I still remember the day. It was a Friday in March 2020, just shortly after the world had changed. We stood in line, waiting to enter the drug store. After a walk home, with mixed feelings, we took the pregnancy test – positive. Wow. We’re becoming parents!
It was a good feeling, but not without fear or concern.
Still, we knew that there was no perfect time to become a dad or a mum. Either you’re too young or just finished school, or perhaps you want to work on your career. It doesn’t really matter; kids tend to come into your life without checking if it’s a good time or not. And we knew now was better than never.
I was also just a few days away from starting my new job as a Cisco Customer Success Specialist. I worried about the workload, not wanting to be a “weekend dad” and knowing I wanted to be there for my child, and a part of her life from the very beginning. But when I told my new manager that I was becoming a dad – I realized there was nothing to worry about. He was very happy for me, and when we discussed time off, his response was this: “Yes. Do it! Take all the time you need!”
This is not something I will ever take for granted, especially as I was so new to Cisco!
As we live in Germany, we already have a good parental leave system in place. So, I knew I would be able to take some time off from work to dedicate to my wife and our new baby. But, with a global company like Cisco – I learned that they also have your back and are there for you. This was no different, and I was proud to see that their policy for my region included not only the birth of a child, but adoption, surrogacy, and even support for grandparents.
With an additional four weeks of Cisco’s Child Bond Leave, I was able to extend my time at home with my wife and our new daughter, Mila Aurelia. These moments meant everything to us!
In the beginning, everything is so new – not only to the tiny human, but also to her new parents. This is a new job, and there is so much to learn! Every day brings a new accomplishment, and every night brings a little more sleep deprivation with it. No one can really say beforehand how the nights will be – but knowing about sleep deprivation is not the same as living it. It really does take time to adjust to your new role, and the time off to focus on Mila and ourselves was crucial in our bond as a family.
Yes, my days are now filled with changing diapers over and over and over again. But they were also filled with moments of watching her fall asleep, laugh, blink her tiny eyes and start moving more and more every day. I am so thankful that, even though I was a new employee, Cisco treated me no differently – they supported and were excited for my family, and our newest little Cisconian!
By the way, a pregnancy reveal can also be done in a vacation picture slide show over Cisco WebEx. 😊
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