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View Full Version : Family QOL


Jordon11
06-17-2019, 05:24 AM
Hi all,

I am at a crossroad and need some guidance (preferably from someone recently on at FedEx from a feeder)
I am 25 and have a baby on the way. I am about $1,000 in to schooling for private pilot with the idea of continuing on to get everything else and make it to the big boys eventually.
BUT recently I got to thinking, if I do this my daughter will be probably 6-7 before I get on at any major and kind of get settled into a schedule that isnít so rough. I have been hearing horror storyís about guys spending 17-20 nights in different beds than at home and quite frankly that scares me. I donít want to have to look at my daughter when sheís 18 and tell her I missed her childhood because I wanted a paycheck. Where I am at now in my head is, I can stop now gather my marbles and come back later if I am truly called to it. I believe my daughter would rather have a dad thatís present than a rich dad.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated my wife doesnít understand and I donít want to stress her out by having her worry about it.


Phoenix21
06-17-2019, 05:51 AM
Hi all,

I am at a crossroad and need some guidance (preferably from someone recently on at FedEx from a feeder)
I am 25 and have a baby on the way. I am about $1,000 in to schooling for private pilot with the idea of continuing on to get everything else and make it to the big boys eventually.
BUT recently I got to thinking, if I do this my daughter will be probably 6-7 before I get on at any major and kind of get settled into a schedule that isnít so rough. I have been hearing horror storyís about guys spending 17-20 nights in different beds than at home and quite frankly that scares me. I donít want to have to look at my daughter when sheís 18 and tell her I missed her childhood because I wanted a paycheck. Where I am at now in my head is, I can stop now gather my marbles and come back later if I am truly called to it. I believe my daughter would rather have a dad thatís present than a rich dad.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated my wife doesnít understand and I donít want to stress her out by having her worry about it.

Live in base and bid reserve. Youíll fly less and get paid less but youíll be home more.

Until youíre at FedEx etc or another major, donít go to companies known for poor quality of life.

rickair7777
06-17-2019, 06:21 AM
Live in base and bid reserve. You’ll fly less and get paid less but you’ll be home more.

x2. With just a little seniority you can greatly mitigate the schedule issues. Also select a regional with bases, fleet types and schedules which are more conducive to QOL (typically larger RJ's, flying longer legs but you'd have to research specifics for each regional being considered).

I was Mr. Mom when I was a regional FO, it can be done.


Until you’re at FedEx etc or another major, don’t go to companies known for poor quality of life.

Unless YOUR Dad is a senior flight ops manager at FDX, do not get hung up on a particular major employer. Unless you're a fighter pilot with all the gucci tickets + top gun you will need to take the first good major airline job offer you get... because that may be the only offer you ever get.


Jordon11
06-17-2019, 06:53 AM
Yeah Iíll take whatever I can get major wise. My fear is just sitting at a regional bending over backwards for hours while my daughter is getting older. No amount of money will buy back the time I lose with her. I guess, honestly, I am waiting on someone to say I wonít regret giving up this small fortune to be with my kid.

The annual medical, check rides, getting laid off ect. Just so many things that could go wrong after I spend 10 years dishing out time I donít have to waste. Then I look up, my daughter is in high school I am a failure that lost his medical, lost time with his kid and never made it to the Majors.

galaxy flyer
06-17-2019, 07:09 AM
Too late for any advice Iíd have.

GF

Rama
06-18-2019, 10:02 AM
The reality of the pilot life is being away from home for most jobs.
Flew long haul cargo for quite while. Tough on my wife, kids and me. At least the days off were in a row and I had no other commitments to work.
Now work for HA flying the 717 and am at home very night, but it means giving up a higher paying slot.

ZippyNH
06-18-2019, 01:03 PM
There are jobs that are more nontraditional that get you home more....but the nature of the job lots of time away from home.
It's largely pick your poison....
Know guys who sleep at home EVERY NIGHT....but are away from 5 am till 9 pm.....or sleep in hotels 5 nights a week ....but home from 9 am till 7 pm...typical feeder cargo hours (hub based vs outstation), for typical ups/FedEx/DHL routes.
Honestly if you have this many misgivings.... doesn't sound like your lifestyle.
You might find a corporate job....that does mostly out and backs....but maybe not...they are somewhat rare, and largely go to friends of friends with experience.

TheRaven
06-18-2019, 03:26 PM
$1000 into your private, and youíre worried about what life will be like after you pass about 8 checkrides, accumulate 1500 hrs and get hired by an airline?

If you have reservations now, Iíd suggest exploring other careers. Youíll be away from home a lot, especially in the beginning, and the control over your schedule will not always be to your liking. Youíll miss Holidays, birthdays, graduations, scout meetings, little league games, proms, etc.....no matter how much control you think you ever have over your schedule, there are other forces at work that tend to flex their control at inopportune times.

Ihateusernames
06-18-2019, 03:47 PM
If youíre just getting your private now....you ainít going to be at a Major in 6-7 years. Sorry. As for having the child. Congrats. Maybe should have planned for that along with your aviation career. Do you have a degree. I assume yes since your expectations are 6-7 years. Good luck. Yes. You will be gone a lot. Itís being a pilot. Your kids will thank you later in life for a great QOL you can provide. Sure it sucks missing stuff but having your kids grow up in a better world will be worth it. Good luck. Seriously


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Riverside
06-18-2019, 05:52 PM
Yeah Iíll take whatever I can get major wise. My fear is just sitting at a regional bending over backwards for hours while my daughter is getting older. No amount of money will buy back the time I lose with her. I guess, honestly, I am waiting on someone to say I wonít regret giving up this small fortune to be with my kid.

The annual medical, check rides, getting laid off ect. Just so many things that could go wrong after I spend 10 years dishing out time I donít have to waste. Then I look up, my daughter is in high school I am a failure that lost his medical, lost time with his kid and never made it to the Majors.

Two threads concerning this issue? I'm sorry, but you really need to rethink your career choice.

rickair7777
06-18-2019, 06:12 PM
The annual medical, check rides, getting laid off ect. Just so many things that could go wrong after I spend 10 years dishing out time I donít have to waste. Then I look up, my daughter is in high school I am a failure that lost his medical, lost time with his kid and never made it to the Majors.

You pays your money, you takes your chances.

There's risk. But people do it because of the high reward potential. That potential is unusually high at this exact moment in time due to retirements.

If your family has a history of (non-lifestyle induced) medical issues, that would be cause for consideration. But if your genetics are decent, you can really improve your odds of staying healthy with diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Also the better majors (and some regionals) have loss of medical disability up to age 65. If you're young, you'd probably just want to start a new career. But if you're 50+ at a major, you're covered to age 65. Not full pay, but 60% (non-taxable) of major captain pay is still quite comfortable.

PotatoChip
06-18-2019, 06:47 PM
Hahahahaha to this thread.

You. Are. Going. To. Be. Away. From. Home.

You have a LONG way to go.

Do you LOVE the idea of flying for a career?

If no (and even if yes depending on circumstances), find another career.

This career can be great, brutal, and most often both with varying percentages to either column. I have a three year old and a three
Month old and just spent six weeks away in training, and now am Junior with 13 days home a month. It blows sometimes. Ask my daughter. Ask my wife. I love what I do, but it comes with serious baggage (pun intended).

Jeff90
06-18-2019, 07:03 PM
Hi all,

I am at a crossroad and need some guidance (preferably from someone recently on at FedEx from a feeder)
I am 25 and have a baby on the way. I am about $1,000 in to schooling for private pilot with the idea of continuing on to get everything else and make it to the big boys eventually.
BUT recently I got to thinking, if I do this my daughter will be probably 6-7 before I get on at any major and kind of get settled into a schedule that isnít so rough. I have been hearing horror storyís about guys spending 17-20 nights in different beds than at home and quite frankly that scares me. I donít want to have to look at my daughter when sheís 18 and tell her I missed her childhood because I wanted a paycheck. Where I am at now in my head is, I can stop now gather my marbles and come back later if I am truly called to it. I believe my daughter would rather have a dad thatís present than a rich dad.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated my wife doesnít understand and I donít want to stress her out by having her worry about it.

Hi Jordan11

These threads can be brutal and a place of learning grounds. Kuddos to you posting on here looking for real advice. Now Iíll tell you my story. I had 3 kids married when I started the rest of my pilot training from instrument onward to being a CFI MEI and CFII. Moral of the story it can be done. Flying is my passion I love it way more than I should.
What you have to realize is to get to the big airlines of today you will have to be gone probably more than you would like. Now there are home every night jobs if your willing to move to letís say Miami for starters or Dallas. But even then training could be in a totally different city and be upwards of 3 months at some carriers. There will be give and take no matter what you choose.

What does your wife say? Will she move for the QOL to be better? When you get into real Avaition there are all kinds of jobs you never even heard of so research your area see if there something close or maybe youll have to move?

You will have to be gone some but maybe not like your thinking

Regards

JohnBurke
06-19-2019, 12:47 AM
My next scheduled work day will enable me to look back and see two months at home. I took five days of vacation during that time, but the rest is simply time off (and getting paid).

Conversely, I've had days in which I went to work and came home ten months later. That's a long day.

If you're planning on aviation staying in it's current state for very long, you're making bad plans. Things are going well now. They won't be going well in the not too distant future. Aviation runs in cycles. This cycle will end sooner than most think, and those who have never been through the wringer are in for a very rude awakening.

As for time home with the family, you you might focus on learning to understand quality, vs. quantity. The two are not the same.

kevbo
06-19-2019, 11:50 PM
You should have waited to start a family AFTER you have some seniority at a major.

4V14T0R
06-20-2019, 06:52 AM
[emoji849]


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DontLookDown
06-20-2019, 08:21 AM
You should have waited to start a family AFTER you have some seniority at a major.

I think what KEVBO is trying to say is that there are other options in aviation that could provide the more typical 9-5 life. A&P mechanic is a great example

PRS Guitars
06-20-2019, 08:44 AM
So you are seeking advice from folks on this board that you think have been bad parents themselves...

There is a balance, yes itís great to be home for every child event. There is also something to be said for working hard to provide for your family. Some younger guys donít quite get this concept, they want it all, because their parent enabled that when they were younger via helicoptering. Or they want their wife to equally support the family, itís what theyíve been told for years. Time to man up and get to work (many will scoff at that last comment, but itís true).

With that said, my advice is to get going now while the kids are young, that is the time when itís easy to move the family around etc. the key will be your wife, she needs to be on board and you need to prep her that the first years will suck, but there is a potentially big payoff down the road, and this job can provide a great lifestyle for your family.

JohnBurke
06-20-2019, 09:29 AM
I think what KEVBO is trying to say is that there are other options in aviation that could provide the more typical 9-5 life. A&P mechanic is a great example

Zing.

My kids look back at a life with dad in aviation, and my oldest remembers sitting on my lap starting the APU in a WWII bomber. My youngest remembers accompanying on 135 freight runs, and those in between remember drop zones, hangars, and riding along when gave a checkride. They each have their pictures in the engines of a 747, and recall feeling the temperature change as we passed over them as they stood at the end of the runway as we took off in the 747, and felt our vortices.

The kids also have memories of dad at recitals, games, school assemblies, spelling bees, and every high school graduation, junior high promotion, and every elementary school event. Dad was there when they got their eagle, when they got ready for the school dance, and I was there for each of their births, and I cut the cord. Point is that an aviation career doesn't preclude a life with a family, and even times away from home weren't in isolation. I've participated in an evening prayer from half a world away by phone or skype. I've been involved at every step of their lives, and the vacation times are memorable. This year I celebrated my wedding anniversary with a trip with the wife, and was there for each birthday, funeral, holiday, and event within the family.

How you conduct your life, especially with a family, is largely up to you, not your employer. Quality is the key factor. You can stay home 24 hours a day and never have a quality experience with your family or be a good parent: that's all on you. You can be gone 10 hours a day for a 9-5 job in a cubicle and never have a good experience, or be the greatest parent and spouse in the world. That's up to you. Not the company. You can be gone for months at a time and be a great parent. Again, this is up to you.

Kids in school sometimes do a "flat stanley" exercise, in which the parent takes a paper cutout of a person to work, or on travels, and photographs the "flat stanley," and sends descriptions and pictures to the class. Other kids had a parent that worked in an automotive shop or a bakery with the flat stanley next to a loaf of bread. I was able picture flat stanley next to a loaf of bread in twenty different countries, combat zones, multiple oceans, world cities, parks, museums, hotels, rivers, and places that few get to go, just from the regular work day. Again, what you bring to the table as a parent is up to you; there is noting wrong at all with working in a bakery, and there is nothing wrong at all with flying for a living. Neither preclude you from being a parent or being part of your family. It may require that you grow outside your shell and expand your horizons somewhat, but this too, is up to you.

Waiting to start a family until one has secured a job with a major airline is idiotic. One might never have a family. One would also miss out on many of the great experiences and opportunities along the way.

When I was first married, a company closed a location down, and to keep employed, we moved to their headquarters. We made very little, and got a small two-room basement apartment. When we married, I bought a good bed, and when we arrived at the new place, the mattress foundation structure wouldn't fit through the door with the angle of the stairs. It began to sprinkle. I had no way to cover our things outside, so rushed them in, and lacking any other tool at the time, used the saw on a swiss army knife to cut the box springs in half after removing the fabric. I moved them into the apartment, and used lumber scraps to splice it back together. We had that box spring for seven years and several kids. It's a small thing, a blip on the radar, but little experiences like that, a part of the journey rather than a wealthy want-for-nothing destination, is what makes a rich carpet to look back on. Everyone has their own story, but waiting until one has arrived will leave one missing out on many of the best parts.

If one waits to start a family until arriving at a major, one needs to ask if the family is worth the time at all, given the priority to get to the major. If the family is the priority, and I submit for most of us it is, then the journey will suffice. Take the family on the journey. You'll be glad you did.

kme9418
06-20-2019, 10:24 AM
I tell folks it's ABOUT 10 years from PPL to a "major". I'm not here to argue about the timeline but I wouldn't place money on 5-6 years. It took me 19 via the military. It's pay now or pay later but there are a lot of dues to be paid. If you plan to stay married (which I recommend), then you need to do some expectation management with the wife. If you aren't willing to move to a base, then you WILL be gone from home more on your off time. If she's not ready to support and sign up for that lifestyle, better to figure it out now than later. However, most 6 figure jobs either require travel or really long hours whether flying or not. If the FAMILY wants to live the 6 figure lifestyle, then the FAMILY needs to admit that it has costs associated with it and fully support that DADDIES HAVE TO GO TO WORK. If you know of any 6 figure jobs that work 9-5, M-F with relatively low stress and home every holiday and kid event, then please PM me. Until then, I think this career offers a great lifestyle if the FAMILY decides to keep a good attitude and take the good with the bad.

rickair7777
06-21-2019, 09:42 AM
If you know of any 6 figure jobs that work 9-5, M-F with relatively low stress and home every holiday and kid event, then please PM me.

Radiation Oncologist. $200K+ in metro areas, $400K+ if you're willing to relocate to the sticks. Tumors are zapped only by prior appointment, and they can always wait until Monday. Like aviation, years of dues paying up front.

hydrostream
06-24-2019, 05:50 PM
Man, don’t do it. Get yourself a good 9-5 and see your kids every night. Who cares about 6 figures? Put some money aside and use that to fly for fun. The payoff might be worth it but your family will be grown by the time you make it there. I got started a decade before I had kids, I couldn’t imagine going through those early years again with little ones at home.

DontLookDown
06-25-2019, 08:27 AM
Man, donít do it. Get yourself a good 9-5 and see your kids every night. Who cares about 6 figures? Put some money aside and use that to fly for fun. The payoff might be worth it but your family will be grown by the time you make it there. I got started a decade before I had kids, I couldnít imagine going through those early years again with little ones at home.

Go into any aviation classroom and ask the class ďwhat got you wanting to pursue aviation?Ē In every classroom youíll get at least a couple responses talking about how a parent was a pilot.

If kids felt like they got the short end of the stick in life due to a parent being a pilot I doubt we would see so many aspiring to follow in their footsteps.

Who cares about 6 figures? The kids do. They will wants cars, college and weddings one day. They will want vacations. They will want to not have to worry about their parents financial stability as they age. Sure, there will be trade offs. Thatís just life