The last time I had an IRL post I announced my pregnancy and my word for 2016: Sovereignty.

Now I have a beautiful 5 month old baby boy, Ronan. I’ve started a full-on mommy blog so if you want more info about that head over here.

I took maternity leave from mid-June to early October. The transition was rough to say the least as my expectations for childcare were severely decreased. Turns out when people say “whatever you want” what they really mean is “I already have an idea in mind of what I’m willing to commit to/I have no idea what I’m willing to commit to…either way you’ll have to guess.”

As a result, my ability to tend to work, either with The Seagull Project or with Willhelm Consulting was severely limited.

Sovereignty is hard to come by even when one doesn’t have a baby. It’s particularly difficult when you have a nugget who completely depends on you for everything. I’ve managed to achieve more sovereignty through the sheer lack of connection a new baby forced on me. I’ve had some friends disappear and had to sever some ties with family because of unhealthy behavior or non-existant support.

Andy and I have become a much better, closer, more intimate partnership since having our baby. We were already very close and highly functional, but when we had to coordinate care and expectations for Ronan while severely sleep deprived it forced us to become even cleaner with our communication and either point out tiny things that were snowballing or seriously learn to accept what we cannot change and move on.

Being a new parent at an organization that has never had parents of young children managing it has been tricky. Making cultural shifts with the full sponsorship of senior management is difficult enough. When you are the sole person forcing culture shift in an organization that has firmly entrenched modes of operating, it becomes downright exhausting. I’ve already been on the verge of quitting once, but was pulled back from the brink by some honest conversation with the people who I report to and work alongside with.

I’m going to start more actively chronicling my work as a manager to show my work in terms of solving workplace problems. The most frequent question I get is, “How would you handle this?” Before I mostly operated from a theoretical place, now I can say I have actively lived and (hopefully) solved or managed most of the problems I am asked about.

Until next time…