I’ve been married for five years, and I’m now a father of a an almost-three-year old son and an eight-month old son. I always wanted to work with a company that understands work-life balance — one of the reasons I came to work for Nestlé is because when I was researching companies, I always saw that they take care of their employees. That was the company I wanted to work for. It’s great to feel like it’s not just you and a keyboard, Nestlé is there to support you as you support your family.
When my first son was born, I was working at a different company, and I took about 2.5 weeks. My role was basically to get the baby home, make sure the crib is put together, and get ready to go back to work. This time, I had the opportunity to support my wife and take care of the family while she recovers, as well as the opportunity to get to know my new son.
This time, I had the opportunity to support my wife and take care of the family while she recovers, as well as the opportunity to get to know my new son.
It was amazing. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed out the first time. This time, every day, I’d ride around town on my bike with my three-year old and give my wife the chance to be alone with the new baby.
When my wife had our second son, I’d only been with Nestlé for ten months. I wouldn’t have even been eligible for FMLA (unpaid leave through the Family-Medical Leave Act). But I was already eligible for the Parent Support Policy [note: the Parent Support Policy is available to all Nestle employees who are primary caregivers and have been with the company for six months, working an average of at least 30 hours per week, regardless of their position or location.] My manager at the time was very supportive — he is a dad and had gone through it himself. He knew what that time meant and was prepared to support me however I needed. Nestlé was just outstandingly helpful throughout the process, from getting the paperwork that I needed, setting up insurance, and following up. It was a pleasant process — as pleasant as insurance and medical forms can be!
I always say that I don’t live to work, I work to live. My priority has always been my family. That’s why my advice to anyone as a parent: don’t be afraid to take as much time as you need, you only get it once. I was lucky; one of my best friends had only half of a week and had to leave his wife to fend for herself after a difficult birth with her third child. Friends and family were all pretty floored — most of my friends had no more than two weeks of leave.