An interview with Will Jones, Partner

Miller Time

Will recently did his part to welcome a beautiful new child, Miller Ann Jones, into the world. He used a portion of his parental leave to help the transition from birth back into a more normal routine. While we imagined him binge-watching HBO shows and eating snacks on the couch, it turns out he was doing some other stuff, too.

Interview by Brad Flowers

BF How did you use your parental leave?

WJ I fed our daughter, ran errands, drove to doctor visits, soothed the baby at all hours, and more. We had appointments with a specialist who is over an hour away.

BF You are scaring us a little.

WJ Oh, she is totally fine. I wanted to clarify that it isn’t all sitting around the house. But really, back to the original question, I wanted my wife to know that I was her partner, sharing all of the emotional and practical responsibilities and not just around for support. I think I was successful, but you’d have to ask her.

BF It sounds like the time away was pretty important for your family.

WJ It was important enough to cause concern when the time came for me to return to work. As new parents, what struck us was the incredible challenges that single parents must face. I know many new parents have to go right back to work, but for us that was a scenario that was hard to imagine. The practical support that a second parent can provide is helpful, but I think the emotional comfort of knowing that both parents are able to be present during this critical time provides the most strength.

The first few weeks are scary yet crucial. It’s easy to understand and experience how quickly a new parent can spiral– even in the best circumstances with two able caretakers and a healthy child.

BF What have you learned about yourself through this process?

WJ Certainly my priorities are reframed.

BF Let me reframe. What advice would you give someone anticipating parental leave?

WJ Take the time and really focus on being a parent. You won’t get it back and, if you prepare correctly, your work will be there when you get back.

If you want to try and work in some kind of part-time scenario, go for it. But my advice would be to give that energy to your family. They need it and giving it can open your heart and mind.

BF That is great and all, but how is this going to make you a better Bullhorn teammate?

WJ Ha. Well, I am very appreciative to work in a place that understands the value of a parent’s role and the time it requires. It has made me want to work harder and better, especially for those who covered for me while I was out.