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New Parent, New Challenges

My baby son arrived almost two weeks ago. Playing old-time music has taken a backseat to the excitement and challenges of being a new parent.

When before a free half hour meant time to practice a new tune, now it's a time to sneak in a nap before the next feeding. Soon, I'm hoping to figure out how to schedule time to play my instruments.

The biggest complication will be trying to improve on the fiddle with so little time to practice. Going into this endeavor, I knew it would be a difficult balancing act. With only nine months under my belt so far, my skills will decay faster than roadkill in the desert if I don't keep my playing fresh.

Already tunes are starting to slip away. Yesterday, while listening to the Skillet Lickers on the way home from work, I couldn't remember how to play parts of "Molly Put the Kettle On." I don't know how I'm going to get better if I'm forgetting what I've learned.

But I can't be the only person who's tried to learn to be a father at the same time as trying to learn to be a fiddler, right?

As my wife and I adjust to the schedule of our child's daily consumption and expulsion, we'll learn to find time for our own pursuits. With autumn upon us and winter coming fast, there should opportunities for me to sneak away to the attic and scratch out some tunes.

Tenacity will be required. My goal is to be not terrible by the time my son is old enough to remember my playing.

For those of you with children, how did you balance the challenges of parenthood and playing music? Any advice to pass along? Share your wisdom in the comments!

UPDATED ON 9/26/13: I've taken this discussion to the forums. Chime in at the following:

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