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Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad

COW Library : Art of the Edit : Kylee Wall : Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
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CreativeCOW presents Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad -- Art of the Edit Editorial



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Balancing parenthood and post-production is a challenge for anyone - especially if you decide to make a cross-country move to LA with a two year old in tow. In this interview, freelance editor Tim Wilsbach tells us about how he manages a busy editing career and life at home with his wife and son.



As a woman of child-bearing age who has recently begun the descent into the back half of her 20's, I'd be lying if the idea of reproducing wasn't at least on my mind. It's floating around somewhere in the back, mostly, but it's there. Lurking.

Obviously, there are many among us who choose not to breed -- which is a completely legitimate and respectable decision. I don't know whether it's a biological process that affects some of us differently, a societal role thing that creeps into our psyche, or just the sociopathic desire to create and ruin a human being in our own special way, but a lot of us want to make them babies. Regardless, I've pondered this thought of parenthood periodically. To put it bluntly, how will having a completely dependent screamy little person put a kink in my editorial career? And does asking this question automatically disqualify me from having one?

I've noticed that a lot of my friends and Twitter friends in the biz have decided to have children at some point in their careers anyway, and are doing just fine. But how? Why? Isn't video production difficult enough already? How can you possibly be successful in video while raising a kid that doesn't grow up to resent you? How do you have the best of both worlds? Can you?

I talked to three people in the video business who I knew would have unique angles on this subject. Tim Wilsbach, a freelance editor who is a relatively recent LA transplant from my city; Kate Chaplin, an Indianapolis area director and writer; and Monica Daniel, a freelance editor in LA. They offered a vast variety of career goals and paths, and experiences as parents.

Each perspective ended up being so uniquely interesting, I decided to split this blog into three parts. For this first segment, I'm talking to Tim Wilsbach about the somewhat unconventional path he's blazed in the industry.

A lot of people choose to move to LA to try to make their careers happen. While Tim has had a long career in post-production, he's only lived in LA since 2011. As Tim put it, "Most people move to LA sometime in their 20s as they're just beginning to carve out a place for themselves in the industry. They're able to split the insane rents with roommates and work super-long hours as post-PAs, assistants and then editors. I moved to LA when I was 38 after being married for three years and with a two and a half year old in tow."




Even though Tim is a fairly recent addition to LA, he's had a long post-production career that started in Indianapolis. He graduated from the Telecommunications and Theatre and Drama programs at Indiana University, and soon started out as a Senior Editor at WFYI. There, the editing bug bit him when he cut an independent feature at night. He spent the next ten years as a freelance editor, getting national television credits on ABC, ESPN, Discovery, A&E, VH-1, and Speed. Oh, and lots of corporate videos. He moved his family to LA to edit at the NFL Network for football season, and hasn't stopped working since.

Tim has been married for over four years to his wife Nancy, and they have a three year old son named Riley.


When you first began your career, what were your thoughts or plans on having a family?


Tim: When I first began my career I didn't have thoughts about a family. I was young and male. I wanted to have drinks with friends, go where the wind took me and write and perform music with my band.

As your career progressed, did your outlook on family life change?


My outlook on family life progressed independent of my career. It was driven mainly by my now wife, who I'd been dating for almost as long as I've had a career. Don't take that the wrong way, I was a willing participant and knew I wanted kids, you know...eventually. I just had no concrete plans in place for such a thing, and would have continued putting it off. I'm sure there are guys like me who were "not ready for kids yet". I think I would have perpetually held that opinion if it weren't for my wife helping me along.

Why did you want to have children?


I have a brother and a sister, and I grew up around my grandparents and was very close with my Aunt's family and her three kids. Family was and is a big part of my life, especially while I was growing up and I wanted to perpetuate that tradition. Plus, my only brother has three girls, so if I wanted the Wilsbach name to live on, I had to get busy.

How did your family life determine where you chose to live?

It didn't. Mine and Nancy's philosophy is that kids enter your lives, you don't enter theirs. More importantly, our outlook on how we bring up our son is more about life at home and less about where that home is located geographically.

During the pregnancy and birth of a child, it seems common that men don't get the kind of leave or time at home they desire. Did you have any trouble with managing work during your wife's pregnancy, or in the weeks after birth?

Well...interesting story about that...my first introduction to work in Los Angeles was during my wife's pregnancy. I got the opportunity to cut a show that would take me to LA for 2.5 months which put me back in Indianapolis about two weeks before her due date. We discussed it, she encouraged me to go so we made the decision to do it. It can't be said enough how encouraging and how much of a rock star my wife is.




We made sure I got all the big things done before I left: building the crib, fresh paint for the baby's room, strollers, car seats etc., etc. And I flew back a few weekends. The show wrapped in plenty of time and we had the baby about a month after I got back in town. After the baby was born, it was pretty slow for me for about 4-6 weeks, so it kind of worked out. I'd do a day or two a week as it popped up. Money was a little tight, but it was nice to spend that time at home.

Did you ever worry about missing opportunities in your career to be home with a child? On the flip side, did you ever worry about missing moments with your kid because of your career? How do you balance this? Do you feel like it's a sacrifice in some ways?

There is definitely a sacrifice on both ends. We work long days in this industry. On a typical week day I leave the house a little before 9a and I get back anywhere between 8 and 9p. He's in bed by the time I get home, so we get just a little time in the mornings. Sometimes, I'll work a Saturday as well or have a side project at home I have to work on on the weekend. Those hurt the most and I'm trying to be a lot more selective about the projects I take along those lines, and leave the weekends as sacrosanct. FaceTime is nice, we at least get to see each other at bedtime for a few minutes.

The sacrifices on the work end -- well, I'd like to get into features and/or scripted; its been suggested that a good way to do that is to take a step back to AE to get into a cutting room and work my way back up. It's not easy to do that because the number of hours I work would go up and the amount of pay would go down -- not good for a one income family financially, and more importantly, there would be even less time with the boy. What ends up getting sacrificed is time for myself. I'm either working, or spending time with Nancy and Riley. I barely pick up my guitar anymore, much less write, record or perform -- and that used to be (really still is, I guess) such a huge part of my identity. Nancy and I also don't go out nearly as much as we used to, our social life is basically toddler birthday parties on Saturday afternoons. I'm exaggerating a bit of course, and that type of thing isn't unique to a tv & film career.

When you're in the middle of a big project with long hours, how does it affect your family life? How do you alter things to make your family life manageable in these situations?

I'm always in the middle of a big project with long hours. Since we only have the one income, I can't afford to take 4-6 weeks off between shows like a lot of editors do here in town. It is tough, though, when I have a side project that takes those precious vegging out hours between 9p-11p and turns them into more time in front of the Avid -- and at the same time devours the weekend. I'm working hard, Nancy doesn't get a break and Riley definitely notices when Daddy's not around much. He's only three, but he understands two days off in a row and gets excited about them. Basically, we try to stick to that morning schedule as much as possible, it's all about Riley -- and I just deal with burning eyeballs when the work hours are long. I usually take him running with me in the mornings, then we play cars or PlayStation or just generally goof around.

Video and film professionals often work independently running a business or as freelancers. How did this play into your family plans? How do you deal with things like having funds for kids' activities, having health care insurance or funds for childbirth and kids, or generally just running a household without necessarily having a traditional full time job with benefits?

That is certainly a trick and the hardest part of being freelance. Before we had Riley and when Nancy was working, we were covered under her policy. A lot of people I know do that, but that is not an option for us. The individual insurance market is broken. Coverage is prohibitively expensive, and the deductibles and co-pays are crazy high. I'm a Member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild and that is an awesome solution to the healthcare, vacation & retirement issue. The trick is consistently finding work that is union eligible. You basically need to work 16 (50-hr) weeks on a union show per year to keep your benefits. Scripted shows are traditionally union, but unscripted is generally not. There are a few, but they're desirable -- and that much harder to get on. There is a growing number of editors that are working hard to convince more reality producers that it's important and valuable to use union editors, but it's slow going and hasn't quite reached the tipping point yet.

How do you deal with childcare and unexpected challenges that come up when raising kids (i.e. sickness) while also balancing often time-sensitive tasks such as editing a show?


Financially, you just have to budget and be disciplined about saving for unexpected expenses. As far as dealing with a sick kid and other challenges that come along with raising kids; plain and simply, I could not do this if it weren't for my amazing wife, Nancy. She works as many hours as I do raising the boy and running the house, and as we both sink into the couch to watch a few minutes of tv each night, it's unclear who's worked harder that day.

When working from home, how do you manage your time with your son around?


This has proven an impossible task for me. I used to work from a home office, but after we had Riley, I rented an office. Now that we're in California and I don't have an office (home or otherwise), I work during nap time or at night after he's asleep. Occasionally, when I really have to dig in at home and get something done during the day, Nancy and he will go out for a few hours. Luckily though, since there is more consistent work out here, I don't have to work at home very much, so it's ultimately not much of an issue.




Some in the industry use the phrase "golden handcuffs" to refer to having to pass on or not seek further opportunities that involve more risk but may also progress your career further because of the responsibility of having a family. Do you feel like you're in a "golden handcuffs" situation? What's your opinion on this outlook?

I understand the situation, and to a degree, yeah, I'm in what some would describe as a golden handcuffs situation, but I'm not going to let that be an excuse to not progress. I hear people lay out how a career path in features or scripted is supposed to go, and the implication is that it's an insurmountable task. I disagree. I might not be doing it the "traditional way" (which I think is a myth anyway). But I feel like there's a way, and I'll figure it out.

What other challenges do you have with balancing a film career with a child?


Like many other careers, networking is what really gets you ahead. In LA, there are 'mixers' or creative user group meetings constantly. You can probably find something to do every night of the week. So, that's just more time away from home outside of the job. Very important to do, and they're mostly enjoyable, and/or educational and necessary. But it does take more time away from home.

Does Riley understand if you're not around or busy for periods at a time? What do you hope he learns from seeing your work?

He definitely understands when I'm not around. I hope he learns to set goals and work hard to achieve them. I also hope he learns that ultimately I love what I do for a living, and that is an important thing to consider when choosing a career as is how much you'll make.

Despite the challenges of parenthood, what are the positives to having kids? What makes it worthwhile?

The positives to having kids are the actual kids themselves. It's about this little human that looks like you: that you get to teach and shape and learn from and laugh with and hopefully get to visit when you're old and retired.

What is your advice to someone in the industry who is considering having children, but is worried about being able to have a career and a family?

Your parents did it, your grandparents did it, your great grandparents did it. People all around you are doing it and have for countless generations. It's as simple as making a choice and then figuring out how to make it work. I will say though, that I simply could not do this without my amazing wife and partner, Nancy. She makes this whole endeavor possible by doing everything that she does to make sure that our home lives and Riley's life goes as smoothly as possible. She was also an integral part of the decision and drive to move and therefore continue to chase a career in this crazy/awesome industry. So, my one piece of advice is to pick a partner who shares the same vision as you when it comes to work/life balance.






As someone who has (relatively) recently entered the Indianapolis post-production market, it's inspirational to me to hear Tim's perspective on family. His bold cross-country move and subsequent success just goes to show that with the correct outlook, the right partner, and a combination of talent and hard work, you can accomplish many goals that superficially might seem to conflict with each other.

Tim's recent credits include Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman for Discovery Science, Best Parks Ever for The Travel Channel, American Ninja Warrior for NBC, and Face Off for SyFy. He's currently cutting a competition reality show called Hot Set, which you can catch on SyFy on Tuesdays at 9PM ET. Tim can be found on Twitter at @twilsbach.


Be sure to check out Part TWO of this series, Parenting in Production & Post Part TWO: A Modern Director Mom.

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Re: Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
by Richard Dolesh
Dear Kylee,
Thanks for featuring a great topic! While I am getting to this topic late...I wanted to share a few thoughts.

My wife and I have two amazing young children and they are such an amazing blessing! They simply have made our lives so much richer, it's hard to describe, but beautiful, and amazing are a few thoughts that come to mind. Yes, they are work, but I would encourage anyone in a healthy marriage to not be afraid, but be in faith.

I have a small production business, I shoot, edit, and produce a wide range of videos from a home studio. And while we don't drive brand new cars every year (but do have quality cars) We are so blessed that My wife can stay home and raise our children. I am so grateful to be involved in their lives much more than I would if I worked away from home.

I once had 'session' where two people from my top client's office came in to our home studio and just as they walked in, my daughter said at the top of her lungs, "Daddy!, you wouldn't believe--I fell IN the potty this morning!" They both laughed hard.

On another occasion, different client, we were in the middle of long boring edit session, the kids had just woke up from their naps, and they ran above the studio really fast. The client says, " I just love to hear those 'stampering feet!' (and I have 2 layers of sound insulation).

One thing I do want to share on that may help, is more perspective on healthcare. I noticed how the so many of Americans focus their LIVES around Healthcare availability. I've seen people stick in jobs they hate because of...'Healthcare'. They fear 'what if I can't get any other coverage'.

Even reading this article, there are strong underlying motives to do whatever it takes to keep traditional health insurance. And I want (the best of )it too...but realize there is a balance. What I have learned is this: 'Western Medicine' (traditional 'MD's / Hospitals/etc) are at their best when they are treating broken bones/tramau/etc but at their weakest when dealing with preventative measures such as Cancer/vaccines. That is where Alternative medicine (Naturopath) Homeopathy, and Chiropratic care come in. We will always need western medicine, but you need to use a balance of other approaches.

Now I'm not going to get into vaccines,(not here on the Cow??!) but I will say, for anybody brave enough to really dig, will find the truth. Ponder this: Do you think that the government does a better job at Healthcare than it does with the budget? Keep that thought in mind when your read CDC's schedule, then visit your local whole foods store and start networking, reading the flyer (tons of information for those willing to learn) and start your journey. learn about nutrition/health.

Going back in time a bit (when I was clueless) After our first child was born, I whimsically looked into vacinations. Ha, little did I know that what I thought would be 2 hours of 'mindful shifting of the CDC's schedule' turned into 2 months of nonstop research (no kidding--my wife was earning at the time) And the masses would say, I was silly, should have chased my career. Nope, felt too convicted I had to read, study, seek the truth. And since my wife was working, and, well, this little child was too precious and my gut feeling, too overwhelming to ignore.

At our firstborns 2nd month checkup, (We still had 'traditional' health insurance) we politely said no
to all the shots. We then took her to the chiropractor, had her checked/adjusted (was schooled
a bit about health there!) and saw a naturopath since. And we will visit a western MD / emergency room
when the situation warrants. Our kids are amazingly healthy and happy. No autism, No childhood diabetes,
and No ADHD. but I have learned to look at health like this: It's better to proactively 'build your Fort' than 'medicate the disease' reactively. What you do today, affects how you feel/function tomorrow. We place way too much importance on medication and way too little importance on education (nutritional/health).

In 2006, I went independent. We lost our 'traditional/western' insurance. And I thought the world was
going to end. Traditional healthcare was over $4,000/yr... I quickly realized I'd rather have a high deductible, and keep $5-8K in savings for just that need, then I could reap the interest, have more options, and not have to
deal with painful insurance claims process. Then one day, we discovered a number of medical cost sharing plans that are a wonderful God-given blessing to the insurance alternatives today.

MediShare, Samaritan, Christian Healthcare Ministries
(and others)

All of them a little different, We went with CHM because it best fit our needs, but all of them are worth
looking into.

Happiness. Disciplined children are the happiest. Happy children make for peaceful homes. Peaceful homes make working from home more feasable. We read everything we can that is written by John Rosemond. He is breathe of fresh air in discipline, and will help anyone take control. Today's parents (myself included) somehow have a tendency to spoil their children because no generation before us had so much 'stuff'. Rosemond has been a Godsend for our tough potty training and discipline questions.

-Richard



Richard Dolesh


Re: Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
by Rafael Amador
Being not ready to be a father is why my, unplanned, daughter knocked in the door when I was already 49. First three months really scared with that little think on my arms till I started to feel a bit relaxed and live a really new experience. The best I've ever had in my life.
The fact that I work at home (and with nobody pushing me), allowed me to spend all the time I wanted with her (except give her my breast, I did everything for her), and my only suffering was when I had to go to shoot far away and some times for a few weeks.
I feel very lucky because I know most parents don't have the opportunity to spend so much time with their kids as I had with my daughter.
BTW, I love your tutorials, Kylee.

http://www.nagavideo.com
Re: Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
by Nina Staum
Kylee, I think it's awesome that you've but some thought into this before having kids. My husband and I decided we wanted to start trying for kids in our late 20s . Both of us worked and still work in the industry. We met working in VTR/master control at a TV station - he taught me how to switch a newsbreak, I volunteered on his short film, and it was love.

We certainly could have picked easier careers to find a work/life balance but we've made it happen. He was a supervisor and now a manager in the same TV station and I am now an editor at a production company, working mainly in corporate video but also dabbling in TV and doc. Before kids we were both extremely career oriented and did lots of volunteering and side gigs on top of our jobs.

We've scaled it back but not exactly to the bare bones. I took my full year of mat leave with both of our children (we're in Canada) and made the conscious decision to put my career on the back burner while the kids were little. I was lucky enough to have a day shift editing job cutting magazine shows with little or no overtime expected and deadlines on a predictable weekly cycle. I used in-home daycares and most days I did the drop-off and the pickup both myself and often came home to an evening of solo parenting while my husband worked the evening rotation. I spent four years assistant editing, cutting for cheap and free, and working ridiculous OT before I landed that job and I wasn't going to give it up.

Last spring this all changed. I was laid off and was ridiculously fortunate to land another day shift editing position almost right away. My new job has longer hours and more unpredictable deadlines. I'm totally up for the challenge, but being a parent adds another dimension. Editing speed is more important than ever. Every day is a race and I win some and lose some, but it's kind of fun to be off the mommy track. I'm on a documentary in the new year that I'm truly excited to cut. My husband is off shiftwork for the first time in 15 years and has taken up the slack on parenting and housework. Will I be the mom posting pictures of ambitious homemade birthday cakes on Facebook? No. But the kids are happy, the house is relatively picked up, and my editing clients are happy - it can be done.

The one truly great thing about being an editor is that it is a viable work-from-home career. I don't, but knowing that I could makes me feel secure.

Investigate your daycare options. Do the math. Treat the end of every shift as if it were a hard deadline - if you get the pickup duty, it will be. I have found great resources in the Equally Shared Parenting and Working Mom blogs.

+1
Re: Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
by Philip Scoggins
Yeah well, I got ya beat. I'm a single dad with 3 daughters (13,6,5). And I have to say that it's tough sometimes, but you make sacrifices raising your kids no matter what your job is.

I work in a small market and don't make anything close to LA money, but I get by nicely & am able to make my daughters' field trips even if they have to stay with a sitter at night or on a Saturday about every other week. When scheduling work and I give the client the options of 3 days and then throw in I'm raising 3 girls by myself most are pretty understanding, at least enough to keep me busy.

Philp
+1
@Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
by Buddy Hannon
Wait, great article, but I have 3 kids and there is no way that your work space is so pristine. It's like a Better Home & Gardens Layout where people come in and layout the space and then plop the baby down so you look just so amazing. Where are the piles of mail? Where are the notepads full of notes for the current project you are on? Where are the things that you kid drops off at your desk when they come to visit you? It's a nice story, but the pictures are very editorialized. Either you really don't let you kid or life invade you're work space, so you shouldn't show pix with your kids in the work space, or you shouldn't clean up the work space before taking pictures for the articles......just saying
Re: Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
by Michael Finlayson
19 years ago I left my last full-time job just as my wife gave birth to our son. I have been freelance ever since, and even after starting a business with three partners about six or seven years ago, maintained an edit suite and recording studio in our home. After several years of being a stay-at-home Mom my wife got back into the biz - freelance makeup and voiceover gigs - and we went about the greater business of raising a child.

We just figured it out as we went along and it seems to have worked. I'm a morning person, so I took him to school. She's not, so she picked him up. Even during a short stint at Starbucks she worked it out so she had that afternoon slot. That's just one example of the teamwork necessary. For a while, we did emergency alcohol and drug testing for accident victims to make some extra money. She took the day calls, I went out in the middle of the night. You just have to make it work.

The pay-off is tremendous. I can't tell you the times that I was so stressed out to finish an edit and my son came in and said, "Hey can you help with my homework? Hey Dad, you want to throw the baseball, football, lacrosseball around? Can you teach me a new song on guitar? Can I play drums while you edit? (Well, some things don't work out quite as well as others.) Once you let go of the work, they are ALL stress relivers and you do better work when you get back to it.

I am SO thankful that I got to spend so much time and share so many experiences with my son, multiples of what most Dad's do, because I edit at home.

Are we rich? Not yet. We have had some pretty thin years, but with the support of a great family we have squeezed by. When my wife inherited some money a few years back we invested in two things: a downpayment on a house, and the best private middle school we could get our son into. Then we continued to drive old cars and whatever else we needed to do. He did very well, was accepted into the number one magnet high school in the country, did even better, and a few months ago entered the engineering program at one of the most respected engineering universities in the country - on several scholarships.

He is a talented musician and an All-State level lacrosse player. (I have shot every lacrosse game he has ever played.) He is a GREAT human being. I have seen several of his childhood friends turn out much worse. Is it because my wife and I work out of our own studio? I don't know. Again, being selfish, I certainly got the better part of the deal.

One final word on the subject. Don't wait. My wife and I had thriving careers in NYC, but finally decided we didn't want to raise a family there. We relocated to the Isle of Palms, SC (I know, sounds TERRIBLE doesn't it?!) Three months later my wife was pregnant. I was 41 when our son was born, my wife 40. All of our friends had been telling us for years, "You have to have kids! You won't believe how wonderful it is." After our son was born I got great pleasure in calling them up and saying, "How could keep this to yourself?! We are having the best time as parents!"

Not to mention, you're going to be in your late fifties in that father-son basketball game with Dads 20-30 years younger, and running around a lacrosse field at 60!
+3
@Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
by Ronald Lindeboom
Hi Kylee and All,

It is really nice to read your article and the heartfelt replies below. Kathlyn and I have always felt that Creative COW is a special place on the net and reading this gives us a smile. Our children were already grown when we started Creative COW (and even when we bought our first Media 100 many years ago). But we feel that many of you are our "kids" and reading this reinforces the sense of family and friendship that has developed over the years here.

Thank you all for your reports and your feedback. Both Kathlyn and I enjoy reading them. And thank you, Kylee, for getting it all started.

Best to you all,

Ronald & Kathlyn Lindeboom
founders, CreativeCOW.net
Re: @Parenthood in Post Production Part ONE: Being an Editor Dad
by Kylee Wall
Thanks! I'm glad everyone is enjoying a change of pace in conversation, and I appreciate how willing everyone is to share their own experience with something so personal.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com
+1
Re: Article: Parenthood in Post Production: Being a Editor Dad
by Andrew Rendell
I have the fortunate situation that my wife isn't in the media so she's never had to work the stupid hours that we do. She actually stopped work when we started the family (2 kids, now teenagers), I had a staff position and a very decent salary. We hit a point about the time that the youngest started school that I was sick of only seeing them at the weekends, and usually too exhausted to do much with them anyway because I was working long hours and my wife was getting "stir crazy" because she was doing nothing but being a mother.

So I quit my job and went freelance in order to have some control over my life. I work long hours when we have to, of course, but I don't work for grinders and I don't work cheap. (I do the occasional thing without payment for the craic or as a favour, but I learnt very quickly that if you do something for a reduced rate they'll expect it every time). I try to take breaks in between the bigger jobs to get more of a family life and it usually works out ok.

My wife went back to work, normal people's office hours but very close to home so no commuting. TBH, it was a great backup having her income during 2010 when tv died on it's arse, although for must of the last few years we haven't needed it but it's been really good for her to go back to work.

And now my daughter is determined to work in the media, so it must be working out ok for them!
+2
@Parenthood in Post Production: Being a Editor Dad
by Jeremy Garchow
I can't thank you enough for bringing up these topics, Kylee. Looking forward to the other installations.

This summer, we had our first child and all of the same concerns are now swirling around in our heads. Child care is probably the most concerning, and the hardest to decide what to do as we both work and will need to continue to work, followed by insurance. Oh, insurance. In the short term, we are lucky to have family close by to watch mini me, but that favor is only going to last a few months. We are just getting started on how to make this all work. It is great to hear from others who have more time in the saddle, and are making do just fine.

To get more personal, my mother was a single mom and worked in a production industry (live events, not tv/film). She would pick me up from day care, and we'd go back to work until the wee hours in the morning. To do this day, I still converse with some of the people that she worked with many many years ago. Those experiences formed a lasting impression. Besides my family, those folks are people that I have known the longest in my entire life, even longer than my closest grade school buddies. My mom made it work, I turned out all right, so I at least have a decent model to follow.

I know it will be challenging, but it is completely worth it as Tim mentions in the article. I knew being a father was going to be cool, I didn't know that it was going to be this cool. I didn't think I was "ready for kids" either, but now that I have one I realize that I get to teach my kids how to be a kid, and that sometimes involves me acting like a big kid. I'm sure that will help me escape from my adult responsibilities even if it's only for a few minutes a day.

Please excuse our bed heads and crappy webcam quality, it was early in the morning:



Thanks again, Kylee. Looking forward to the rest.

PS An Editor Dad related hazard, I have turned in to the biggest sap in the world. Commercials with kids growing up/family photo type sequences now start to resonate. Scary! :)
+3
Re: @Parenthood in Post Production: Being a Editor Dad
by Kylee Wall
Aww, sweet picture and congrats on your recent addition! Child care is definitely the biggest hurdle I can see, both finding reliable and safe care and actually paying for it. It's difficult in an industry like this, but everyone somehow makes it work.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com
Re: @Parenthood in Post Production: Being a Editor Dad
by Jeremy Garchow
[Kylee Wall] "Aww, sweet picture and congrats on your recent addition! "

Thanks, Kylee.

Keep up the good work on these articles!

Jeremy
Re: Article: Parenthood in Post Production: Being a Editor Dad
by Bret Williams
I'm in a similar boat with a 5 year old and a 2 year old. It's been a roller coaster. My wife works in corporate video like myself, but she had a full-time gig until last year. I mostly work from home. So for 4 years it was a semi role reversal situation where I was the stay at home Mr. Mom, EXCEPT I had a job too. It was just that I didn't have work every day. I know she didn't have work every day either, but they made her come in every day anyway. So I was usually stuck with going to the bank, doing some shopping, preparing meals, taking my son to preschool before my client came over, etc. Before preschool, we usually had a sitter during the day 2 days a week, and nearby grandparents baby sat 2 other days. Scheduling was a nightmare. There was no schedule. Sometimes we didn't need the sitter, but heck, we'd need her the next week so you'd keep her on so she didn't find more consistent work. Eventually one went to preschool, and the other came along and needed a sitter. So now the cost of that is pretty nuts. Preschool at around a grand a month and a sitter not too far behind. It was all very stressful and chaotic. I have had to work many days from 10-6, then deal with picking up kids and / or dinner with or without mom and get the kids to bed, then go back to the basement for work from 10pm to 2am or so.

Nothing worth doing is easy. My wife left her job to stay home more with the kids. Somehow I fooled her into thinking she was missing out on some sort bonding or something. :) She has ended up picking up some freelance gigs as a producer, and I generally get to edit the gig. I wasn't allowed to work at her previous company due to policy. Producing is a bit easier to do with kids running around than editing with a client nearby. She took over the day to day house operation leaving me more billable hours in the day, and we no longer need a sitter. Our oldest is in kindergarten now. She probably makes a little less than the full time gig, but she has more free time. She and I spend very little now in gas and nice clothes (well I never did) and lunch is cheap too. Add in the fact that we're not spending $1600 a month in daycare and sitters and I believe we have more income now than before. Some say a bit less security, but if you have a full time gig, you can lose your entire income (and health care) pretty much instantly. But as a freelancer you likely wouldn't lose all your clients at once.

It's been a wild ride, but I hope we're teaching something to the kids about independence. I'm not sure just what, but hopefully they learn that you don't have to spend a fortune and a lifetime on college to be a doctor or lawyer to be a success. I read "The Millionaire Next Door" years ago and it opened up my thinking a bit. Perhaps I can teach my children that the people you see with the fancy car, clothes and house don't always have money and security. What they often have is stress and debt. It's often the guy with the used truck and the janitorial or landscaping business living beneath his means that has the security and savings. At least that's what I keep believing.
+1
Re: Parenthood in Post Production: Being a Editor Dad
by Jason Jenkins
I used to think we were busy when we had our first child. Now we've got number 5 coming along in February!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.
+2
@Jason Jenkin
by Christian Simpson
Hey Jason it's good to see another one of us out there! I'm typing this while my 5 year old climbs on my back as I grade a feature in Davinci! I mainly work as a cinematographer so I am not home alot but this post really caught my attention because I struggle greatly with balancing family, church, and work. It's hard to be good at all of them sometimes but so far things are good. We have our 2nd on the way. I've learned sometimes you just have to say "NO".
Re: @Jason Jenkin
by Kylee Wall
"Learn when to say no" seems to be the hardest skill to learn across all media professionals, parents or otherwise.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com
Re: @Jason Jenkins
by Jason Jenkins
Hi Christian,

It's definitely challenging! It's hard to stay focused on work when you hear one (or more) of the kids screaming and/or crying; knowing that your wife could really use some help. I feel very blessed that my income has kept pace with the size of our family. My wife had a part time job at UPS that afforded us medical benefits until after our second was born. We then took the leap of faith to have her be a full-time mom –a more difficult job than any other career imaginable! That faith has been well rewarded. No doubt my kids will look back and remember that I worked a lot; but they will also remember me being at home a lot! I always try to remember and live by the phrase: "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.
Re: Parenthood in Production and Post: Being a Editor Dad
by Paula Wertheim
Hey, Kylee-

Great post! And Tim-you get a big "LIKE" from us! I loved your answer:
"Your parents did it, your grandparents did it, your great grandparents did it. People all around you are doing it and have for countless generations. It's as simple as making a choice and then figuring out how to make it work."

Yep, that's all there is to it, really. Nobody gets any promises, no guarantees. Every person on the planet who ever decided to tie the knot and raise a family has to venture into the "great unknown" alone. But if it weren't for them-none of us would be here! IMHO, the greatest heroes of this generation are those brave souls who ignore the hue and cry of the world to "live for today", "enjoy yourself", etc. and choose to devote themselves to their marriage and raising children.

Parenthood is greatly over-romanticised in the media. Most of us aren't "Brangelina" with their perfect tribe in tow-everybody dressed to the nines (and nobody throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket). Real-life parents have kids who don't always behave so well,look so good, or make us proud all the time. Real kids are often obnoxious,ungrateful and downright embarrassing at times. Not exactly what we bargained for. Most of the time we parents feel it's a one-way street-and we're left standing on the wrong side.

Only those who weather the storms of childrearing together and come out the other end in one piece truly understand the meaning of "unconditional love."

And if we're lucky-those "impossible brats" turn out to be pretty cool grownups, too.



GO for it, Kylee!

Best regards,
Paula Wertheim (mother of 9)

"Nobody Does It Better"
email: hdaudioplus@gmail.com
http://hdaudioplus.com
http://baroque247.com
+2


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