Claire is Pregnant!

Sun 9/13/2015

Well, last night Claire put up a post on her design blog about a maternity dress that she recently made for herself, so that is my signal that it's finally okay for me to talk about this news on the internet!

Obviously we've known for a while, and at this point all our close friends and family know. I'm sure many of you have been able to guess as much, given the well-worn path we've taken in recent years (getting married, going on a honeymoon, moving back to the bride's hometown where her parents still live, etc.)

This also explains why I have been finishing off old projects, like the 100 Watercolors book and the last issue of Drop Target and also why I am working to build up as much buffer as possible on future projects, like Isle of Elsi. I'm close to finishing off another top-secret project and I still have a few more on the to-do list, which I'm hoping to get done before the baby comes in January, including Phase 7 #021.

I am beyond excited to be a dad, but also a little terrified what this baby will do to my cartooning practice. If there are cartoonists out there with kids who have advice on how to navigate these first few years of raising a child while still making comics - I am all ears! Any tips posted in the comments below will be carefully read and much appreciated!

6 comments on this entry

Congratulations!

Congrats Alec! I was scared about what having a kid would do to my comics practice as well. I definitely don't draw as much as I did before my daughter was born, but I still regularly draw. Every baby is different and has their own sleep schedules, but our daughter would only sleep while we held her. So when I wasn't too exhausted, I would draw while she slept and my wife held her. There were a couple times when I drew while I held her!
Not every parent wants to do this, but things got easier once we sleep trained our daughter to sleep on her own in her crib. You can usually do this once your kid is between 6 and 9 months old. Our daughter sleeps 12 hours a night, 7pm to 7am, so we have time to do chores, relax together, and do our art! We don't get quite as much sleep or creative time as we used to but it's a lot better than when our daughter was infant.

Congratulations! The best advice I can give is to be humble. Allow yourself to be humbled. This includes asking for help. A lot.

Some babies are easy and other babies (like mine) know they need your all right out of the chute, and it may be a year or more before you even catch glimpses of the pre-baby you. One dad I know said that after the first 6 months, it just kept getting better. (Inferring that those first 6 months were very hard.) I found the first year to be the most challenging so far. (My lightning bolt is 2 now.) But after that beginning rough period, it really has been 90% fantastic.

From reading your Phase 7 books, I can tell you've been wanting a family of your own for a long time. Just from the care and compassion you've shown in your comics, I think you'll be a wonderful parent for your child.

Jill Sep15

For time balance, just lock down a time with Claire that you'll use for drawing. X o'clock to Y o'clock. Likewise, do the same for her for her craft stuff. Of course, if a major issue arises, then get off the drawing table.

I have two kids and it doesn't take two parents to be with them 24/7 to raise them, even in newborn stage. You can take a couple hours for yourself while the other parent watches the kid and vice versa.

However, the flip side is some babies tend to respond to a certain parent better otherwise they won't settle down. In that case, yeah, if you're the go-to guy, sneak in drawing when the kid's sleeping.

The Grubes could not be more excited for you and Claire. Wonderful wonderful.

Stefan Sep30

I forgot to say THANK YOU for all this wonderful advice, everyone! I really appreciate it.

Alec Jan08

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