Simpler and Harder

Rachel Burt Photography

By Freya Hill

Someone asked me the other day if I find taking care of my six-month-old baby equivalent work to a full-time job. I laughed and said, “Yes, and then some.” Babies are intense. They require constant care, patience and love. Yet, they are also very simple. They simply need care, love and patience.  

I find being on parental leave harder than going to the office, but also simpler.

My daughter needs me to be available to her, all hours of the day and night. She doesn’t care about labour laws, 15-minute breaks every few hours, or annual leave and sick days. Yet, on the flip side, life with her is much simpler than modern office life can be. I’ve never heard any office gossip around the changing table, nor questioned the value of my work as I feed or played with her. She is clear with what she needs, and does her best to communicate her needs to me as simply as she can.

My daughter does not try to manipulate me, nor have ulterior motives.

She is free with her praise and laughter, and flexible when her days don’t go as she planned.  

She has also been very patient with me, as I’ve learned my new role. When we started out working together, everything was new for both of us. I felt out of my depth, and deeply humbled. No degree, course or successful project I had done before in the corporate world mattered at 2am as I tried to calm my colicky infant.  

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