For the longest time I always wanted a family. I knew how to be successful in IT, but wondered if I could be just as successful as a parent? You never know because as we’ve all heard there’s no guide to parenting. THe saying is correct – there’s no manual to refer to, we learn as we go along. But now as I write this a father of four soon to be five. I’ve learned that being a dad can and has in many ways made me a better IT professional. I’ve been so excited to share this piece with you as it really encapsulates two of my greatest loves – my family and technology. I hope you enjoy it as we look at how one can truly benefit the other.
Patience Goes A Long Way
Whether it’s breaking up fights over the PS4 controller, who gets to go with me to the store or being the voice of reason on your team when no one can agree on a path forward, having patience is golden. Once you have it, applying it in any situation is as easy as pie. I’ve always had it, but after being a dad of multiple children, to say it was tested countless times is an understatement. For men what changed was the perception of what was going on. It’s not easy having multiple people throw problems at you to solve. But it’s no different than what we do in IT. Think about it right? Switch ports can be down, email accounts are locked – it’s madness. Approaching those things and more became easier once I mastered how to juggle dirty diapers, kids with messy hands running at me and more. I learned that a deep breath and a mindful focus put me right back on track to handle all of the issues at once.
They Only Know How To Love
One of the best parts of being a kid or an infant is they only know how to love. It’s endless and unconditional. They never get mad, hold grudges, etc. They just see you and melt right in your arms. Now it may not always go that smoothly in the corporate world. Ha-ha. But I’ve always felt you get out what you put in, and when you’ve put in countless hours of hard work, patience and understanding of your clients and their problems – well, they’ll appreciate you even more and truly value your skills for the next time around. That’s rewarding in itself.
It Always Gets Messy
You know my mom only had me and I can’t imagine I was easy to deal with. But being an only child, I defiantly had no idea what I was in for in having multiple kids. I’ve dealt with them before, especially two or more. But not three under three! From poopy diapers leaking to taking his sisters bottle to dumping her food on her, it can be a lot. It’s become second nature and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s no different than many IT issues we face such as a network outage or PSOD on an ESXi host. It’s unexpected. There’s no way for us to tell what our youngest will do next or any of them are capable of. But one’s thing is certain – if they’re quiet their probably up to something and it’s bound to get messy!
Remember Why You Do It
For me this a no-brainer. When I wake up every morning and put both feet in front of me I get ready to start my day as does everyone else. But before I leave, every day… I kiss all my kids on their forehead, and hold my youngest daughter who’s almost one. It’s in that moment nothing else matters. I’m not ashamed to admit I bawled like a baby when my kids were born, and they can still bring me to tears. I do cause when they look at me they know in their hearts they can depend on me. No matter what – dad won’t let them down. And in knowing that I refuse to fail and more importantly I refuse to fail them. They drive me to be better in every aspect of life, career and otherwise. I’m sure without question we can all relate as fathers and parents. They’ll forever motivate us in ways that can never be described.
They say the moment you hold your child your life changes forever and that statement couldn’t be more truthful. Being a father has changed my perspective in so many ways. It’s done so much more than make me a better professional, it’s shown me that the way we handle situations in IT and with our kids isn’t really that different. The challenges we face are only the beginning, but before we know it our babies will be grown and no longer need us so let’s cherish these moments. Enjoy our change windows when we can and bask in the love of our children and what it means to be a father. From my family to yours, Happy Father’s Day to everyone!