My daughter is 7 and I’m still working out how to ‘get it right’.
In that 7 years, I’ve added about an hour to my IM time. I’ve dropped the number of long rides I do – and they are generally an hour less in time than what I used to do. I think I’ve tripled the cost of going up to Port to try and make it as comfortable and enjoyable for my family as possible – especially race day. My training is done more at night than in the morning as my partner is not a morning person and I take the lead getting my daughter up and going in the mornings. I don’t train with groups as I can’t lock a time in that I will be able to get out of the house.
This is my experience and only applicable to me – everyone will be different. I ask myself each year after Port whether I still enjoy it with the changes in life. Some years it is line ball, others I really do love it. I’ve wanted to race more often for years and now that it is looking more possible financially, I’m not sure that I want to put the family through multiple IM builds in a year. I also don’t know whether I want to drop the coin on another race if I know I may spend quite a bit of time walking due to limited training. It feels hard to justify against all of the other things that the family could do with our money.
I’ve got a very supportive partner who wants me to do the sport. She met me after I had started in the sport (which might help with expectations) and wanted me to keep going as we started a family. Things can change once living the experience though. This became apparent in the first year of my daughter’s life, but it probably took another 2-3 years for us to get things better sorted. I am very lucky that we were able to talk through things and give each other the support for the 2-3 years while we sorted things out.
Now, one of the things we do is to make sure that there is light at the end of the tunnel for my partner. I take my daughter away once every month or so for a night away with just the two of us. Everyone wins from that – even if it means that training doesn’t happen as planned.