Family Matters

When I’m not working I get anxious. It’s one of the reasons I hate freelance. And as my wife eased into her third trimester my last gig ended and I knew what the market looked like. 

It’s been dead for most people this year. I had hoped to work up until her delivery, all that extra money would have been useful. Apparently it was my time to sit on my butt as well.

But as I’ve ticked down the days of July, something finally dawned on me. Because I haven’t been working I’ve been able to go with her to every doctor’s appointment. Several appointments a week actually. I definitely don’t know that I’d have always been able to attend if I had been working. That’s on top of having free time I definitely won’t have once my daughter comes.

Until the last two years I had no concept of what this time in my life might look like. Because of circumstances, I’ve always been very career focused. It was pretty much all I had.

But now I face a fork in the road, or at least a perceived fork that says you either have to pick your career or your kids.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with/under some great parents. One coworker had three daughters that they always made time for… as a single parent. They’ve also produced several Super Bowl ads and worked at agencies I’d kill to work at. 

Another blocks off time on their calendar every day to make sure no one schedules meetings with them. They are also the best creative I’ve worked under and being on production with them was like watching a master class.

But as the due date ticks closer, I’m realizing how much of a priority it is for me to be present in my future daughter’s life. And how fortunate I am to be able to take this time before she comes to wrap up loose ends of my own life.

I want to be there for her first steps, first words, first day of school, first time she dunks on some kid at rec basketball (that may or may not happen unless her genetics come from somewhere else), and so on and so on.

Whether this will come in conflict with my desire to have the career I dreamed of is yet to be seen. I’m hopeful I can do both. Optimistic even as I’ve seen many others manage it.

But if my career does take a hit, it’ll be worth it the day she gives me that “WORLD’S BEST DAD” mug. That’s the only D&AD I’ll be caring about.

– Josh D. Weiss is a Co-Founder of The Side Show and Creative Director

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