Should There Be A Tradeoff Between Work and Babies?

After our weekly Tuesday meeting, our social media manager texted me: “Sorry I was a little off today. Might have to get induced tomorrow.”

I replied, “Oh boy. Hang in there. You’re doing great. Almost there!”

A half hour or so later I called and left her a message, offering encouragement.

On a team where the majority of us are parents, we’ve been vicariously reminiscing about our own first babies in our weekly meetings.

I was so unaware as to what was coming as my wife got close to giving birth to our first.

How unaware? On the day we were going to the hospital for her to be induced, I got our car washed.

You read that right.

I know – total idiot!

But it made sense at the time – at least to me. I wanted the baby to come home in a clean car!

(Had I known we were going to be in the hospital for five days, I might have instead packed a change of clothes.)

I love all the unexpectedness of first babies. Our second and third children were scheduled C-sections, where we drove to the hospital (in a dirty car) at our appointed hour – nearly as worried about the children at home as we were excited about the one set to arrive.

Later last Tuesday, I was in the eye doctor’s office with that first baby – now 13 and a half. We had just gotten our pupils dilated and were joking about how weird it felt. Before my vision went full blurry, I checked my phone and saw another message:

“Sooooo I’m going to get induced tomorrow.”

I typed: “That’s great! Congrats!! Send photos!”

We had a social media plan in place for when her baby arrived, though the baby was arriving ahead of schedule!

As my eyesight got blurrier, she wrote again: “Will have the baby by the weekend. I will take care of post tomorrow morning if you send me ldow asap. Also I will schedule out the rest of podcasts. You’ll just have to go and tag.”

LDOW is the internal abbreviation for Lead Dad of The Week – a post that features men stepping up to help their wives and partners in their lives and careers. The irony!

It took me a few minutes to respond – because I couldn’t really see at that point: “Jeff Wickersham is LDOW. I can probably do it. I want you to relax!!”

I didn’t know if I could actually do it, but I figured if I messed it up, who cares? She was having a baby – her first baby! (Hope you understand, Jeff!)

Her baby girl was born on Friday. And she sent this photo, which sparked so many memories of my own girls in the same pink and blue hospital swaddle and beanie.

Monday reminder: Babies are amazing – work can wait.

One favor: Working parents – particularly Dads – please share your first baby stories!

Bonus points to Dads who share their paternity leave. I took more with each one – and gave up on the clean car.