It's Working Project

“I went back to work about two months after he was born. It wasn't nearly enough time, but I enjoyed it while I could.”

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

Give yourself a break. It’s okay to have some personal time, and get a nap in every once in a while. Everything won’t fall apart if you steal away for a moment for some self-care.

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?

For my first son, I was actually the at-home parent for about eight or nine months. Economically and logistically, it just made more sense for my schedule at that time and I wanted to dive in headfirst. My second son was a different story. My wife and I made a conscious decision to have her be the at-home parent, and I went back to work about two months after he was born. It wasn’t nearly enough time, but I enjoyed it while I could.

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

Time isn’t a very flexible commodity. I had to omit things that were leisure activities and my more narcissistic endeavors. For me, it was a huge wake-up call in terms of how lazy I was previously. Sometimes, it was a tough adjustment when I needed to leave on time or early. People who don’t have kids may not always understand how much of a time commitment kids can be. Some overestimate it and have their own ideas of what parents can accommodate in the workplace.

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

My spouse. She was such an important partner in the tag-team nature of parenting. It’s a very laborious activity, so whether you have a partner or not, you need resources. She was there for whatever came up: back scratches and backup.

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

Finding time to stay healthy, especially with two kids. You move from zone defense to man-to-man. It’s hard sometimes. Caffeine and food are my friends.

As a working parent…

I never expected sleep would be so hard and loving someone would be so much easier!