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Questions for the Crowd

My wife and I are days away from having our first child. We have been getting ready for months – building the nursery, picking out names, buying car seats, strollers, clothes, and everything else you can imagine. I am pleased to say I feel completely prepared, not really nervous at all about what is about to come into our lives. Ok, maybe I am a little nervous, but nothing that will stop me in tracks.

My wife and I are days away from having our first child. We have been getting ready for months – building the nursery, picking out names, buying car seats, strollers, clothes, and everything else you can imagine. I am pleased to say I feel completely prepared, not really nervous at all about what is about to come into our lives. Ok, maybe I am a little nervous, but nothing that will stop me in tracks. Mostly I am anxious (in a good way), curious about what will happen to our lives, excited about having a new member of the family and all the things that I can help teach him/her (we don’t know the sex yet), and what I will learn from him/her.

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Of course, my head is full of questions about how having a baby will impact my work life. I will take some time off after the baby is born, probably three or four weeks, and then resume what I would imagine is a pretty normal work schedule. But I really have no idea what my life will be like in a few months, let alone a few years. Hence the questions.

Rather than keep all those questions inside, I wanted to ask a few of them to you, my Fast Company extended family. For those of you who are parents, I hope you will respond with your own thoughts and stories — your experiences and recommendations from when you had kids. For those of you who aren’t parents (or aren’t parents yet), your experiences and opinions are just as valuable, so please leave a comment or shoot me a note as well.

Ok, here are the questions I keep thinking about:

– How will my feelings about work change? Will I still want to get up in the morning and go to work, if it means having to leave my baby for the day?

– How will my relationship with clients change? Am I going to be at a disadvantage because I won’t be able to go out socializing with a client?

– How will my relationship with colleagues change? I work with a lot of younger people — folks who are just getting married, probably not thinking about kids at all. Are they going to see me differently now that I am a daddy?

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– Will I become more creative than I was before? Being a parent means an opportunity to meet all sorts of new people, read different books and watch different TV shows, learn about a whole new category of things. Will that help me come up with better answers and more ideas for my projects?

– Will my work habits change? I have this vision of working between baby naps, early morning and late at night — wherever I can steal away a few seconds of uninterrupted time. Am I crazy to think I can do that, or that I will want to do that?

I know that parenting, like everything else, is about balance. And I know that most of my questions are heavily weighted towards one extreme or the other. And like I said abvoe, I don’t think I am nervous about the changes that will occur – more curious, and excited. My way of learning is to collect lots of opinions and stories and then try to process what wilil work best for me. So, I hope that you will be willing to share some of your experiences about work life after having a baby. And maybe a whole discussion will come from this – I sure hope so.

As for the rest, I will keep you posted.

Direct of New Media, Cone Inc. • Boston, MA • breich@coneinc.com www.coneinc.com

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