Parenthood and working – Just over a year on and we survived!
- Posted in: Employee Voice
Parenthood and working can be a challenging time. Nick Thompson of Vodafone shares what it’s like to be a new parent AND have a career 17 months on from Ellie’s arrival.
‘I wont lie it’s been a really tough year with little Ellie not sleeping through until she was almost 1. It’s amazing though how your body adapts to less sleep and you move from surviving to living and just get on with it.
Being a Daddy has been easily the hardest job ever but also without doubt the most rewarding and even if the toughest of times you just can’t but have a big smug grin on your face.
I mentioned in my last post about being a new Daddy that I didn’t want to be a weekend Dad and wanted to balance work and little one. I am not going to say I have got it right all the time but on the whole I have a very good balance and Vodafone helps me with this.
I work from home one day a week which helps me do the drop off and pick up and get a little longer with Ellie in the evening. It’s also amazing how much more you can get done when free of the usual office distractions.
At Vodafone you are treated as an adult and depending on the role you do it’s up to you to manage your hours. I have my day set up so I am always in the office early (Ellie has us up anyway) and means I leave slightly earlier and spend any fee hours with Ellie before she goes to sleep (sometimes!). Sure there are times where I don’t get to do this but it’s the exception not the norm as I’m measured by performance and output rather than attendance.
I’m still occasionally using the gym here on campus which helps as I feel refreshed and ready to get stuck straight back into things. It also helps to avoid the lunch or after work rush.
As my role covers all UK recruitment thankfully I’m not travelling all over the UK as we use a lot of video calls and technology to communicate with all the local teams. That said sometimes you just can’t beat some face time with the local teams to really get to know them and their stories.
The balance this and our great childcare gives me and my family means my wife was able to go back to work and is just increasing her hours to take on another day. We feel we have a really happy balance between work/careers and little one.
The best part is I am just about to take a week off for Daddy Day Care. At Vodafone we get 5 days paid leave for parental leave per child and this has really helped with childcare and also enabled me to take little one away, rather than stay at home and not really enjoy my time with Ellie.
It’s been amazing how the period of ‘pain’ has extended and for the first few months people told me they are ‘good as gold’ from 6 months, and then it turned into, once they get over 1 things will calm down. Now apparently we are already getting the terrible 2’s, Ellie is only 17 months!
Would love to hear your survival tips on parenthood and working and other ‘hacks’ you have to getting the balance between career and being Mummy or Daddy.
A big thanks to Nick for allowing us to share his article. Here’s hoping many more employers consider and introduce flexible working and other technologies and initiatives to help employees be a productive and fulfilled both in and out of work as possible.
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