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New father vs trapshooting

3269 Views 37 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  elevenfan
My wife and I recently welcomed a baby girl into this crazy old world and I have been struggling a little to balance my new responsibilities as a father and my desire to shoot trap.

Mind you, I'm not totally new to being a father as my stepson was 4 years old when my wife and I started dating ( he's a teenager now), just new to having a new born.

Obviously being a father comes first and for most.

Also, my wife is exceptionally supportive of my shooting and actually encourages me to get out and shoot. On average I shoot 4-8 rounds of trap a week.

All that being said, how did all of you guys balance being a father vs trapshooting?
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Good question. When the kids got bigger I got back into it, but at first it was few and far between. This is natural based on needs of the moment. When the kids got older I had them help me with my reloading. Once in a great while they would come to the club and watch me shoot, but it's not really a spectator sport. I liked sitting with them in the scorer's chair to keep score on the practice trap at our all volunteer club. It's pretty simple - 1 or 0. With a full squad they were pretty busy keeping up with it and I watched them closely and called "get ready (to move)" and "squad move" for them.

And then showing them the patterning board was a lot of fun and insightful. They know what the heck is going on when I talk to them to this day. I'll get a guess from them on my four scores for the day when the topic comes up. My son did shoot for a while, but that didn't last very long. He's just not into it. My daughter is not interested in participating at all, which is her pick. My wife is center eye dominant which we never got past. That's right, neither eye is dominant. Or both eyes are equally dominant, if you can believe that. I had her close one eye and when I discovered she was closing the eye on the gun, I pretty much gave up on her. Really!

Now, I get to go to the club; my wife gets to go to the workout gym and pool. Seems fair.
 

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Congrats. Not sure I ever found a balance. The responsibilities of fatherhood far outweighed personal interests for the first several years. Yes, you need some personal time to be a productive/sane dad, spouse, employee, etc, but newborns consume a lot of time & energy. There were also some economic realties for me to adjust to as well - babies are expensive. I believe you’ll find fatherhood far more rewarding than shooting (or any other personal hobby for the time being) if you can’t work in those weekly rounds. Time passes quickly with children.
 

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I had put off shooting entirely for the most part and just back into it except for plinking with a 22. The wife and I would shoot regularly while we were dating but I guess it wasn't in her blood since she doesnt show much interest anymore. My daughter is 7 years old and slightly interested. I take her to the club when I shoot but I keep it to only 2 rounds so she doesn't get bored. Any bigger shoots I go by myself. You'll be surprised how fast time flies and you'll be shooting again. Shoot when you can and cherish the moments with the little one.
 

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I have 5 kids, the oldest is 21 my youngest is 3. The older three are out of the house so I have a 13 year old daughter and a 3 year old daughter still at home. Luckily, all of my kids have liked to shoot. So I have been blessed. The truth is, when they are little, you just shoot when you can get away. I have a job that gives me a lot of vacation, so I take a morning or afternoon off and go practice a few times a month. Then when ATA season rolls around, I will shoot the monthly shoot at my club and that's "my day". We also go to a few out of town shoot and I always go places that are close to things for the family to do and I skip doubles and we go do family stuff. Like over labor day weekend, we like to go to KCTA for the weekend shoot. Me and the 13 year old shoot singles and caps then go somewhere the rest of the afternoon/evening.
I don't get to shoot enough to be "good" but I do get to shoot and have a good time.
 

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The balance will come pretty easy if you communicate with your wife. BOTH of you need to have some time and activities that let you be you.

Think about it... if you magically disappear all weekend to go shoot, what’s going to happen? If she has spa day with the girlfriends 4x/week, what’s going to happen? RESENTMENT.

Kids need/want/deserve your time and attention. You wanted and were an active participant in creating them.. weren’t you? You’ve made a time commitment that it’s time to live up to. BUT... That should not come at the cost of one day looking back at YOUR life and finding yourself old, angry and bitter because you did everything for others and forgot yourself.

You get (1) one go-‘round in this world. Achieve the balance by working with your partner, not against her. You all will be better off.
 

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My daughter will be born this week its are first! I don't shoot in the winter till spring. I will be able to go to my local club on a Thursday to help coach the youth team it is 1 mile away. And shoot a round or 2. I will shoot a lot less ATA but my wife said we will still go to the shoots it the PSSA home ground due to are camper is ther and she likes to relax at the camper! As my daughter gets older we will see what happens but my wife said I can still shoot some witch is good! And I will let her go shopping and to the pool we will work together.
 

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It’s all about working with your partner. Even as new parents, it’s important for both of you to have a little “me” time. My girls are 4 and 7…and my wife and I both find time for our own activities. Sometimes those include the kids, sometimes not. But we’ve found a way to balance things out while making sure the kids always come first.

congratulations, by the way
 

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Family always comes first. If your business/career allows you to not only provide and take care of your family but allow you time to play, then enjoy. I’ve been very blessed in my life but was always first to show up and last to leave. You’ll never get back time so learn to balance your personal priorities. Good shooting, Rey
 

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This is a tough one and the right answer will be different for every family represented by reply here. I was shooting skeet pretty regularly with my boss at the time and after kid #1, I slowed down from every week to every other week. I took my daughter to the gunship shop with me when they stayed open on Friday evenings and she is the only person I know that ever got away with calling the mounted wild boar a wild piggy. Kid #2 really put the brakes on and I shot 2-3 times per year for probably over a decade. As the kids grew, I enrolled my daughter [older child] in a skeet shooting course with one of her friends; she really enjoyed it but never did shoot too much, but today she's very supportive of shooting sports. My son [#2 kid] stated shooting trap at about 14 with a friend and went to the SCTP at the local club and even attended the state shoot one year. He and his wife [both pretty liberal-don't know how that happened] shoot with me today once or twice a year if they can.

Bringing up your family is the most meaningful and fulfilling job you will ever have. Shooting broadens the kids worldview and inoculates them from the extreme anti gun hysteria. Today daughter is a physician, and my son is executive director of a foundation that supports a hospital for children in my state. Whether they ever pull the trigger on a gun again is of little consideration when I watch them live their lives, interacting with their spouses and kids.

But today I can shoot a bit more than before, Although I am a recreational shooter at best, not possessing the reflexes and keen vision necessary to shoot competitively, I still enjoy the sport every time I go out. I shoot with my brother and his kids now. And I'm looking forward to being able to get the grandkids out soon.
 

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This is the window of opportunity... pick your day, just be prepared to pick up the slack, when your wife's dragging... and encourage her to take some time for herself...

As the little one gets older... your free time will become history, until the youngest gets to college...
 

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Getting married pretty much ended my shooting, having kids sealed the deal.
FF 20 years and there's only two things that matter. Have to's and want to's. I do what I have to in order to do what I want to. And that's shooting because there's nothing else in my want to category.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, I got home from a small shoot a few hours ago, put my stuff away and took the baby and fed, changed, fed and changed her. Told my wife to order a pizza to keep things easy tonight for her.

I agree that communication is best and as long as my wife is ok with me shooting once or twice a week, my chores are done, everyone is fed and nothing is neglected, I'll find a good balance.

Thanks everyone for the insight, I'm hoping to raise a shooting partner and share the pure enjoyment I get out of trapshooting with her!
 
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