It seems almost silly to write a thank you note to my own company, but I sure am grateful so that’s what I’m doing.
Thank you Stephen. Thank you Phil. Thank you Elaine.
Thanks to you three I have been able to focus entirely on being a new dad for the last 14 weeks and words can’t really begin to express how amazing it is to have had that opportunity.
On September 7, one week earlier than planned, I dropped everything I was working on, walked out of Slack, and have remained healthily disconnected since.
There were a couple friendly check-ins with Steve—we are close friends and co-owners after all—and two very minor hosting issues which were my fault for not documenting and providing access. Beyond that, not a peep! I opened Slack from time to time to drop some articles in a couple of our random channels, but haven’t yet read any of the backscroll for any project communication.
In the time away, I’ve reflected quite a bit on how privileged I am to have taken this much leave. I know there are ways to approach every situation, but I am not able to wrap my head around what the last 14 weeks would have been like as a full time employee—let alone as a single parent or with another child. There have been so many normal, new parent challenges over the last 3 months and it’s been so nice to go through them as a team.
I’ve also reflected on how strange it is to feel this way about 14 weeks. So much of the world is light years ahead of the United States in providing paid maternity and paternity leave. Why do we insist on coming in last?
It seems like such an obvious opportunity for those who love capitalism: invest in children so they contribute more growth as adults. Unfortunately, this communal investment clashes with a strong individualism that seems to grip enough of America to make guns a higher priority than health care. We’re an odd beast.
See there, now the thank you note got political. You’re welcome!
Thank you Stephen. Thank you Phil. Thank you Elaine. Thank you to all of our clients and partners.
I’m looking forward to diving back in over the next week and a half before winter break to catch up, exercise those code muscles, and get excited about what we have in store for 2022!
If your employer does not provide paid parental leave, consider asking them why. It should at least be possible to talk through the math and figure out something.
And if you are an employer who does not offer paid parental leave: I know it may seem difficult and terrifying to offer it as a benefit, but like with parenthood, every situation has an approach. I’d be happy chat if you’re looking for help in figuring the math out!
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