Returning to work after Family Leave

So as stated in a previous post, I’ve been out on Family Leave for the last 20 weeks. My wife and I welcomed our son to the world last June and I have had the joy of being on bonding leave since October; when my wife went back to work. It’s s been an absolute dream to be with my son the last months and seeing him grow from a tiny bean to a tiny person with his own bubbly personality. But as with everything, it was time time for the next chapter.

This past week I returned to work full time, and to say the least, it’s been different. While I have missed being with my son all the time, it’s felt liberating to rejoin a part of my life that im proud of. It’s been great being part of my team again, and having conversations with adults rather than the babblings and drool filled raspberries of an infant. It’s also felt strange being back at work too. Having been out for so long, I can’t help but feel like the new guy all over again. The past few days have been filled with meetings and countless email threads to get back up to speed with all the various projects and initiatives going. When I get home I see that toothless smile, and it makes it all worth it.

Another great aspect of return to work, but also a whole new challenge on its own, has been working from home a couple days out of the week. It’s great to be able to retain a couple days spent with my son, but finding a way to be productive and keep an eye in the baby, has been a game changer. It was hard enough to keep him occupied when there was nothing else to do, but now that I need to juggle calls, team’s meetings and multiple projects; its a whole new ball game.

Luckily he is taking better naps at times that I have scheduled meetings and he has taken pretty well to his play pen. He has also started pulling himself up and crawling more, so his world is expanding by leaps and bounds. Fingers crossed he doesnt start walking too soon. 🙂

Long story short, it was great being home with my little guy for as long as I was. At the same time I’m happy to be able to go back to work and to takle all the new challenges that come with it. As the saying goes “See Every day like it’s a gift, that is why it is called the Present”.

Until next time, Have a good one.


8 Months looking back

To start, I’m going to say this outright, that I’ve been extremely blessed. I have a beautiful, healthy baby boy who is smiling and laughing more often than he is crying. I’ve also been lucky enough to work for a company that has allowed me to be with my son full time for the better part of the last 6 months.

When my son was born, my wife and I agreed that I would take my paternity leave when her leave was over. We did this so we could prolong as much as possible, having to worry about 3rd party child care. For the first 3 months, sans the first two weeks after he was born, I was working full time. I cherished the time I had with him in the evenings and the weekends. But largely didn’t get to see him during the day.

When the time came for me to start my leave back in October, I would be lying, if I said I wasn’t scared shitless. To that point I had only been alone with my son a couple times while my wife went to the doctor or went out to the store, and most of the time he was sleeping. So I never had to be a lone parent to that point. My first day alone with him was, let’s just say – less than ideal. He either screamed or cried for pretty much the whole day. That night, when he finally went to sleep and my wife went to bed, I sat on my couch and thought how the fuck I was ever going to make it through the next 19 weeks. The next day was consideredably better, and eventually the little man and I got into a routine and we made it through.

Over the next 4 months, I got to watch as my little guy grew from an infant that bearly wiggled in his seat, to an almost toddler that wants nothing more than to stand up and walk. It amazes me how much he can be curious about the world around him. He has gone from a potato, to a little person with a growing personality and a smile and a laugh that lights my world. We have gone on road trips and vacations, and no matter where he goes he always seems to enjoy himself. Like a true heart grabber, he always smiles for the ladies.

I’ve learned a lot over the last months and I can’t say I would even recognize the guy who was sitting where I am now, back in October. Things as simple as knowing which toy he likes or how to hold him so he is comfortable. From learning the difference between when he’s crying because he’s hungry, to when he’s upset. Sitting here I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find the little things that make life easier. Whether its a song or a hum that calms him down, or a certain face that makes him laugh when he is sad. It’s hard to give anyone advice on being a dad or a mom, every child is different and reacts to different things.

So I will leave you all with this as I look back on my 4 months. Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the laughs, the smiles, the giggles, even the diaper changes. Everything is part of thier story. When the time comes you will look back on things like how they looked in a pair of pajamas or how they looked at you and giggled when they wake up from a nap. While I’m anxious to go back to work and go on with normal life, I am scared as hell of missing daily milestones. But while I may miss some things, I know I will be there for so many others. I can only hope that I never forget the small things that came first.

As always Have a Good One,


Introductions are in Order

Let’s get things rolling shall we? First things first, I’m Matt – here on after known as Griff or MG on here. I’m 34 and live in NE New Jersey. I’m a Penn State Grad, (class of ‘09), an avid sports fan – Yankees, NY Giants, NY Rangers and all things Penn State. I also have a love of the outdoors. I’ve been fishing and hunting since I was young and I’ve been snowboarding for the better part of the last 10 years. More recently I have developed a love for home brewing. Most importantly of all, this past June I became a father to an amazing little boy. Hopefully I’ll be bringing you all some amuzing observations, some helpful tricks and insights along with my humorous, whimsical and sometimes warped point of view on the world around me. I’m excited to join BPD and AFD here at The Versatile Dad. Until Next time.

Have a Good One,


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