Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Past performance IS indicative of future results

If there is one thing that is tougher than having a baby, that would be raising a baby/kid. Almost everyone I've talked to has had a really rough time during the first 1-2 years of raising a kid. In many cases, I've seen people move closer to their family or even move parents closer so that they could get help more easily. We are very very thankful for some of our family members who helped us through everything. I can't imagine raising kids without help!

Is there is some correlation between people's past and future willingness to help? For me personally, the people who were able and willing to help with our dog (2007) and our wedding (2009) [as denoted by "pre-kid helpfulness score"] were also the same people who were willing to help taking care of my son Calvin (2010) [as denoted by "post-kid helpfulness score"]. Here are the scores, real names anonymized:

Scoring methodology: everyone in the column is able (e.g. they are capable of help and they have time) who are family members, and the score per row represents willingness to help. A score of 10 is that he/she has consistently and eagerly volunteered to help with chores even when not asked. A score of 7 is that he/she has occasionally volunteered to help with chores. A score of 5 is that he/she has occasionally helped after occasional requests for help. A score of 3 is that he/she has, in a few instances, helped with chores after being asked a few times. A score of 0 has never helped and comes up with excuses or runs away, even when asked repeatedly. I've split the chart in two sections: pre-kid chores (dog help, wedding help) and post-kid chores (diaper, feed, shower, ...).

Below I plotted pre-kid helpfulness score against post-kid helpfulness score. The size of the circle is relative to a person's age. Based on limited data points, one sees that those who are helpful pre-kid (helped with dog/wedding) also tend to be helpful post-kid (helped with baby/kid chores). There is no data point on either extreme side of the line as denoted by the orange text.

In summary, raising a kid is super tough and that is why many couples are desperate for  help. If you're counting on help from your family members, then based on my personal life and observations: 1) his/her past willingness to help IS indicative of future results 2) women tend to be better helpers  than men.

Do you observe the same thing in your personal life? Let's hear about it!

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