“Before becoming a dad, I would regularly work 80 and 90 hour weeks. After my son came, I felt the need to try to keep up that same pace (while trying to be a dad, which is what I really wanted to do) and that really took a toll.”

What is one piece of advice you wish you could offer your former, pre-child(ren) self?

Not to take work too seriously, if it doesn’t get done now, it will still get done.

Before becoming a dad, I would regularly work 80 and 90 hour weeks. After my son came, I felt the need to try to keep up that same pace (while trying to be a dad, which is what I really wanted to do) and that really took a toll.

Eventually, when he was around 2, I realized that I didn’t have to respond to every email immediately, that I didn’t have to be in the office well into the night, and that my career wouldn’t end because of it.

How long did you take for paternity leave before heading back to work? How close was your back-to-work plan with the back-to-work reality?

Two or three weeks — exactly as planned. The caveat I have for this is that I was still on my phone, making work calls, responding to work emails and texts even in the hospital when my son was only a day or two old.

What, if any, adjustments did you (or your workplace) make to your schedule after having a baby?

I own my own consulting firm and work for myself, which meant that there was no one to make adjustments or accommodations for me, and I didn’t make very many for myself.

Who was your biggest source of support in returning to work?

First, my wife filled in the gaps at home. All of my late nights meant that she was at home with our son. Even after she returned from maternity leave, she would come home from work to give him dinner and put him to bed, then do her own work well into the evening.

Second, I have a couple of friends who became dads when they were in their 40’s. I think they offered some of the best perspective and advice.

What was your biggest back-to-work, post-baby challenge?

Nothing specific, but the entirety of figuring out how to be a professional and a dad really threw me.

As a working parent…

As a working parent, I never expected working would be so hard and being a loving father would be so much easier!

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