Happy Birthday, O!

My eldest turns 12 years old today. I don’t feel like I’m old enough to be married almost 13 years with a 12-year-old, but here we are.

As she continues her path toward more independence, I find new joys in parenthood. As much fun as having my two-year-old wanting to play “tackle Daddy” for an hour straight where, as you can guess, I sit on the ground, then she runs and tackles me. Over and over and over. Having a 12-year-old where we sneak a stop at Starbucks for a coffee and a hot chocolate is a special experience too. Though, I sneak stops into Starbucks with my two-year-old, though she calls it Starbooks and I just get her an empty venti hot cup since her water cup fits perfectly inside of it.

I digress.

Happy birthday, O. 12 years ago today, you transformed a newlywed couple into a family. Thanks for keeping life interesting and for forgiving us for figuring everything out on you.

Creating A Buffer

I haven’t worked in an office since 2010, but when I did, I would get off at work at 5:30 p.m., jump into the car or head to the bus stop, and have a solid 30 minutes alone in my own thoughts…

Source: Creating A Buffer

On the Daddy Blog, I wrote a little about working from home and the lack of buffer between mentally being at work and mentally being at home.

Stephen Colbert and Facing Death

Not too long ago, GQ published a fantastic article on Stephen Colbert as he prepares to take the reigns of The Late Show from the 23-year veteran David Letterman. I like Colbert. From everything I’ve heard of him, he’s a man who is simply solid. A man of faith, of family, of generally trying to be a good person. Others in the late night/comedy scene aren’t so.

I knew that he had tragedy in his past. I knew he lost his father and brothers in a plane crash at a relatively young age, but I hadn’t reflected much on that until this article. The author, Joel Lovell, very smartly and reflective of the style of storytelling from This American Life, led us deeper into Colbert by framing it around tragedy. Read More

In Defense of AA

Now I do want to make one thing clear: AA is by no means the only way to get sober, or even the best. There is no “best” way.The best way to get sober is how you got sober.

Source: Sorry, that AA “study” is bullshit — The Real Edition — Medium

Norcross wrote a couple of articles on Medium in defense of Alcoholics Anonymous against the random studies that come out claiming AA is a cult or ineffective, as well as his personal story that led him to joining AA.

I’m more indirectly connected to AA. My dad, at times it seems, was a member that, if you were counting, would not be considered a success. Then again, a lot of things were unsuccessful in his journey against the bottle1. Read More

Thank You Automattic

My twin daughters are 10 weeks old and I’ve been back to work for a week now.

If it takes a village to raise a kid, it takes a metropolis to raise five. I’ve had kids born now in all sorts of different job environments, in order:

  • Sole breadwinner at a church with no paternity policy, but generally flexible. Took a couple of weeks paid; hadn’t really taken a paid vacation before at that job.
  • Sole breadwinner as an independent contractor with health insurance that didn’t cover maternity. No paid leave, plus bills equal to a small car.
  • Stay-at-home dad & part-time freelancer. Vanessa had two-weeks paid leave, rest of semester (~2 months) unpaid leave. No paid leave for me and had to ramp up work to help make ends meet.
  • Sole breadwinner employed at Automattic.

No company is perfect. They all have their warts, but Automattic’s paternity policy is, frankly, beyond anything I could ask for, at least from my American point-of-view.

The policy directly from our handbook: Take the time off that you need.

It goes on to specify that paid leave is dependent on being at Automattic for a year and that, after three months, health coverage will be offered under COBRA until your return. Fair enough.

With the twins being in the NICU, then being home and small enough to merit them to go back into the hospital after catching RSV, being able to take months off to focus on them and get our bearings a bit, is truly a blessing and, within the States, revolutionary.

The current reality of maternity and paternity leave in the United States is a joke. You can’t really argue for paternity leave at this point since maternity leave is such in need of reform first.

Despite the majority of the country, I’m glad that a growing number of workplaces see the overall benefit—to them and their employees—in supporting the total well-being of their people and I’m especially glad to be working at one of them. By a company investing so much into me, it only makes me want to ensure I’m giving them my best.

In the first of a series of “Thank You” posts, I say thank you Automattic for allowing me, for the first time, to fully focus on my family as we welcomed an addition.

Love making the web a better place? You might want to work with us.

Update: Good timing, I suppose. I completely had missed my coworker, Darnell, saying basically the same thing I just did.

A New Roller Coaster

For those who have been faithful readers of this site and the 12 years I’ve written on it as a blog, anytime there is a huge life announcement, I announce it here. Here we go again.

La Casa de Kraft is again expanding! Vanessa is pregnant!

This is now our fourth time to the rodeo and couldn’t be more excited. As mentioned the last time we announced a kiddo, we weren’t trying, but we had both said we thought we were ready for another.

Vanessa went to the to the OB to get the kiddo’s first picture and called me on the way home. She told me what the doctor told her. I laughed because I wasn’t sure what else to do. I waited for her to tell me she was kidding. Read More