Life has changed. Last year, not only COVID happened, but my wife got pregnant. End of March this year, I became a dad. And life has changed quite a bit. Even though I always prefer Yireo to be having a professional look by not mixing in too many personal details, I feel a need to share a bit of my dad life with you.
A Corona baby
We will remember these years not only because of nightmare scenarios on ICs, lockdowns, traveling restrictions and not seeing remote friends that often anymore. We will also see a baby boom. And my daughther is definitely part of it.
Yes, she is a Corona baby, conceived in a lockdown
In March, she saw daylight for the first time, happy to see mom, crying when seeing my ugly face. In The Netherlands, we were experiencing a third wave of COVID, with closed shops and catering. And a curfew. It was weird to drive to the hospital with no one else on the streets (well, it was at night). I'm not going to share the moments in the hospital, but suffice to say, the outcome was a beautiful daughter that changed our lifes.
Taking it easy
This is my first kid. Other dads (many of which in the Magento community) told me in advance that my life would not be the same. Ok, I could understand that. But they also told me to make sure to reserve enough time to enjoy those first times with a new life and not work too hard. I understand that only partially.
Three days after my daughters birth, I started to work a little, lol. Well, it's of course one of the responsibilities of being an entrepreneur, work never stops. As I enjoy work, this didn't feel as a burden. And instead of getting back to a full working schedule right away, I only worked a few hours a day, 7 days a week. I worked only a bit, it was productive enough to keep me going for a couple of months.
Well, this is how Jisse is taking it easy
So I was taking it easy. Well, if you know me, I can take things easy while actually moving mountains. I was wise enough to postpone Reacticon 4 until October, but in between I setup my on-demand training site (more upon that later), helped Shopware with setting up a new developer portfolio, educated numerous developers via remote training, built a few sites, blogged, developed extensions, etcetera. Life was busy - almost as usual.
But I believe that taking it easy and being busy is not about working a lot or working just a bit: It is about finding the right balance. You can work a lot but still feel relaxed about it. And that's actually what dad life was about: Making sure to balance work and changing diapers.
Dad life is about finding the right balance
Remote education as a standard
One of the key elements for this balance - it turned out - was the conversion of on-site training to on-line training. This was already a necessity with the first COVID wave, way before we were expecting a baby. It coincided nicely with becoming a parent though. Magento trainings that were held on a physical location before, were now held through Zoom.
And because a full day session through Zoom turned out to be quite intense - both for me and for students - half day Zoom sessions became the norm. Which left me the other half day to invest in family life and 5-minute chores.
And I started to record videos. First, end of 2020, as an assignment for Vaimo to help them with an internal education program. Next, Shopware to help them promote the Shopware 6 platform on a technical level.
And then afterwards, to expand upon my own Yireo On-Demand training portfolio, which covers as of yet 54 hours of video (and I'm aiming for 50+ hours more in Q1 2022 only already): training.yireo.com/courseware/.
The on-demand trainings allow me to work more asynchronously, having less deadlines while still helping developers with the relevant education. On the financial side, it means passive income. On the educational side, it means no more repetition and more focus on gaining new knowledge. On the personal side, it means more structuring of my working hours.
What is dad life for me?
For years, my definition of life was to work my ass off: Long hours, working on weekends. However, in return, I often had a holiday. I still remember long trips to Bali and Spain where I was working in the mornings and relaxing for the rest of the day. That was great. But with a kid, this is no longer the goal: Forget about vacation where you relax, the only goal is to keep the kid happy.
Relaxing has gotten a new meaning: It doesn't mean that I can do nothing, it means I can spend enough time on family, so it keeps being enjoyable. Consistent sleep is a far dream, it is more about being satisfied enough with the hours of rest at night to be happy with the day.
Dad life means being busy. But by balancing rest, daddy time and work, I don't see it as a burden at all. To the contrary, it gives me such an energy, that I would not like anything else. As long as things are in balance, as long as work doesn't take over too much.
Dad life 2022?
My goals for 2022 are simple: Expand upon the things I've been doing with Yireo in 2021 in such a way that the balance with personal life is kept in place. Practically, the way to do that (as I see it right now) is to focus even more upon the on-demand trainings that I started to push out in 2021. So you can expect a lot more training offered as video+notes+guidance via on-demand packages and you can definitely expect me to blog about that :)
I'm no longer just a nerd with unlimited time to hack around, I'm a dad. And I'm delighted to say that the on-demand training portfolio that is growing every week is pushing Yireo exactly in the direction of the balance that I'm looking for.