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Incorporating Kids Into Work

I recently attended SQL Saturday #14 in Pensacola and took my daughter along. This was the third presentation she's come with me for, and it worked out OK. She sat up front and flipped slides for me as I'd forgotten my clicker on the trip.

However it wasn't perfect. At the speaker's dinner she put up with Andy, Brian, Tim Mitchell, and Devon Knight out at dinner. She wasn't happy, but she did it without complaining. The same thing happened at the after party, and she let me stay longer than we'd agreed on, mostly thanks to Ms. Jessica Moss entertaining her a bit. I owe Jessica a drink for that!

I've been invited to a few more events this year, and I have PASS and SQL Connections scheduled as well, but I won't be bringing anyone this year. Last year I brought my son early to PASS and then he flew home alone, but I've got too much travel scheduled, and don't want to be gone longer than necessary.

My wife and I have brought out families along with us on trips, usually with a relative or the other of us along to keep them occupied. There are times that it works out and times it doesn't, but it's allowed our kids to see a lot of the country, way more than I ever saw before I turned 18.

The kids get into podcasts at times as well, though not as much as they'd like. It takes time to get them in sometimes, and the daily grind doesn't allow it.

Most of the times the kids are pretty understanding that Mom and Dad work at home, and we appreciate that. Both of us being Type A means that we work a lot, and that impacts the kids at times, but we try to make it up to them, and use our flexible schedules to our advantage. I go to lunch with kids sometimes, spend time with them when they get back from school, go on most field trips, etc. They even play hooky with me some days and go up to the mountains to ski!

It's not always appropriate to integrate kids into your work, but when you can, it's a great lesson for them to see their parents working hard and earning a living.

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Hugo Shebbeare on 26 June 2009

Awesome, I'll try that out sometime with Inès!

Posted by Brad M. McGehee on 26 June 2009

I try to bring my spouse and daughter with me one 1-2 work trips a year. I wish I could afford to do it more often.

Posted by Steve Jones on 30 June 2009

One thing I'd recommend is to start small. Get a spouse of friend that your child(ren) knows to come and be ready to help the first time, and choose a small event like a user group. I lucked out in that they did well when my wife left town on an emergency trip, but it could have been bad.

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