandparents babysit for a few hours one evening in the week, I'd never pay for a babysitter.
Where are you based?
The best advice I can give is to not have any preconceived ideas about what life will be like. Enjoy your new family and make the most of that time as it passes too quickly. When you do get out and about, relish it, but ensure your partner gets that time too.
And congratulations, I'm now enjoying going climbing as a family and although not getting as many selfish days as I used to, it is amazing sharing my passion with my wife and 3 kids.
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