“Balancing Diapers and Deadlines: A Day in the Life of Working Dads at Stuart”
In the first article of our new series, our three extraordinary team members—Diego, Guillaume, and Victor—share candid insights about how becoming dads has influenced their management style and how pursuing passions outside of work has boosted their productivity and time management skills.
Meet Our Working Dads
Meet Diego, a Brazilian living in the UK and a dad of a baby girl, Skye. Diego successfully changed roles thanks to our Internal Mobility program. He recently transitioned from his previous role supporting Courier Quality projects to the position of Senior Key Account Manager. Diego thrives in the world of Triathlons, all while savouring the delights of London's vibrant food scene. 🌟
Our Paris-based dad, Guillaume, who grew up in beautiful Madagascar, is another excellent example of Stuart's approach towards offering internal Mobility opportunities in our organisation. Guillaume is a Talent Acquisition Senior Manager currently working as Interim International HRBP covering a Stuwie on maternity leave, thanks to the Professional Stretch Assignment opportunity recently introduced at Stuart. In his free time, he loves listening to old classics and singing cheesy songs to his daughter Margaux.
Born and raised in Barcelona, Victor is a Telecommunications Engineer who loves hiking, spending time with friends, and brewing craft beer at home. Most importantly, he is a great parent to a one-year-old little boy, Manu. Victor, who has been at Stuart for over six years (impressive!), currently works as a Software Engineer in Test Manager in Stuart’s Tech Unit.
Dear Dad, do you even remember your professional life before the kids?
Guillaume's daughter recently turned two years old but is still adapting to the change the baby brought to his life. He is grateful for the flexibility Stuart offers when it comes to working hours. Finishing 30 minutes early to fulfil his responsibilities as the fairytale bedtime reader? Yes, please! Answering emails when the baby is asleep sounds like meditation to him.
Victor says he doesn't remember much about his life from “before”—but the lack of sleep might have something to do with it! Now, with limited time, he is focused on maximising his productivity at work. Thursday after-works on the Barcelona office terrace? Not every week because Manu waits for his dad to come home!
Diego reflects that “before our baby girl came into the picture, travelling for work was something I loved and dreamed of''. Now, he prefers to benefit from the work-from-home policy that Stuart offers to stay home with Skye, now a regular companion in his work-related meetings (see for the photo proof ⬇️ below).
Can you please share how you discovered you were having a baby 👶?
Guillaume was lucky enough to learn he was having a baby after a beautiful honeymoon time.
In Diego’s case, he woke up from a migraine attack and saw a box with a positive pregnancy test result. Best medicine ever, right?
Victor arrived at the daily standup of his team with glowing eyes. Why? Because a couple of minutes before, his partner found out that they were officially parents-to-be!
Did you enjoy paternity leave?
Victor cherishes paternity leave as a fantastic opportunity to get closer to the baby and build a lovely dad-son relationship from day one. But he admits that little human beings who only communicate by either laughing or crying might be challenging to interpret at first glance.
Diego highlights how precious the paternity break was, but he also spots an area where dads are sometimes excluded from extensive baby time: “I feel like dads don’t get nearly as much support as moms do to spend time away from work. I wish I could’ve been on leave for a few months so I could’ve had more time to bond with my newborn daughter and support my wife through the ups and downs of giving birth.” He hopes that soon, most companies will offer dads just as much leave time as their partners. “Otherwise, we’ll continue to reinforce parenthood as a one-sided effort where dads take a supporting role,” says Diego.
Have you noticed any changes to your working routine?
Guillaume and Victor confirm that their professional lives changed significantly when they became dads. With the flexibility that Stuart offers, they were able to adapt their schedule to be able to pick up their kids from kindergarten and spend a bit more time with them in the afternoon. What does it really mean? Active on Slack during morning hours and changing regular small-talk topics to “You know what my baby did today?”
In Diego’s case, the most visible change was related to feeling more protective of his team when his daughter was born. “I feel like my DRs are like my children, and my team is my family. I want to tell them what to do, but in order to be a good parent (manager), I have to guide them and let them make their own mistakes, too.” Ultimately, managing people and raising children is very similar (according to the half a dozen parenting books Diego has read 😉).
Time for some juicy details. What is the most important takeaway learnt by our working dads?
Guillaume, a bullet point person, shares some tips for dads-to-be.
- Sleep when/where you possibly can 🥰.
- Work is important, but your family is your priority in the end, so just take some time to organise yourself and have time for both.
- Socialising after working hours is so much fun, but it is not my biggest priority anymore. Maragux is.
Victor changes the tone to a more nostalgic one and adds: “Being a dad is the best thing I have ever experienced in my life so far. Even if you stop doing many things you used to do before kids, you learn quite a bunch of new ones that are… invaluable”.
And finally, Diego points out that there is still so much to do around societal expectations for a father that sometimes leads us into a vicious cycle where men are only expected to play a support role in raising kids.
Diego says, “We don’t carry our child for nine months, we don’t breastfeed, and typically get to spend less time with our newborns because of work. This makes it extra hard to grow close and develop a bond.”
For Diego, dads should play an active role in their child's growth and development by spending more time with them. That means less pressure on women to take time away from their careers to care for children and more effort from men, so raising a child can truly be a joint effort. In an ideal world, we both have the same amount of leave and/or share that time.
We understand the importance of being more than just a workplace for our working dads and parents. Flexible working hours or work-from-home possibilities are great, but we've tried to go the extra mile to create a truly supportive environment.
To show our commitment, we've organised special parent-friendly events at various Stuart locations. These gatherings were all about having a great time and bonding, not only for our employees but for and with their kids. We believe in making work a place where everyone can feel welcome and enjoy their time, all while ensuring a healthy work-life balance.
So, if you're a working dad or a parent (to-be!) at Stuart, rest assured that we've got your back! 🚀