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Home Again...

It is very nice to be sleeping in my own bed.
We left the house in a state of major pittitude.
There is a mountain of laundry to do.

I have to do some serious thinking about traveling with the girls. I didn't have a bad time at Fencon, it was more like a non-time. I saw very little of the con. Most of the time I was in the room with the girls. I am sad and frustrated and lonely.

I know it is all part of being a parent, and it will get better with time. But right now they are too much to handle in a con environment.

We are committed to Conclave, OVFF and Windycon, but after that I may well be off the circuit 'till Duckon (which has awesome childcare.)

Well, Word World is over, It's time to do some laundry.

GHR

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
spiritdance
Sep. 22nd, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
There's a reason I'm not likely to be at a con with the boys for a while, barring childcare being available. Spending a weekend in a hotel room with them keeping them occupied while I'm missing stuff I wanted to see made me feel like I was wasting my time and our money.

::sigh::

We should see if we can manage to get the kids together sometime (preferably someplace sorta confined, so we can turn them loose without too much destruction!). Besides, we might actually get a chance for the adults to visit if that happens :)
pocketnaomi
Sep. 22nd, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
*hug* I completely get it about traveling with small children. I brought only my oldest to Baycon and that was hard enough; I haven't even tried to go to a convention out of my immediate city with two, and then only with help.

I'm looking forward to bringing the kids to cons when they get older -- just a little older in Grace's case, since she loves the music, at least for conventions which have good kids' programs. Right now, my parenting plan ends up giving the kids time with their father on weekends, which is lonely most weekends when I'm not traveling (or so tired I sleep most of the time; we are moving house right now), but does free up my convention time.

I'll see you at OVFF, and if I can, I'd be glad to offer some babysitting time so you can do more con stuff. I'm committed through Friday night as mdlbear's stunt backup singer and drummer, but after that I'm free.
johnridley
Sep. 22nd, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
We pretty much gave up going to conventions together for several years. Honestly, we should have done it sooner. There's no point in going to a con and not enjoying it. By splitting conventions, each of us could fully enjoy a convention, and the other had a weekend at home. Much better than neither of us really enjoying things to the fullest. I was happier really enjoying one con a year than enjoying 3 or 4 a year just a little.

We're just ready to try again, we'll be at Windycon.
tarkrai
Sep. 22nd, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Honestly, the sane thing really is to cut back on con*running* for both of you, and as John says- split the con attendance between the two of you.

The elephant in the middle of the room, of course, is the Dealer's Room commitment.

And, honestly; evaluate whether maintaining the table at a number of cons is worth the income at this point- or whether you should go to a mail-order model for a few years until the girls are older.

Hard stuff. And one family's answer does not necessarily equal the correct solution for another. :(

*hug*
judifilksign
Sep. 22nd, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I leave the darling husband at home a lot whilst I go a conventioning.

I remember a number of years ago, some of the Dorsai teens made a pretty penny babysitting at cons. The girls would have a room, and have their social time while the kids with them played and had fun, too. I don't know if there are teens the right age currently in the mix, but maybe you can ask.
lonotter
Sep. 22nd, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
IIRC we didn't start Otter Necessities until Robin was 2-ish. And it was understood that we'd both plan to be at the table(s) pretty much all the time, unless there was a gee-whiz gotta-go panel. Robin was quite happy to play under/behind the tables for several years, but he was a pretty easy-going kid in a lot of other ways, too.

And now he's big enough to be helpful.
poltr1
Sep. 22nd, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
That's the same reason my ex-wife Rebecca and daughter Maria don't go to cons anymore -- they don't believe they'd enjoy the con because Rebecca would be spending all of her time chasing after Maria. As it is, I see my daughter one day per week, on the weekends, which kills Sundays at conventions (or anyplace else) for me.

Even though OVFF has child care, and Maria's 7 and a special-needs kid (ADHD and Asperger's), am I going to trust my kid to a woman I barely know and is known only as Bookwyrm? That's not enough information to do a background check.
spiritdance
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
At OVFF, kids programming =/= childcare. Duckon (and, AFAIK, a couple of other Chicago area cons) has a more formal childcare setup. Worked for my kids last year, but budget isn't working out for attendance this year :(
rmeidaking
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
This is why my kids went to Grandma's house instead of to the con for several years, and why I got back into going to Detroit-area cons (because that's where Grandma lives). The other alternative was to hire babysitters to sit with the kids in the room. This allowed some folks with marginal finances to attend the con, and got me time away from the kids. Having two kids so close in age might make it more problematic; G was already a semi-mature five when K showed up.

It's not an easy problem to solve.
mysticfig
Sep. 23rd, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
I really empathize with you. Maya and I have been through a couple of times, with kids that are 8, and then 9 years apart respectively. I know it's not much comfort now, but your girls will be way past this stage before you know it.
drawshad
Sep. 23rd, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
It leaves me resenting my husband and friends. They all seem to be enjoying the weekend and I keep thinking I'd be having an easier time in my own house. But I would probably be even less happy.
capplor
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
BTDT
The only way through it is to buy two one-day memberships and share the kid duties. I know Roper sells & sings, but if he can't give you one day's break, then it isn't worth going.

Although the other thing you CAN do is check out which cons have kid-friendly tracks/rooms. At least you get to socialize with the other parents of little ones. Baycon is good. Consonance isn't too bad. MileHighCon is great when they get to be 5 or 6 (Avistrum wizard school, for about $15 more).
debber5
Sep. 23rd, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
traveling with wee ones
I don't have children, but have gone to conventions, renaissance fairs and on many trips with friends and family who have young ones. It's always hard and there are no easy answers, especially when both parents have things they would like to do or when they have responsibilities associated with an event (a concert or a huckster's booth). It seems to get easier as the children get older and can take care of themselves for a while. I know that's a long way in the future for you now. Is there a way that you could arrange for some friends to watch the young ones for an hour or two when you go to conventions? I know you'd want people you already know and trust. Maybe you can arrange for an hour or so of child care before going to a convention.
Good luck with the family and the laundry.
daddy_guido
Sep. 23rd, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Tough call, to be sure.

the two best pieces of advice I saw in comments were:
1. Ponder ditching the table for a year or two.
2. Ponder parking the kids with someone, and enjoying a weekend of freedom.
3. Both 1 and 2.


Edited at 2009-09-23 10:35 pm (UTC)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )