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I've got a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old at home, so I've got some views on
this. As a preface to everything I write below, there are many different ways
that people choose to parent their kids, and many parents have extremely
strong views about it, more so than the comments section of a pinkbike article
on suspension tech. My own take is to follow your instinct, listen to your
conscience and find your own balance.
If you're serious about your kid and partner, the amount of time you spend on
yourself has to take a hit. You don't need to be serious about that though,
but you should be prepared to be considered an asshole if you don't. Assuming
you do take these people seriously, unless you had an abundance of free time
before young WHID arrived, you'll probably be riding less, and I understand
that's going to be an unpopular stance on NSMB. When I just had the one kid, I
probably cut my social life down by 2/3, maybe more, but managed to ride
almost as much as I did before kids. With the arrival of the second kid, and
little room to compromise, I now have almost no social life and am probably
riding about 1/3 as much as I did before kids. I'm progressively riding more
frequently though- the first 6 months is reasonably intense in terms of
workload but it gets better. To be dryly analytical, outside of the time you
spend on yourself, you also have time you presumably spend working, commuting,
enjoying family time, enjoying time with your partner without young WHID, and
time doing chores around the house. If you can compromise your work or shorten
your commute without too much consequence, I recommend doing that. Personally,
I value my family and partner too much to run the risk of deteriorating
relationships there, and I enjoy that time anyway, so I take from that for
riding fairly minimally. And, leave all the chores to your partner at your
peril- remember, your partner is going to need time for him- or herself too,
and we're in the 21st century.
Depending on your financial means, you might also find it more difficult to
upkeep your bike(s). It became fairly obvious to me that I had to cut back to
one bike from two (N-1, shock horror). I love my one bike though, and the
compromises in terms of capability mean that I have had learn to appreciate
different things in order to enjoy riding. That's the big lesson in all of
this though, it's not all about you. It was never all about you, but having a
kid brings that into much sharper relief.
Don't stress all of this stuff though. You'll still enjoy your life, probably
more, and you'll change, so embrace that. With a little thought, you'll get to
ride and have an awesome family life.
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