Back to work!

Today is the last day of my one-month paternity leave. Tomorrow morning it’s back to TiVo.

I’m extremely glad I took the paternity leave, and grateful to the State of California for helping to cover costs. During the month, I learned a lot about Sammy — who he is, and what it takes to take care of an infant. I now have a new appreciation for what Kimi accomplished (and also my own parents, and, indeed, any parent).

I’ve told people this is the toughest job I’ve ever had. Any individual hour is fine — enjoyable, even — but the weight of the day’s watchfulness, combined with the lack of meaningful adult interaction, is exhausting. I’m actually looking forward to work.

I certainly didn’t accomplish all that I hoped I would. Certain tasks, like migrating my old web site over to this domain, or repairing some old hard drives, or getting Quicken set up, or getting our floors redone, were too ambitious. I grossly overestimated how much free time there would be in a day.

But at least I stayed somewhat current with work, I set up this blog, and I adjusted his schedule, and we Ferberized him. Most nights he sleeps from 8pm to 4am, nurses, then sleeps again until 7:30am. That’s a workable schedule. Tonight, of course, to prove me wrong, he’s crying after being in bed an hour. So there’s still some work to do on that front.

At work there are many projects underway; it’s a very busy period. The holiday quarter and immediately afterwards is the toughest time of year: Holiday readiness, CES, closing the fiscal month/quarter/year, software releases, budgeting for the next fiscal year, launching certain projects as early in the year as possible — it all puts a strain on every team. Customer support, of course, is the hardest hit, since so many new customers in so short a period of time is practically impossible to staff and schedule for properly. So, this wasn’t the best time for me to take a leave; but there’s never a good time.

Despite seven long and hard years, I still love my job and am anxious to see what we can accomplish in 2006. Before I met Kimi and got married, I would have said TiVo was my number one priority. Now I have to admit that I put Kimi and Sammy first and work second. Before, I would do all-nighters to catch up. That’s not a good option now, and it’s sometimes challenging to balance work needs with family needs. But part of the reason I love my job is because of how great I think the product is.

When he’s old enough to watch TV, Sammy will grow up with TiVo. Other parents have told me that when they take their TiVo-raised kids out to movies or on vacations, their kids don’t understand why they can’t do an instant replay or watch the Blue’s Clues episode they want to see. I look forward to seeing Sammy experience that. In the same way that he won’t understand that I used to write my high school and college papers in longhand or on a manual typewriter, or that I grew up in England with only four TV channels, or that if I wanted to research something prior to 1995 I used a library rather than the web, the TiVo-less world will seem archaic to him.

Gotta go — Sammy’s still crying. (He might be teething; new challenges ahead.) Time for bed, Sammy. Then bed for me soon too: long day tomorrow.

One Response to “Back to work!”

  1. Kyrie Says:

    Stephen, he probably isn’t teething. He’s too young. I’m very happy to read that he’s sleeping 8 to 4 / 7:30 reliably! That’s awesome!

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