“If something came up and I needed to cancel a client, I had no other choice. It was stressful since I felt like I wasn’t being responsible to my job yet I wanted to put my family first.”

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

Wow this is a great question.  Often I look back and think to myself, dude you had no idea what stress was back then.  Once kids come into the mix it’s a whole other ballgame.  I wish I could’ve chilled out a bit more in regards to life goals, success, etc.  Just enjoy the ride a bit more.  Oddly enough my kids are the reason I am still self-employed today.  They were my inspiration to start my current company Diaper Dude. At the end of the day all that matters now is my family and our happiness.

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?

I have to admit, I was lucky because I was self-employed when we started having kids.  At the time I had my own dog walking business.  I took 2 weeks completely off at first (this was 15 years ago) and once I went back to work I was flexible to be available to my wife and newborn whenever they needed me.  I was happy to be there as much as possible.

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

My clients were very understanding.  They were cool with me coming back when I was ready. But unfortunately since I was my own boss I had to go back in order to get paid.

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

My wife, Meredith was my biggest source of support in returning to work.

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

My biggest challenge was being reliable.  By that I mean I needed the flexibility to change my schedule from day to day.   Since we didn’t have help, my wife depended on me the most.  So if something came up and I needed to cancel a client, I had no other choice.  It was stressful since I felt like I wasn’t being responsible to my job yet I wanted to put my family first.  It was a tricky balance but eventually I figured it out.

As a working parent…

I never expected finding alone time with my wife would be so hard and multitasking would be so much easier!

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