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Family or activism: where do I find time for both?


This is an appeal especially to you parents out there…

I am the happy and dedicated dad of a wonderful 2-month-old boy, and want to spend a lot of time with him. I also want to spend as much of my time as possible doing some organising work. I also have a full-time job. How do I reconcile these seemingly mutually exclusive statements??

After Ludovic’s birth in November 2008, I took 5 weeks of parental leave, during which time my wife and I did nothing but take care of our new little boy. This was a wonderful time, as we got to know him at our own pace.

Now I’ve been back at work for a month. Evenings vanish in a swift stream of cooking, diaper changing, playing, and lullabies. Don’t get me wrong: this is all quite nice! It’s just that we’re not doing anything else for lack of time and energy.

I’ll be back on parental leave for three months this summer. However, I have no illusions of this meaning "more free time", as I will be spending as much time with my boy as I can, and also taking over all of the chores that my wife is currently taking care of during the day — she’ll be back in school, writing her Master’s thesis.

Will I ever have the time to do any of the other stuff that I also think is important, outside of the nuclear family bubble? I wish someone could tell me: Yes! There is plenty of time ahead, once the kids grow up — or something!

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