Welcoming a new baby is exciting, daunting, exhausting and every other emotion. We checked in with recent dad, Nathan (Ney-then) Barry (he/him) to hear his experience and how life has changed.
Nathan Barry, People Experience Manager, Corporate & Australasia – "Starting a family was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for my wife Kate and I, but we welcomed Ryan to our family in March last year during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ryan has completely changed our lives for the better. At the time Ryan was born I was working remotely due to Victoria being in lockdown, so I had the flexibility to support Kate preparing to be a first time Mum, setting up the house, and getting organised.
On the day Kate went into labour, I was on a Zoom call, so had to quickly finish up, pack my bag (Kate’s never going to let me live that one down!) and rush Kate to the hospital. It was really great to have the flexibility to be there with her and go to the hospital together. After Ryan was born, I took 2 weeks off and then increased my flexible working to ensure that I was around to support. Being around home to help Kate and see the milestones was great. The biggest highlight was seeing Ryan’s first steps!! I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend so much time with Ryan in his first 12 months of life during the 100% working from home period.
I have incredible flexibility, technology, and a caring and supportive leader. Money can’t buy that. I now work some days at home and some days in the office. I spend time with Ryan before and after work when I am at home and flex my time to log on as needed later in the day. As a parent, every decision we make now impacts on something in a positive or negative way. So, if I stay back late at the office, or I go out with friends, I miss out on seeing Ryan and can add extra pressure on Kate. Watching Kate enjoying being a mum, warms my heart. It’s amazing what the human body can do.
Having kids has completely changed the way I view people with children. I didn’t appreciate what they sacrifice, the impact of their decisions or the challenges of needing to leave work early or stay home to care for kids. I feel much better equipped to have conversations with people who have caring needs. The conversations we have and the words we use are really important in helping people transition back to work smoothly and to set them up for success.
Leaders play a big part in welcoming people back to work and checking in on them. The breastfeeding and milk storage facilities that we have at our corporate office are fantastic. These are just some of the workplace adjustments we have that help make the transition back to the office smoother.
Not everyone has a supportive partner to go home to, so the language we use is important. Don’t judge or challenge people for their decisions around taking leave or going back to work. Everyone has a different situation.”
Thanks Nathan and all the best with all the other coming milestones. We are pleased that flexible working is meeting your family and work needs.
Everyone’s situation is different and unique. We encourage our leaders and team members to approach each situation with the individual in mind as no two human experiences are the same.
At IDP we care for our people, and we listen to their voices. We encourage all our parents to take time to enjoy the early parenting days and to support them ongoing throughout the caring years of their children. Leave is one part of the support; flexible working arrangements are another. Our open, trusting, and caring conversations allow our people to meet their personal and work needs.
Thanks, Nathan, for sharing your story, and we can’t wait to see your family’s growth.