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#297– The Parent Trap

May 5, 2022

mom smiling at son

About two months ago, I re-emerged from parental leave to be greeted by what has seemingly been a ceaseless ramp-up period, and an incessant pursuit to return to form. Combatting physical depletion with my pride, and self-imposed performance expectations have proved to be a challenge nearly synonymous with the difficulty of parenthood itself (for me, at least). I’ve almost completely abstained from my self-care, exchanging my rituals of the aforementioned for a vomit-stained wardrobe and a blur of the days passed. My phone’s battery is consistently dead, while conversely, the baby monitors have yet to drop a percentage point below a full charge.

I have become a creature of the night, scurrying between the baby and family rooms while my wife tries to secure a few stretches of well-earned rest. My shift usually spans from 10 PM-6 AM, consisting of readjusting swaddles to ensure optimal comfort and blasting through a task backlog, in anticipation of my routine morning trade-off and subsequent crash. I awaken in a daze by 11 AM and repeat.

The little one attends our Zoom meetings so often that he has been designated an honorary team member. He occasionally fusses and fidgets about while I try to simultaneously focus on our meeting content, and personify patience as any parent aims to do. Debatably more impressive than my parental composure is the understanding and welcoming nature of my work family, who often interact with, and support my newborn’s presence during our sync time. He chats away, cries, and often unintentionally kicks my laptop to the ground mid-sentence.

You get the picture.

None of the above detract from the fact that I am having the best time of my life, mainly due to the strong presence and imperturbability demonstrated by my wife. I am blessed to have a partner who loves and keeps us boys in line, which is the least of the praise she deserves. More exciting than what fatherhood presents is watching motherhood in action. Our son’s smile gleams with joy at the mere sight of his Mother’s face, and he is gradually taking my place as her best friend (though she would surely argue otherwise). Witnessing the evolution of her care, and her natural exceptional attention to detail applied in a new setting is sublime. Her extensive research saves us from turmoil daily, and she somehow manages to support her husband while making a compelling case for mother of the year.

I often ask my Mother how she raised three Black boys alone into three respectable Black men, single-handedly and in a completely new and unfamiliar environment. Her answer is always, and without fail, “because I had to,” followed by a smile, and “I loved being a mother to all three of you.” This expression of care did not resonate with me until February of this year, though I am unluckily incapable of understanding the instinctual love a mother has for her children, and the tolerance and fortitude necessary to successfully execute the hardest job in the world.

Leaving us with just one thing left to say:

Happy Mother’s Day.

Metrics

It was a bit of a quiet week, ‘round Parabol-metrics way. We’ve noticed some periodicity to Parabol platform usage, the first weeks of the month tend to be quieter in terms of the number of retros run—as this is when many folks start their sprints. We’re eager to see if next week shows growth, rather than week-over-week contraction…

This week we…

demoed our new GitLab integration!

pushed our hiring efforts forward via multiple interviews and active batting practices.

Next week we’ll…

finish up our T2 strategy, and present it to the rest of the company.

…welcome our newest team member Charles, our Head of Product-Led Sales and Customer Success!

Trey Simpson

Trey Simpson

Trey is a highly competitive music aficionado with a passion for uplifting his team and seeking new challenges. Rooted in Chicago and raised in North Carolina, Trey now resides in Savannah, GA, where he strives to make an impact on the Parabol Growth team.

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