Thanks for writing this! I've just returned to work after six months off with my first child (my wife took the first six months, I took the second, we live in the UK where luckily that's a protected right), and have been finding it extremely challenging, so good to hear from people who made it work. My wife and I also share 50/50, and the ability to take shifts has certainly made it more viable (and I don't mind the long Sunday walks with baby and dog while she works!)
I'd agree with a few comments highlighted - there are maybe a few people who spend their time totally optimally, but for me, having a kid mainly meant less time drinking and playing video games. The quality and quantity of my friendships has suffered, but that is largely down to a combination of me not making an appropriate effort to make friends during the time off, and being a man at baby activities.
The cost of childcare is indeed not cheap, but in the context of earning-to-give (which I do) it's a relatively straightforward trade-off.
Agree with you re: overpopulation (that, and most readers are likely to live in areas where the total fertility rate is well under 2), and adoption - if anyone is considering adoption as an alternative to conception (assuming the latter is an option), please be sure you've looked into it - improvements in medicine mean there just aren't that many healthy-but-parentless kids around these days. I was relatively neutral on the conception-vs-adoption topic (I tend to have the impulse to take care of every baby/dog/bird/sad person I pass by anyway), but I had a realistic think to myself about my ability and willingness to look after a severely disabled child by choice.
With regards to my feelings about effective altruism, if anything, my feelings have become stronger. I actually cried while listening to an interview on 80k hours regarding malaria and imagining my own child going through that, and separately, that the year 2100 has suddenly become a real year, rather than just an abstraction of the future; my daughter, right here, is likely to be alive then!
Thank you! This post is hyper relevant to me right now - I'm mid career in finance, earning to give, it's OK but don't necessarily love it, thinking of alternatives, part of what's holding me back is the sense that I would do much less good elsewhere (and also a general risk aversion born of earlier-in-life relative poverty, admittedly). This has provided some helpful food for thought.
I work in energy and infrastructure financing for a large bank in the UK, and don't have a background in business or finance.
This is amazing data, and not what I would have expected - I've just had my mind changed on the predictability of invention success. Thanks!
This, for me, is why I mainly engage with simple rules (give 10% of income through payroll giving to Givewell recommended charities, don't eat meat) and only occasionally do deep dives into the fundamental philosophy or actual individual suffering.
I don't so much disengage as just get really sad, which on the one hand, yes, the world has a ton of suffering in it, but also it's hard to operate with that level of sadness constantly. The engagement/reading for me is more like a 'sadness top-up' once in a while to make sure I stick to my rules.