By Mackin Bannon

July 5, 2023

I recently entered into one of the most life-changing seasons a person can experience – I became a parent for the first time. My wife and I welcomed our daughter into the world on May 1, and the two-ish months that have passed since have been a whirlwind, to say the least. Between the never-ending barrage of dirty diapers, trying to find sleep whenever we can and balancing three very different schedules, it’s been a major adjustment and learning experience for both of us.

Which leads me to this blog. As I’ve made the transition back to work and have had time to reflect on my experience, I’ve discovered some valuable lessons about work, parenthood and life that I thought might be worth sharing.

Parental leave is a must

I’m fortunate enough to work for a company in hc1 that offers all non-birthing parents four weeks of fully-paid parental leave. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to spend that time at home bonding with my daughter and supporting my wife as she does the heavy lifting of caring for a newborn. 

I hope more and more companies follow the lead of hc1 and others to give this same opportunity to all new parents – both birthing and non-birthing. It is such a brief but very important time for both parents and baby, and that time spent bonding as a family is priceless.

Routine is a (very) good thing

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss all the time I got to spend with my daughter while on leave. However, it has been good to return to a more normal rhythm and routine since returning to work. Having that structure in my weekdays has helped me be able to focus more intentionally when I’m home.

I’ve learned even more about the importance of routine at home when navigating life with a newborn. Getting anything done requires a significant amount of planning and coordination, sometimes down to the minute. Being able to set consistent times and structures for the daily tasks and household chores we can’t go without has been helpful.

Balancing work ethic with work-life balance

Humans are designed to work, have a vocation and have a purpose outside of our families. Finding the right balance between those professional and personal purposes is essential, especially for parents. 

As I’ve thought about what that looks like for me as I enter this new season of fatherhood, I’ve looked back at my own father and the way he modeled work-life balance. I can count on one hand the number of times I remember him staying late at the office or working weekends. He worked hard for those 40 hours a week but then ensured he was there for me, my brother and my mom.

I’m thankful that hc1 fosters a culture of flexibility and balance. I hope that as my daughter grows older, I can show her how to balance work ethic with work-life balance - just as my father showed me. 

If you’re looking for a new job and a supportive, flexible culture with paid parental and family/medical leave is important to you, look at hc1’s careers page for a list of open positions.

Mackin Bannon is the product marketing manager for hc1. Mackin held various roles covering nearly every area of marketing before settling on product marketing as a focus and joining hc1 in 2022. During the workday, he enjoys bringing stories to life in clear and creative ways. In his free time, he enjoys following his favorite sports teams, collecting vinyl records and exploring Indianapolis.

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