I won’t lie, I was very excited about the prospect of my first full night sleep in a hotel, with no baby interruptions. Unfortunately, due to the psychological trauma we had faced over the last few weeks, I woke up every hour startled, looking for a crying Little Bear. I probably felt more exhausted when I got back to London than when I set out… Since then, each time I’m abroad for work, I’ve been faced with mixed feelings: I’ve enjoyed the break, but also really missed my buddies (baby and his mamma) back at home...
Before, the office was where the drama, excitement and challenges were, and home was the place you came to relax. But having a kid changes that. Little Bear growing up happily starts trumping every ‘big’ issue at work, and you start getting more perspective on what’s important in life. If someone disagrees with you on something small, you feel less need to challenge them.
Of course, working whilst being an active dad has some professional downsides. Namely, an acceptance that I would have to operate in the office with at least 30 fewer IQ points (I think that just about reflects my inability to form proper sentences in meetings). My co-workers are (usually) polite enough not to comment on the bags under my eyes or the unkempt mess of my beard. And I have so far received no comments on the marks of baby vomit I find on my clothes around lunch time.
So all around you feel messier, more tired, and slower in the office than before. But at the same time things are just better. I’m looking forward to seeing how Little Bear's mum will manage with it, just as much as she’ll be looking at me settle into the full-time parenting role.
I'm Dave, dad of Little Bear. Also known as 'Pappa' to the little man as we try and bring out his Swedish roots