It has been said that “a father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.” When you think about that, the same can be applied in business. A good professional mentor is someone who’s earned your respect and from whom you will seek advice even once your career has advanced. Does being a father and raising children help a man become better at work? We think so! High character qualities like patience, discipline, empathy, humor, and the willingness to always learn are traits that are called upon in both areas of a man’s life.
In the spirit of Father’s Day, we caught up with a few of our rockstar dads to get a glimpse of how their work and family lives with little (and not-so-little) ones intersect.
We started our conversation with Saket Chaturvedi, a Data Science Lead
Saket’s first child was born in March and he is quickly learning on the job.
How has your life changed since becoming a dad?
Before becoming a dad, I was pretty confident that my daily routine was not going to change. Well… now I realize I overestimated that expectation!
What is the most unexpected thing about fatherhood, in your opinion?
I would say the feeling of peace, happiness, and responsibility when you hold your baby in your arms. You realize you have more patience than you might have thought. And yes, busting the myth that you need 8 hours of sleep to function properly!
I can painfully relate to that last line, Saket!
Patrick Schiffli is an Analytics Lead and has 3 children, aged 3, 5 and 17
What’s the best advice on parenting you received from your own father?
My Dad was a man of few words when it came to fatherhood advice, but took a very common sense approach to raising his kids which he shared through life experiences and adventure. Some noteworthy advice he has shared with me throughout the years include:
How to make memorable experiences for your kids
Kids just enjoy being with you. Don’t stress about always keeping your kids engaged in some wild activities. It is ok to just sit and skip rocks for an afternoon. Celebrate the simpler things in life and you will find a more fond appreciation of the monumental moments with your kids.
How to gauge frustration level
Remember to not freak out at the trivial moments. Kids will drive you crazy from time to time as they are also human. If it is a triviality, then it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, so, move on in a grand display of grace.
On savoring the childhood memories
Take time to enjoy the early years of life with your baby and be present in those moments. Before you know it, they are desperately trying to grow a mustache, wrecking your jet skis into your boat dock, and drinking all of your beer.
How to balance happiness with kids
ALWAYS be a positive light in your kids lives. You only have so much time to make a lifelong impression on them, so make memories, laugh and enjoy the ride. Also to avoid paying inflated hotel charges while on vacation, always go in alone to check-in while Mom forces everyone in the back seats to duck and hide on the floorboards. Trust me, it is a substantial cost savings strategy and pro tip of fiscally responsible Dads.
What’s your favorite way to unplug and enjoy time with family?
Gassing up the Jeep and road tripping to new places and adventures is a crowd favorite in the Schiffli household. This includes vacationing, but even before Covid, we were aimlessly driving and exploring to experience new places, people, and things. Oddly, my wife and I have shared that same need to drive to decompress and checkout since we were both in high school. We always have a “kid bug out bag” handy and even keep towels and bathing suits in the back for those impromptu lake visits.
Thank you, Patrick. Solid advice on the hotel stays! Don’t worry — we won’t tell Marriott!
Brad Baer is our Director of Marketing, and father to 2 girls, ages 7 and 9
How did you manage work during quarantine + remote learning with your kids?
Life as a remote-working dad during the quarantine was a bit of a juggling act. With my wife on duty as a busy doctor, most of the day to day parenting and schooling responsibilities landed on me. Between my own meetings, I would dash out to start up (and troubleshoot) Zoom classroom sessions and online dance lessons. In their downtime, the girls would enjoy making appearances on my video calls, which turned out to be a nice experience for them to get to see first hand what I do all day, and also the chance for them to interact with my teammates which might not have been the case had they been in school all day.
What are some ways your kids looked to you to lighten the atmosphere over this time?
We definitely took advantage of the down time and the slower pace. We had weekly dress-up dinners where the girls would choose everyone’s outfit. Fresh homemade pizza was made from scratch (ask me for the recipe), and we enjoyed many movies and virtual game nights. While there were challenges, I can say with certainty that this extra time with kids will be remembered and cherished forever.
Well done, Brad! And that pizza did look delicious.
Tom Hedgecoth is VP of Strategy and is the father of a 10 year old daughter
Tom can always be counted on for a clever quip or humorous anecdote in any situation. We asked him to tell us his best “Dad Joke.”
Well, early in elementary school, my daughter had a teacher that refused to smile. This was concerning to my happy-go-lucky child, and honestly, there was no need for a teacher to be so intimidating in a classroom of young kids. To help lighten things up, I began sending my daughter to school every day with a new joke to tell her teacher to see if she’d crack a smile. One of our favorites was:
Setup: “Do your socks have holes in them?”
Punchline: “Well, then how do you put them on?!”
I can’t say this really changed the teacher’s demeanor, but we had a good time with it!
You’re a fun dad, Tom!
Nick Christ is an Account Director and has two sons, aged 13 and 17
What would your kids say you do for a living?
My kids would say that I talk to a lot of different people throughout the day and that we help other companies. They would tell you that it has something to do with technology and that I work with a lot of super smart people. My boys enjoy being a part of the company culture because they get to virtually meet with my coworkers in an informal atmosphere and they see that we have fun while we’re working!
What words of wisdom you would share with some of our readers who haven’t yet entered the world of fatherhood?
Be present always. Life will pull you in so many directions and when you are a father, it’s easy to lose focus. Everything in your child’s life is new to them, so every day is an opportunity to share and learn from them. I look back on the past 18 years with so many fond memories and realize there was still so much I missed because of ‘other’ distractions. While you can’t avoid all of those things, you CAN make it a priority to be present when you are together.
Well said, Nick. Having older kids myself, appreciating the little things along the way is something that I try to impart on those who are just starting their parenting journey.
We wish we could have compared notes with every dad at Atrium! We see how hard you work for our team and for our customers — and we know that level of care and devotion is applied tenfold to your children and families. In celebration of our Atrium dads, and the awesome dads all the world over: Happy Father’s Day!
Want to join this superstar team? We’re hiring