I’ve been interviewed a few times and no one has asked me this question. Or any version of how I am striking a balance between work and family, can we men really have it all, that sort of thing.
So I’ll go ahead and answer it. I look after my kids while I run my start-up.
Well, they go to school. But school doesn’t last all day, especially when they’re really little. And my wife and I have divided our responsibilities equally—personal and professional. She does her share of school pickups and birthday party runs while working with me in the start-up (she is the head of content).
So the end result is that my children spend a LOT of time at the office. They are treated as employees, and have to use their fingerprints to check-in and out.
My colleagues are super supportive and love having them around. Although it does seem like we’re always tripping over them as they lounge, sprawled on a beanbag, playing carrom or darts or watching Wild Kratts on the iPad (we’re that kind of an office).
We sometimes have to shush them when a game of “run-like-X-animal” gets out of hand. Sometimes we find out after the fact that the children have managed to beg for, and get, several pieces of candy in a day (We’ll need to put up big signs of “Don’t Feed the Children – it’s getting out of hand).
The little one has a habit of sauntering into the conference room to discuss the state of his tummy and the various emissions coming forthwith.
Is it easy? No, not at all. I wish I had more time to play cricket or go swimming with my children. They also get way too much time on technology. We’re aspiring to be good parents and that is a journey that I suspect will never end.
Do my wife and I have enough support? Never. The domestic help is useful, and the grandparents are a rock, but at the end of the day after a full day of work, feeding dinner to two children who are NOT interested in food and reading endless stories at bedtime, we are completely and utterly exhausted. And the children aren’t, of course. Don’t ask me how many times I have slept sitting up, with a book propped on my chest, at 8:30pm.
As most would know, parenthood is hard, chaotic and unpredictable. Running a start-up, in comparison, seems slightly easier.
But in the heart of my hearts, I won’t change a thing. These are the best days of my life. I just wish they could slow down a little.
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