Remember me? That annoying guy who used to appear in your inbox once a month. I’m back. I think.

Back in October, things were ticking along nicely. We were expecting our first baby in early January. I’d absolutely nailed paternity leave planning. Some projects were moved forward to finish by Christmas. Some were pushed back. December was going to be busy but January was clear.

Then at the beginning of December, our baby Lily decided she’d make an appearance 6 weeks early. That wasn’t part of the plan. The best part of a week in hospital definitely wasn’t part of the plan.

The day we went into hospital was a strange one. It mainly involved a lot of flapping, admin and errands. I’ve read that you can’t really prepare for it. We definitely weren’t prepared. Apart from the baby stuff, it hit me that I needed to clear my diary for a couple of weeks. I was panicking a bit. I was committed to a lot of work. So one-by-one I contacted Emma, my business partner, and then each client. I was a bit worried about how this would go. "You know all that work I pushed for us to get done in December, can we let it slide to January now?"

BUT GUESS WHAT? THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY FINE ABOUT IT. IN FACT THEY WERE BLOODY LOVELY.

“Don’t worry about work, it can wait”; “Let’s pick it up in January”; "No problem at all, send us your address so we can get you a little something"; “What are you doing speaking to me? Get back to your wife”

Now the dust has settled, I’ve learnt a few things:

  • There’s only so much planning you can do: it’s good to plan, but don’t be surprised when you have to abandon it and start again.
  • We’re all people and we all have lives: clients, freelancers, colleagues. When it comes down to it, I think we all get that there’s more to life than work.
  • Childbirth is incredible. And hospital car parks are expensive.