Becoming a father has been an incredible experience so far. It’s truly amazing to create a person that finds you simultaneously fascinating, infuriating, hilarious, and nurturing.
In addition to my new home-life challenges and constant rewards, my work-life has improved. I’m more focused on my projects, I look forward to coming to the office, and my ideas are strategic and make sense to the team’s objectives.
It occurred to me, has becoming a Dad made me a better employee?
First of all, a new Dad wants stability in his employment. That means that he is going to work hard and reach his targets to ensure he can continue to bring home a steady paycheque.
He knows how to prioritise. With a child, the things that you’d like or need to do are put way down the list of the day’s activities. Sometimes you’re blessed with a ‘nap time’ and you have to pick the one thing that will make you truly happy or will improve the quality of your family’s day.
We have been forced to understand the importance of keeping calm under pressure. If your baby makes things really smelly at the worst possible moment while knocking over something in a store and screaming her little head off, it’s all totally fine and you’re going to deal with it.
If a new Dad is being yelled at by an excitable manager or is facing an encroaching deadline you can rest assured that he’ll keep a straight face and get it done. He’ll sing you songs to keep you calm while he does it if that helps too.
I’ve started putting a little money away for my child’s college career success before she could walk. I think in terms of years instead of days. A Dad has developed a mindset that allows for long-term planning and investing in the future. He’s not afraid to start working on a project that may take years but will ultimately benefit the company.
He’s a quick thinker and problem solver. Imagine the scene, you’ve been planning a campaign for months, all built around a theme that works perfectly for your brand. Just before you launch you see a competitor brand use the same theme. Just like a family who has to change a much-anticipated weekend plan or vacation, someone has to think fast before everyone starts to panic. Your friendly neighbourhood new Dad is here to help. He’ll give you a few new options, a solid plan on how to roll them out, where to go, and will have snacks for everyone while he does it.
Most importantly, a new Dad has someone new in his life that makes him truly happy. Even if he starts to show some of the effects of being under a new kind of pressure, much less sleep, a new priority on a real work-life balance, you can just ask him how his baby is or ask to see a photo and watch him melt.
I originally wrote this for the Huffington Post.