What do you do when the kids come along?

Dear Friends,
Soon in a matter of 6 weeks I will be celebrating my nuptials and if all goes well I believe I can see kids on the horizon. I am curious how the birth of a new child may change your audio experience. I am wondering this since my speakers were bought used from a gentlemen on this web site (hi bruce, love the speakers) who sold them when he had his first child. Will I ever have time to listen to my music again? Is this yet another thing they didn't tell me about when I popped the question?
Jd> Life does not end when you have children. Children also enjoy music. Just as you would teach your child to read you can also teach them music appreciation. Musically nothing changed in our house when we had kids and both of them enjoy music of all genres now as adults. Interestingly I have learned to appreciate classical music through my son. So it is a reciprical action. As to equipment, you can teach children what they can and cannot touch. Yes it's a job but that's parenting. Obviously you need to take precautions for their safety. Speakers are the main precaution since they can be pulled over on the child. With some imagination you could build barricades for the speakers which would keep the child away from danger, but you will still need to monitor closely. And if you have a dedicated sound room it could be off limits for the child unless an adult was in there. Trying to keep ahead of children is a challenge and you will have to be somewhat inventive, however it shouldn't mean you have to give up music. You may have to make some compromises ie speaker placement but it should be a very happy time. Celebrate it with music and congratulations to you and your bride to be.
Wit kids are in the future the real question is how is marraige going to affect your audio addiction. I suggest you spend as much on your system as soon as possible. Define your space. While you're at it, get a motorcycle.
I'll agree with what Artemus said above and add one more thing. When the kids go to bed at night, play your music just like you do now (that means loud if you play it loud). Do this right from the beginning and (hopefully) you won't have problems. I have a 6 & 9 year old, and, to this day, once they've been asleep for 10 or 15 minutes, I can play it at pretty high volume and they sleep right through it.
well first off your audio budget goes to the back burner. so my advice is get your system where you can live with it for a while (believe me; kids are way more important and rewarding than any material thing).

I agree with artemus; i had to hide my tube amps in a corner (behind a couch) where i could not reach the power buttons and used the plugs to turn them on and off.

speaker placement was not the best but a 100lb floor stand will kill a person....let alone a child.

on the positive notes; my children did not know who britney spears was until the neighbor girl got her cd. they do know what a cello is though. (they are 5 &6).

anyway good luck....enjoy yourselves as a married couple....children realllly change your life.

Hdm's advice is right on. I did this with my kids also and it works.
My father always played classical music late at night. When my parents went to bed, they would always find me asleep at the top the stairs. I would sneek out there to listen.
Hdm's probably right about children and my daughter would probably sleep through it ... but my wife wouldn't. You can always invest in a good pair of headphones though.

I think you have to be careful when the kids are very young but, if taught properly, about the care of equipment and the joys of music, you'll be surprised at how young they can pick this stuff up. My eight year old has adjusted fine to a recent change in preamps, knows how to handle cds properly and operates the cd player perfectly. Se definitely knows who Britany Spears and NSync are but she also knows who Mozart, Beethoven and Mussorgsky are too.

The only way you will be able to enjoy audio is to have a dedicated listening room away from the children. Otherwise, your equipment will constantly be at risk - especially if you have a turntable in your gear - they like to touch everything. Soon you will have cookie crumbs in your CD player. Also, you won't have the silence required for serious listening.
I have three kids, now 8, 10, 12. I've never "childproofed" my stereo or my house. Teach them not to touch what isn't theirs, that way you can take them to friend's houses etc without having to worry they'll trash the place. I don't have a dedicated room, the system is out where all can use it. One rule: don't touch dad's turntable. When they reach 10 years old, build them their own system for their room, we need to encourage the young'uns to take part in our hobby.
My experience has been closer to Jeff's than to Pkaram's. My 2-year-old knows what she can touch and can use the CD player, DVD and VCR with a little help. What I miss is the time to criticaly listen at the columes I'd like (which aren't all THAT loud, really). However, like JVR said, the kids are way more important. BTW, I did go on a shopping spree a couple of months before she was born. Glad I did.
I agree with most of the aspects presented in this forum -- I am going through this now, and the worst part is turning the music off at night -- That is when everyone wakes up.

During the first months with children, the music actually helps both the parent and the child. My kids both had different musical tastes detectable at a couple of months old.

Now that the kids are older, some of the kids music gets played on the system.... Actually, some of the kids disks have really good recording quality...

One some good rules are the hands-off approach on the gear, food only at the kitchen table, and minimizing the damage opportunities for both the equipment and the kids...

If it is important to you, make sure you have your rules communicated and agreed before marriage and kids, otherwise divorce or compromise will surely follow..
I understand that babies learn their parent's voices
while still in the womb. If you are playing music
now, chances are the baby will take to it like mother's
I agree with hdm. I have 2 boys 5 and 8. I never stopped the music when they went to bed and they both sleep whether it is on or not. My wife and I also taught them what was off limits, which they both learned before they were able to walk. We have never had a problem with them handling anything including the turntable. My 8 year old is now able to run the system without me worrying (except the turntable). We found the key is to be consistant with the kids on your rules and don't compromise.
I have four kids ages 11, 14, 17, 19. I have been an audiophile for many years.
A) Get a sturdy and high stand. It wasn't my kids (of course) that presented a problem, it was their little friends that posed the greatest danger.
B) Select speakers that are fingerprint and finger-poking friendly. Watch out for speakers on tall flimsy stands.
C) Train them very early. Like you do when they're around a hot stove, lawn mower or swimming pool.
D) As they grow older, teach them to listen and enjoy.
E) As they grow, pass down older equipment. It presents a great excuse to upgrade!
At my age I don't see kids anytime soon!! Though I think most of what was said here sounds familiar ;) I have to Girlfriend proof my system which I think is enough trouble!

Bwyoung-Your oldest is only a year younger then me!!
I have 3 boys, ages 11, 14 and 17. I find the best audio 'tweak' is duct tape. Inexpensive, and worth every penny.
Seriously, you will need your wife to understand how important this hobby is to you. If she stays home with the children, like mine did, she can teach them from the time they're in diapers, what is 'not to be touched'. I've never had any problems (knock wood). My wife knew that my gear was expensive, she didn't want me to spend more money, so she had a vested interest in helping to protect my equipment.

I too agree with Hdm's advice. Although my sons bedroom is next to my audio system, I continued to play music as though he never came along.

Now that he is 16 (as of 5 days ago) we often listen together. I had to eject a new CD from my computer that he bought today, he wanted to share it with me before I logged onto Audiogon.

My point? Share your music with your child. You love them both and later the child will not only respect you for your passion, they will share it with you.
I used to have my own tube radiola(record player combined with tuner amp and speakers) at the age of 4 along with collection of records including 78rpm.
Well, I don't have any dedicated listening room and my rig is in my living room. My son now is a-bit above 1 and he already broke a toggle(power) switch on my phono preamp. I wasn't dissapointed at all since my son is much more dear to me than my rig -- I've just ordered one and soldered back. He loves to tap the speaker drivers, but now he already understands my command to leave it. He knows already that tube amps I have is hot so he never even looks onto them. I believe that in half more year or less I will have no problem leaving my rig without risk.
My wife very often have to turn on music for him to listen while he eats.