It's working for Jordan Monroe, CXO & Co-Founder, Owlet
"Force people to take time off. It’s always easy to say 'take as much as you need.' Force them to go and take guilt-free time off."
Jordan Monroe is the CXO and Co-Founder of Owlet. He and his wife have one child and are expecting their second in fall of 2017. As a leader in his workplace, he encourages new parents on staff to take time off when a child joins the family.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PLANNING FOR YOUR NEW CHILD – TIMED AROUND YOUR CAREER? NOT AT ALL? SHARE THE SKINNY!
My wife and I were “baby hungry” for a year. We did wait until my wife settled into her dream job as an ER nurse before starting our family.
HOW MUCH LEAVE DID YOU TAKE, AND HOW COMFORTABLE WERE YOU TAKING IT? IF YOU ARE A SINGLE PARENT, HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE YOUR LEAVE?
Paternity leave was interesting and maybe different than others. After my son was born, my mother-in-law was there helping. At the time, I was testing one of the earliest Owlets on my son at night. I did my leave a little backwards – I came into the office earlier into leave because my mother-in-law was at home supporting my wife, but then when she left, I adjusted my schedule to be home with my wife and son when they needed me most.
IF YOU RETURNED TO WORK, WHEN DID YOUR CONFIDENCE AROUND WORK KICK IN? HOW LONG DID THE ADJUSTMENT TAKE (OR ARE YOU STILL ADJUSTING?) WHEN DID THE “NEW NORMAL” SET IN FOR YOU?
I don’t think you get back to “normal”—you’re creating a new level of normal. My wife and I didn’t get back to normal sleep for eight months. But, we adjusted and loved that time in our lives.
WHAT, IF ANY, ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO EMPLOYERS TO EASE STRAIN AROUND FAMILY LEAVE AND RETURNING TO THE WORKPLACE?
Force people to take time off. It’s always easy to say “take as much as you need.” A lot of people will still come back early. Force them to go and take guilt-free time off.
WHAT I WISH I HAD KNOWN:
As a Dad, I wished I had known my son crying didn’t mean I’m doing a bad job. He’s not yelling at me. He needs something. I internalized it too much.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR OTHER PARENTS STARTING A FAMILY AND DECIDING ON HOW TO BALANCE FAMILY LIFE AND WORK?
It’s not balance; it’s integration. For example, I brought my son to work with me, I worked from home on Fridays for a long time to accommodate my wife’s schedule. I found a way to integrate the two—bringing my family life here and bringing my work life home. I had to find found a way to integrate the two.