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The Stork Cometh...(18 posts)

The Stork Cometh...PsyDoc
Jul 31, 2001 5:00 AM
Ummmm...well...I am going to be a "Dad." My wife is 10.5 weeks along and she has given me the o.k. to tell people. For those out there who have kids, what can I expect? Will I have time to ride on the road once my child is born or will I be confined to the trainer/rollers until he or she is old enough to be safely towed in a kid trailer? Given that this will be our first child, will I even want to get out and ride? Or, perhaps I will just be too exhausted to ride.

Our doctor has given his blessing for my wife to ride during most of her pregnancy. She rode a little bit on the trainer during the early weeks, but did not want to go out on the road as her blood volume was changing and she would occasionally get dizzy. Now that her blood volume has stabilized, we are going on early morning rides at a slow pace (14-15 mph) when there is little-to-no traffic. Right now, she is still on her roadbike, but I suspect that we will switch to mountain bikes later on as they will provide a better riding position for her.

Any advice from the "experts" is appreciated.
Expert from the other side ...Humma Hah
Jul 31, 2001 5:09 AM
... I can't tell you how to cope with a baby and cycling. I haven't got any kids. We spent tens of thousands of dollars trying, and years of heartbreak. I'm sure you will have to make some BIG adjustments in your priorities, but my advice is to not lose track of the magnitude of your blessing!

When I see the dads towing Burleys or poking along the bike path with a kid on a 12"-wheeled bike, I smile a little, and theres this little pang ....
Major Congrats...keith m.
Jul 31, 2001 5:33 AM
you get to fall in love all over again.
re: The Stork Cometh...JL
Jul 31, 2001 5:49 AM
I can only give you my experience. I have a 4 yr old and a 3 month old. In between the two, I returned to the bike. When the second came, I took a few days off -- bought a new bike :) -- and started using him as a "alarm clock". I would get him changed, bring him and a bottle to my wife (couldn't breast feed) and they would lay in bed and he would drink. I would then get ready and go. It's worked for us, and while my wife doesn't ride like yours, she's been very understanding about my riding.

It's a matter of priorities and compromise, but it shouldn't affect your riding outside too much. Just remember family first. The first few weeks will be a "challenge", as each of you get into a routine, but eventually you'll work it out as a Family. It's fun being a Dad, and now my 4 yr. old is riding her bike around and asks me how my rides were when I arrive home. Unfortunately, you can't ride together for a while (without a baby sitter) as the child needs to be bigger, but you should be able to work out some sort of riding arrangement.

Just my experience. Good luck and congrats...

Congratulation!Len J
Jul 31, 2001 5:58 AM
Fatherhood is one of the most life altering, wonderful, frustrating, fear creating, fulfilling, experiences you can have. It's a hell of a ride! Enjoy the moments.

I have 4 kids, 16 thru 21 and I wouldn't trade any of it. When they were little, I rode little. Life is about choices. You have to decide for yourself what is important & when it is important. For me, the kids came first. I would ride sporadically when time allowed, it refreshed my batteries. Now that they are older, (& I have to tell you, it still amazes me that my oldest is 21, Time goes by so fast) there is more time to ride (and my kids to ride with).

Enjoy the journey, you and your wife are about to be amazed! Not only at your creation, but at what depth of feeling the two of you are capable of. Good Luck.
re: The Stork Cometh...Morgan Stanley
Jul 31, 2001 6:03 AM
send back the Merlin and invest in college fund now
The way I adjusted...Horace Greeley
Jul 31, 2001 6:41 AM
is to leave as early as possible in the morning. I have two kids (1yr and 4 yrs old) and leave on the weekends by 6:00 a.m. so I'm back anywhere between 9-10. They are not up until 7-8, so (as far as they and the wife are concerned) I'm not really "away" too long. My understanding with the missus is no excuses for the rest of the day (i.e. I'm too tired to take the kids swimming, etc.). For the first few months expect no sleep and very little riding. I get special dispensation for fall centurys and organized rides. Just appreciate and make the best of your rides when you get the opportunity. For me, its all about quality since I can't always get quantity. During the week, I'm out by 5:30 a.m., and during the winter I'm pretty much connected to the trainer (except for unseasonably warm weekends). In general, however, I can safely say your perspective and priorities change. If it was all about the bike, the bike becomes secondary to the family. Not a bad thing, and it makes me appreciate the bike more.
Jul 31, 2001 6:49 AM
Your mind must be swimming with thoughts of Burly Trailers.


all good advice! and a little from this new papa...Haiku d'état
Jul 31, 2001 6:57 AM
my son is just over 15 months, and yes, it's a major life-altering/mind-altering experience! but...i'm getting more miles in AND spending more time at home since he was born than before. heed the advice above about the first few months. little ones (very little ones) can't feed themselves, aren't mobile, and pretty much cry/eat/poop/eat/cry/sleep is their lot in life for awhile. 6-8 months (different ages for different little ones) brings fun stuff, personality and the first hints of what's to come.

here's what's worked for me, ymmv:

* get out of bed and leave early. up 5:30, out the door by 6:00, back before noon. lay your stuff out the night before, since mommy and baby are sleep deprived and sensitive to the drop of a pin. learn to walk on rice paper without leaving a crease...

* ride at night/ride the trainer

* biggest commodity is cigarettes in prison (only making an assumption here). i budget time with my wife by getting up with the little terror, er, ray of sunshine on sunday mornings and letting her sleep in for a few hours. i get my saturday rides in early, and sunday rides in during the afternoon, so scheduling is easily manipulated. my weeknight rides are <60 minutes, i get home and she does her exercise thing for <60 minutes. both back, we tag-team the kiddo with bath, bottle, bed.

* i have the pull-behind bike trailer and it's touch-and-go with him. last year he had to be strapped in there with his carseat, as he was not old enough to sit upright. he'd fall asleep after <10 min. this year, it's helmet city (strange looking, though), and a trailer full of soft toys. he reaches "zone city" after about 15 minutes, and is quiet most of the time after. however, in the trailer or the jogging stroller, he does NOT like to be pulled into the sun. go figure. we still have a couple years of use for each, so it's no biggie at this point.

some folks aren't married to an understanding and considerate spouse such as mine. we are practical and realistic and don't mind sharing time to get our daily dose of exercise. not only does it help the other with a little freedom, it also provides a good bit of quality time, parent-kiddo.

good luck, and congrats, daddy-o!
Oh boy. Or girl.bill
Jul 31, 2001 8:22 AM
First of all, congratulations and many best wishes for your family.
I realize that, of course, you are wondering about how your life will change. Just get used to the idea that no one here, there, or anywhere ("from there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere" Dr. Suess) can prepare you or forewarn you about how it will change. It will change tectonically, although certain remnants of your former self will persist. There simply is little use in getting into this now. And, ditto to many of the thoughts above.
Please think about these things:
1. Your wife is a roiling, boiling caldron of hormones. The only thing that you can do for her worse than not caring about what she is going through is pretending to understand. You don't, you won't, don't worry about it, you lose, she wins, that's just the way it's going to be for awhile.
2. Babies are demanding in terms of drudge time (round the clock feedings, erratic sleep, unpredictable crying jags), but they really are sweet and simple and THEY GROW UP VERY, VERY FAST. If you can fit in cycling, great (and please understand that I am not advocating shelving your entire life). The little one and his/her mother, however, have a distinct advantage in priorities, and leave it that way.
3. Remember to have fun. Hold your wife's hand. Rub her feet. You will come to feel dispensable enough, soon enough. Just don't give her any friggin ammunition. For our second, I was not a bastard by any stretch but I was less solicitous than the first time around. But in her hormone-addled memory, I was a bastard, and I still hear about it.
4. Being a dad is very complicated, but it don't mean sh*t compared to being a mom. See, lesson number (1). Moms rule, for very good reason. It is not 50/50. She gives her body over to the kid, nourishes it, grows it in her womb, pops it out, and suffers in ways that you don't/won't/can't understand. That's why moms rule.
Whether you know it or not, cycling, my dear boy, is nowhere near the top of your worries.
WSell said. LOL (nm)Len J
Jul 31, 2001 8:33 AM
First of all...PsyDoc
Jul 31, 2001 10:20 AM
Your opening words gave me a great belly laugh. But, right now, the words do not describe my wife is right now. In the 3rd trimester, she may fit those words to a "T." Because my wife rides, she understands and wants me to go riding to keep my sanity. Even though my wife is 10.5 weeks, I find that I am changing as well. I am growing evermore protective of her and I find myself wanting to put money away for our child to use for college, etc.

I greatly appreciate all the advice I have received and I will take it to heart. Right now, I do get up around 5:15 and am out the door around 5:30-5:45. Actually, I am not worried all that much right now about riding. Rather, I am MUCH more concerned about our developing child ("Fee Tus") right now. All I want is a healthy happy child; I do not care about the sex of the child nor do I have a preference as each gender has its own problems/issues. I find my mind daydreaming about a lot of firsts, for example, first steps, words, skinned knee, day at school, BIKE, etc.

I think in my initial post that I may have come across as more concerned about my bike riding than my wife and child. That is FAR from the truth. I was simply inquiring about what I could expect and what others have done in the past. I had figured that I would simply be riding on the trainer most of the time.

I do agree that any relationship is not 50/50. When one person is tired or just needs a little time off from doing routine tasks, then the other person picks up the slack...simple. For example, right now I do 95% of the cooking, about 90% of the cleaning, and 100% of house maintenance stuff. I am overly neat, or for all those who had an intro to psych course, I am anal retentive. My wife, on the other hand, is less neat. I almost have to pull teeth to get her to vacuum. If you ask my wife about this, then she will (and has) agreed 100%. Just like my dad always told me..."Son, some day you will make some woman a wonderful wife."

Because I am a professor, my work schedule is a bit more flexible. I have already requested, and was granted, to teach all night courses during the Spring semester. By doing so, I will be able to be at home with my wife and child most of the day while she is on maternity leave. She has decided that she will return to work, but things may change.

Again, I appreciate all the comments/ guys are great!
Do you by chance have a single brother?Elena
Jul 31, 2001 2:51 PM
LOL, I've been looking for a single cyclist that likes to do the cooking and housework. :-)

CONGRATULATIONS to you and your wife!!!!!!
Nope...I'm an only child (nm)PsyDoc
Aug 1, 2001 3:55 AM
Jul 31, 2001 3:30 PM
Your situation sounds alot like mine. I have 2 daughters, 7 and 9, and wouldn't trade one second with them for a ride on the bike. I do as much of the housechores as you. Some of my fondest memories are of riding with Chelsea or Sarah on the bike seat and hearing them sing or talk to me:-) You'll find time to fit your riding in, but you'll have to be an opportunist (sp?), e.i., ride whenever you get a chance. Both of my kids ride now and my oldest wants to do a MS 150 ride with me as soon as she's old enough. Guess I'll have to start saving for a tandem!
Jul 31, 2001 8:34 AM
Yes, it will interfere with your riding, but it's part of life--a good part of life and worth dealing with. Be a good Dad!
re: The Stork Cometh...ColnagoFE
Jul 31, 2001 9:10 AM
you'll be able to ride...just not very'll learn to appreciate rides you do get.
Savour the momentsBrian C.
Jul 31, 2001 9:17 AM
Next fall, you'll be walking your child to school for the first time. And the year after that, he/she will be entering high school. And the year after that graduating from high school.
And through all that time, there'll be a kaleidoscope of memories. Savour them as they happen ... when he/she discovers his/her fingers and toes; is crawling around your home; learning to walk ... and ride a tricycle ...
Savour them.