It’s something you hear all the time: “I wasn’t born yesterday, you know!” And it means: “I’m too smart to fall for that.” Well, meet my son. He was born yesterday – 11:04 AM actually. I spent most of the night with him pacing the hospital halls, and maybe it’s sleep deprivation talking here, but I think somebody born yesterday has a lot to say to the rest of us. And loudly.
1) There’s nothing more important than family
Sorry colleagues, clients, friends, social network followers. I love you all. But when it comes right down to it, you just can’t compete with my 8 pound little man or his mom, or his siblings. They are the thing that puts everything else into perspective.
2) Focus on the simple things
Eat, sleep, poop, clean up, and repeat. Okay, in the business world, the details might be different, but it all smells the same in the end.
3) Don’t lose the wonder
When my son opened his eyes for the first time yesterday, everything he saw was new new new. I hope he keeps looking around with the same sense of curiosity and awe in the awesomeness of the world around him (and take a minute to try it yourself – or find a kid to play with if you need help).
4) You can’t do everything yourself
Birth is the ultimate team effort. To my wife: thank you.
5) Outsiders really care
We’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support we’ve gotten from family, business associates, friends, and strangers. People are generous and caring by nature if you open yourself up to them. But you have to open yourself up.
6) Trust the experts
Doctors, nurses, hospital custodians, all have been wonderful. But most wonderful of all, we can’t do what they do, so we’re extra grateful that they do it so well. (And a plug for my American friends: it’s also totally free!)
7) A well packaged bundle is good for everyone
I’m watching the nurses these days with swaddle envy. They are just so crisp and efficient, and they wrap him tighter than a tortilla. And although the baby hates the blankets going on, once he’s wrapped right, everyone’s life suddenly gets easier: my wife has less trouble nursing, he’s easier for me and the nurses to carry and pass around, and most importantly, he’s much happier than when I wrap him. But I’m working on it.
8 ) Names matter (but they’re hard)
Everybody’s got an opinion on what makes a good name. Ours were: easy to pronounce, easy to spell (particularly since Van Staalduinen is the last name), distinctive, but not so distinctive as to get the kid shoved in a locker every day. We also needed two names – one for a boy and one for a girl – and wanted to honour family with the middle names. All hard. But worth thinking about.
9) You’ll get your teeth, but it will take time
Patience is one of the biggest lessons of raising kids. Development just takes time and no amount of over-parenting or worry will change that. Babies lose weight after they’re born. They won’t be able to eat solids or walk for many months. They’re babies. Deal with it. There are no Baby Einstein shortcuts in babies, business or anything eles (sorry Disney).
10) Sometimes, you just gotta yell
This blog is called Beg to Differ for a reason. And most of the time we try to be fair, balanced, diplomatic. But sometimes, life isn’t fair, and it’s okay to just open up your lungs and just yell like the day you were born. So go on. Make some noise. Then grow up and get on with the business of being human.
Well, it’s back to the hospital for me.
But Beg to Differ would love to hear from you:
- What branding or business lessons have you learned about being human from babies or kids?