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Opinion: Having a Child Opened My Eyes to The Beauty of Scheduling 8 a.m. Meetings for All My Coworkers

The miracle of childbirth changes you instantly. When I first saw my goopy baby and heard its cries, my heart swelled; I knew life would be forever different.

Specifically, I would never miss an opportunity to schedule an 8 a.m. all hands meeting ever again. When my baby rises at 4:45 in the morning, so do I. There was a time when I fancied myself a night owl, but it turns out I do my best thinking in the morning. And I’m going to help all of my coworkers come to this realization for themselves.

When I look into my little Markston’s eyes, I feel an intense responsibility to care for this gorgeous living being. And that love now exists for the twentysomethings I manage at the digital advertising firm where I work. They are very appreciative of my meeting start time change. Many of them followed up my meeting invite with confirmation, asking “Are you sure 8 a.m. is the best time for this?” It’s so rewarding to see how meticulous my crew is.

Even though Markston is my firstborn, sometimes I really feel like the father of 32 budding minds. I share my love for them by sending early morning deliverable requests before the sun is up, even if the new hires and interns are hungover or still drunk from the previous night’s mandatory social hour. Sometimes the best love is tough love.

When my wife gave birth, it filled a void in my heart and my time off explanations. I used to feel the need to justify and over-explain vacation requests or last-minute appointments. Now I can just blast a message to my team saying “Kiddo…” with a frowny face emoji and no one dares question it. Or I can just approve my own 2-week “family vacation” while denying requests for “spring break.” If my staff can’t take their time outside of work seriously, how can they expect me to?

To all the childless late sleepers, just know this- having a child doesn’t make me better than you. Unless we’re considering contributions to the human race as a whole, then yeah, it’s kinda hard to argue that I’m not.

But really… why should we box ourself in to an 8 a.m. start time? Is it really that different from 7:30? Sorry, I have a meeting invite to update.