Back to Work

After four glorious weeks of Parental Leave, I am now back at work.  It's absolutely amazing how quickly that time went by.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, the first four weeks I took off after my daughter's birth also went by in a flash.  I guess it just gives all the more weight to the notion of long days and short years.

My training during that four weeks was haggard.  Since my wife was back at work, I got nightly duty, though saying that is misleading.  I was the first line of defense on the nights that my wife was working, but since we're not bottle feeding, my wife still had to get up on most instances.  However, I am weak and even that small bit of disrupted sleep wrecks havoc on me.  I still don't know how my wife does it.

Training wasn't a priority for me during that four weeks, though.  My priority was bonding with my daughter, which was awesome.  Being the analytical and data-driven person that I am, I meticulously logged every aspect of her day - what time she got up, when she got hungry, how much she ate, when she needed a nap, how long she slept, etc.  Of course, data are useless if they don't provide any actionable takeaways (which is why I don't bother tracking anything when my wife is home).

With the log of activities, I was able to predict when my daughter would need to eat and how much milk I should defrost prior to her falling into a black hole of pain and hunger.  If you have ever known somebody to pump breast milk, you know that it's liquid gold and to waste any is akin to dumping printer ink down the drain.

I was also able to get her to sleep before she got overly tired.  This made my time with her go extremely smoothly and it allowed me to enjoy the time between feedings and sleep much more.  In fact, I got to see her roll over for the first time the second day my wife went back to work (which my wife was not pleased to have missed).  My daughter didn't roll over again for another week and a half, and my wife didn't get to see it for almost three weeks (luckily I got the first time on camera).

The time off was extremely rewarding.  I feel like my life has been a sea change since my wife got pregnant over a year ago, and now I'm settling in for what will likely be calm waters for the relative future.  While being off work is preferred, I'm looking forward to settling into a new routine with my new daughter.


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