How did our parents balance all this?!
I wake up at 6am every day, and the immediate scramble to check the baby monitor and view my calendar for the day invades my mind. Did we take out the trash? What day is lawn bag removal? Do I have clean exercise clothes? Do I have any meetings this morning? Does the dog need a walk? Did we prepare the formula pitcher for today?
Besides work, there are so many other responsibilities for a new parent. I am lucky I have the support of a company that understands these demands, and a wife to help shoulder the load. Even with this structure it is easy to get overwhelmed, and it is easy to wonder how our parents and the generations before us balanced it all.
In an age where we are forever connected and accountable to our teammates and clients, technology ties us all together. As a new parent, we are fortunate to be able to leverage this technology that generations before us did not have…to accomplish our jobs, stay connected to friends, and remain accessible to family.
Since I’ve worked from home on certain days, my performance and effectiveness has risen substantially. I am able to spend more time with my five-month old son and my wife, as I can accomplish my work without distractions. None of this would be possible without the kinds of technology our Engineers in the field develop. I don’t know how I would do it without the accessibility, ease of obtaining information and ability to reach people that is relatively new in the scope of history.
Thinking of how my mother and father needed to clock in find daycare options for me while being away for days and/or weeks, I am not jealous of the “un-plugged generation”. In this day and age we can work just as hard and put in the same hours, but with a responsiveness and freedom never enjoyed before. If I didn’t have my wonderful mother around to watch my son at least one day a week, and my lovely wife at home two other days, things would be very difficult.
How do other parents handle this type of balance if they don’t have much flexibility at their jobs? It’s an extraordinary feat, and I appreciate the people around me, my company, and all of their efforts. Every extra smile, giggle, and hug from my new baby that I get to experience during “work hours” is something I cherish and makes me realize I am blessed. I would not trade my situation for the world…and I will certainly trade a few 2AM email notifications here and there to give me the technology and accessibility to grow an amazing new family.