– I’m a South African born Kiwi living in Melbourne. I used to have many hobbies like skiing, running, eating out, and watching sports, but now have an 18-month-old daughter Isabel who provides all the entertainment I need. When Isabel was nine months old, my wife Kate went back to work full-time and I took over as Isabel’s primary caregiver. I spent three glorious months with her and am planning to do the same thing when our next child is born in February. Why? Because work will always be there, but my kids will only be little once. It is also very important to me that I support Kate so she can successfully return to work with as little stress and as few distractions as possible.
When I decided to use McKinsey’s primary caregiver’s leave to take this extended time away, I told the CEO of my client at the time in a rather apologetic tone. She immediately called me out on it and was 100% supportive. My McKinsey team really helped me make things work while I was away and as I transitioned back into work.
Some of my favourite memories from the three months I spent full-time with my daughter come from our numerous visits to the zoo. I’ll never forget Isabel’s face every time we saw the monkeys. She loved them and her monkey sounds are pretty cute!