The importance of rest, how parenting requires high self-awareness and discipline, and being firm with setting rules. I talk to Nathaddeus Tan about his experience with paternity leave, managing his emotions around his children, and the parenting styles between him and his wife.
Nathaddeus is Regional Sales Manager at Zscaler. When I recorded this episode with Nat, he was a Territory Sales Manager at SalesForce for almost 5 years, and has consistently been one of the top performers in his team. At Salesforce, he was selected for the prestigious Salesforce Leadership Accelerate Programme designed to groom future leaders. Nat is father to two young children, aged 3 and 1
Nat talks to us about how he married his childhood sweetheart, and how being a father was always one of his aspirations. He shares the expected and unexpected which he encountered throughout the journey of fatherhood, and how he views “work-life balance”. For him, parenting has been a demanding but thoroughly enjoyable adventure, and taking breaks from work is how he creates time for himself and his family.
To get in touch with Nathaddeus, find him on LinkedIn:
Don’t forget to head over to www.parents.fm to stay up to date with new and previous episodes, join our community of parents in tech or drop me a line.
Thanks for listening to the Parents in Tech podcast with me, your host, Qin En. We hope you were inspired on how to raise kids and build companies. To catch up on earlier episodes or stay updated with upcoming ones, head over to www. to join our community of parents in tech. There, you can also drop me a question, idea, feedback or suggestion. See you next time!
- [00:39] Introducing today’s guest, Nathaddeus
- [01:33] How Nat met his wife
- [2:22] On having kids
- [03:14] On always wanting to be a dad
- [03:57] The expectations and realities of being a dad
- [05:38] A particularly harrowing experience
- [07:24] On needing to step away from work to be a dad
- [10:27] Nate’s ideals, and his biggest fear
- [12:30] Paternity leave
- [14:35] On feeling any anxiety about taking leaves
- [19:16] On coming back from parental leave
- [22:21] Advice for parents coming back to work from leave
- [24:43] How does discipline look like?
- [27:07] Nat’s parenting resources
- [31:06] Being a Parent in Tech
- [32:37] Connect with Nathaddeus
Qin En [00:00]
Hi, I am Qin En. And this is the Parents in Tech podcast.
Welcome to season two, where we interviewed dads who are technology company leaders based in Southeast Asia. After hearing from moms in season one, now it's time to speak to dads who are raising kids and striving in their careers. Let's find out the stories, challenges, and advice they have for us.
In this episode, I speak to Nathaddeus, Territory Sales Manager at Salesforce. Nat has been with Salesforce for almost five years and has consistently been one of the top performers in his team. Recently, he was selected for the prestigious Salesforce leadership accelerate program, designed to groom future leaders. Nat is the father to two young children, age three, and one.
Hey Nat! Welcome to the Parents in Tech show. To begin with, can you tell us a bit more about your family?
So, hi Qin En. My name is Nathaddeus. People typically just call me Nat. I'm married and I have two kids, my older child, my daughter, she's three years plus turning four this year. And I have a very young boy is coming up to five months now.
Qin En [01:30]
Wonderful. Wonderful. So let's take a step back. How did you meet your wife?
That's a good question. So I guess you can say I'm one of the lucky ones who married their childhood sweetheart. So we met when we were 17 years old in junior college. And we got together at the end of junior college.
So I think you can also say we've weathered many storms and controlling our fair share of life experiences together. From me going to national service and then her going to university first. Then us, if we're having some time together in university, and then she going to the workforce first. And then we also traveled as a couple when we were dating and I would say that's how we met.
Qin En [02:11]
Wow. That's awesome. So in this very long journey that you've been together. When did the talk of children, how many children, when to have children when did all of this start?
So before we got married, as Christians, we attended our churches, marriage preparation costs, and the topic of children, they come up. Even slowly from time to time, we will talk about children. But when you are really going to get married, the topic or idea becomes more real.
And I did share with my wife that one of my dreams in life is to become a father because I love children. And since we have dated for close to seven years before we got married, I sense she was quite indifferent to having children. And to be honest, after we got married, we didn't plan to have children. We just let nature take its own course because we both feel one can never be fully ready to be a parent.
Qin En [03:02]
Yeah. So true. You say something that's very interesting. You [have always dreamt of being a father]. That's quite a different level. So tell me a bit more about this desire. Did it come from somewhere since [you were] young?
I have an older brother, but I have a lot of cousins and relatives. So you know, usually on weekends, I would go to either my mum or my dad's relatives place.
And we just grew up in an environment with a lot of children, whether they are older or whether they were younger. It's hard to pinpoint exactly when this desire came up, but thinking about life sometimes I wonder, you know, what does life look like? And I just cannot imagine a life without children. I mean, that's just an ideal, I guess, and everyone has their own ideas.
Qin En [03:34]
Awesome. So from what you imagined being a father would be to actually becoming a father, tell me expectation [versus] the reality and tell me a second thing, the expectation [that] does not equal the reality.
Interesting question. Before becoming a father, a lot of people who have been through the experience, would say [it's a] life-changing experience, it's a rewarding experience. It's a fulfilling experience. And if you don't have children, it's hard to really understand what that means. So that is something which I would say, I kinda expected that because of people who have experienced it before. "What do you mean? It's just a child and taking care of it." But with children, you invest time building that relationship.
It's really quite a rewarding and also fulfilling experience. What people don't tell you themselves. The reality is a very harrowing experience. Now I kind of understand my, you see parents, they are always so tired, but that's physically tired. Of course I slept well before this interview. A lot of people don't really expect that; they just say it's tiring, it's painful. And once you get into the motion of it, you just learn how to grow as a parent in the past three or four years, being a parent. We do meet new parents as well and parenting is a very traumatizing experience, especially for first-time parents.
Qin En [o5:06]
Oh you don't look tired. Are you tired now?
I think that's a very apt way to describe the first time, you know, as a parents. It's just very traumatizing because you just don't know what you do. It's me and my wife looked back and like, well, when we first had our child, it is indeed a very traumatizing kind of experience.
Qin En [05:26]
Can you give one example, what was perhaps one particular story that was particularly harrowing?
I can give you a lot of, if you give me more time I can share.
Qin En [05:36]
Okay, wonderful. Let's start with one.
One example would be physiologically. It's very tiring. So one good example would be sleep. When the child is born, you need to feed the child for example. So my wife breastfeeds my daughter until like she was two years old because there are no, it's just a personal decision; that thing is better for her. So that also means that my wife has to be physically there to feed my daughter, at least for up to two years, her sleep is affected. And then a lot of times, you know, sometimes she may not wake up for me. You know, for today, wake up for whatever reason, whether it's a nightmare or whether it's the stomach you don't know, or as doctors, you know, if they can't put a name for it they just say it's colic.
So a lot of times we just label it, whatever we want to seek comfort. At least encouragement.
Qin En [06:23]
So I would say sleep is a big factor because I think at least for the first few months, or at least a year, we were trying to figure out how do we get my daughter to sleep well, because if she doesn't sleep well then we don't sleep well. And then sleep is so important because it then affects your time, your behavior, your relationships with your family, your friends and also your peers and your colleagues as well. So our day just trickles down now because of her lack of sleep.
Qin En [06:48]
Yeah, for sure. For sure. I mean, I'm still going through that phase now. It's definitely better than the new bond, but I guess you have a new badass, so it's somewhat a round two again.
So I thought I'd take you back a bit into where you first became a parent since we're on that topic. I mean, you are a top performer at Salesforce. You also work in sales where it's very, I would say performance driven, got to be on the ball. Did you ever worry or concern that, hey, taking a step back, at least for the period that you were going to be a dad would affect your, your, your career trajectory?
I think that it's definitely a concern for many people, whether you're male, I would say even for female is fine. And I will say that because even my wife, think one of the question that I asked her— just side track a bit— is that I asked her, you know, "Why not you take a break from work? Let's just focus on your child."
And I, and my wife said something interesting, which is she doesn't see herself just staying at home because she still feels that desire to go back to work. That’s innately human, right? Everyone has their own dreams and ambitions. And I think that in the question is how much do you want to do? For some people, I mean, if you talk to some parents or whether they are male or female, some would say, "Oh, once my child comes, suddenly I have this urge to not work."
And recently I find that as well, some parents, they want, taking time off work the whole year or one and a half years. And I thought even better as well, even though it's not so often, uh, to say. Maybe I should slow down, right? So, I mean, for myself, I would say I do still have the ambition, you know, when I had my first child. But I see it more as the marathon, the career itself is something which I want to build, but I'm not rushing to say that.
"Okay, I have to be the motor. I need to get this new carries and certain period of time. And it just stems from what I said earlier, which is one of my dreams in life is to become a father. And it's just one of the most, I guess, in one of the questions, which also came to my watch though, how do we think about what life balance [is]? To me I don't really like that term because it just suggests that you need to sacrifice one to achieve another. But I think I'm very idealistic in nature, which is why can't we have both, can I excel as a father? Can I be a good husband? Can I be a good father to my kids? But at the same time, I want to be great employee as well. I want to do well. I want to contribute, but not only that, I also want to be a great volunteer to an organization that I care deeply about. So I think it's just a very multifaceted approach to life. People sometimes they forget the identity, they have stems from who they are and what they work as, or, you know, I'm net, a sales person in Salesforce.
It's just a very narrow view of who you are as a person. So then with that in mind, then I think, okay, there are so many aspects of my life. There's health, there's finance, there’s romance, there's children, there's family, there's friends, spiritual. And then when I think of it as what some people commonly call it the wheel of life.
And it's not just family and friends. It's like so many aspects and it's up to you to define. So I mean, I, as idealist, I strive for everything to be a 10 on my side, but the reality is not everyone is at a 10. Sometimes your health is affected maybe you are working a bit too high. It's important to have that kind of balance.
Qin En [10:06]
Yeah, so true. Life is so much more than our work, even though it's so easy for us to define ourselves by our job titles, by the companies that we come from. But it's truly quite refreshing to hear that coming from you and this realization that you had, not like 20 years after you became a parent, but like, so so early in the whole process. So that's wonderful.
You know, growing up, maybe, you know, our generation, we see, you know, parents or even our grandparents working and working. And I sound a bit like [a] spoiled child when I say this, but sometimes we see what our parents have done. Or maybe some of our relatives, older generation, and then asks ourselves, do we want to live our life like that?
Not to say it's wrong, but do we have an alternative, do we have a choice? And I like to think that we do have a choice. Since we are going to work for a very long period of time, how do I enjoy work in the process, right? How do I achieve what I want to achieve? And money's just a means helping us to achieve and then ask them, so what was the end goal? I am going. So I want to be, I want to have a happy family. I want to travel the world but then I'd want to do that when I'm like 50 or 60 years old. Then how do I find that balance? If I'm spending all my time, focusing on Korea, then along the way am I missing out on what's in front of me, right?
Imagine you are a pirate and you're on a boat and you say, okay, my end goal is to find treasure island. Treasure island is like so far, they are peddling and you say, okay, my ankle is there. I'm super focused. I'm going to stay focused. I'm going to paddle you paddle and paddle and paddle and then you say, okay, I want to find treasure island.
Then suddenly you paddle and you find a small island in front of you and there's some goal you say, no, no, I just want treasure island. You just paddle you paddle and all the way you see there's a bag of floating gold. You say, no I don't want floating gold I want the treasure island. Are we missing out on certain things in our life? And that's also one of my biggest fear.
Like, am I missing out on a milestone in my children's life? And then on the aspect of my wife, am I making sure that I'm not neglecting her? Am I neglecting my parents am I neglecting some of my close friends? So I don't want to be that parent who is just paddling towards a goal and missing out on things that are [important].
Qin En [12:15]
Yeah. Wow. That is a very fascinating ideology for what it is. I like it a lot, this obsession that there's this place that will truly give us happiness. And then along the way we miss out on all those opportunities, couldn't be said better. Uh, so then of course you work at a company that gives very generous paternity leave. How long is it again?
So I took 16 weeks for my first child.
Qin En [12:40]
And the second child I took 16 weeks as well. Yeah. I'm glad you asked that question. I'm actually quite proud of this experience that I have working in Salesforce. I think it's [a] wonderful benefit thing apparently in Salesforce. A lot of times when I know I'm on parental leave and then sometimes we have friends and relatives coming and they expect to just see my wife at home visit and visiting the child.
"What are you doing? How come you're here?" And I say, "Oh, I'm actually on parental leave." They say, "Really, months? How come you are still at home?" Sheepishly I will say, "Oh, actually I have 16 weeks as well. Same is my wife." And they just go crazier and it's a very shocking [thing]. They will be, they're skeptical. I would say like, "Oh, on leave. Firstly, are you really on leave? Do you have to work?" Like, do your bosses still like trouble you and ping you on email or whatever. The second question usually they ask is you're not paid rates. No pay rate. So the answer to most questions is No, firstly, I do not have to do any work. And secondly it's yes, I'm still good. Actually, I could have taken six months of parental leave, which is 26 weeks.
And I do know of males in Salesforce, not just in Singapore. I mean, across the world that takes that 26 weeks of parental leave. And if you think about it, my wife has 16 weeks, right. That's the extended government rule, but it takes six months. There is longer than the wife, so that's quite crazy. But that also is one of the reasons why I didn't take many, six weeks off because I feel like this parenting journey is something which I want to walk with my wife together, making sure that we are parenting our child together, you know, and then going back to work together, that's something that's important to me.
Qin En [14:17]
That's true partnership, but now I want to understand a bit more on this paternity leave. Once that, that surprised me was actually almost half of parents that's to not take their paternity leave. And we're not talking about four months, we're talking about two weeks. And that to me also shocked me right as well.
Just two weeks, honestly, I don't think any of us are that important that the organization would come crumbling down. If we took two weeks or even four months off, it reflects the inner state of how we viewed this, that sometimes we're afraid to step away from work afraid that we'll get irrelevant, afraid that that sets us back on promotion cycles and all that.
Talk to me a bit more about whether you encountered some of these anxieties or was it in an environment where you did not go through any of this at all.
Yeah. I remember seeing this article as well. I think over the years, one of the ministers, I think is Lewis Ong. He's quite a strong proponent that fathers play a huge role in families. And it does have societal impacts whether it's through your work, whether it's relationships, whether it's family, and there's just a lot of positives for fathers to be close to their kids and also be around and take leave. Right? So in Salesforce, I'll say I'm very less in my first role in Salesforce. I was doing business development and I've been doing it for, I think, close to two years if I went on parental leave and my own expectations, is that okay, look, I likely not going to stick a promotion.
I think probably it's the Asian or the Singapore in me that says I don't deserve it. I took a long break. I don't deserve it. What's interesting is my past director who has now left Salesforce before I left he told me that, "I think you've done a great job. You know, the role, that you've done. I know your career ambitions. I know what you're looking for next. I want to see how can help you." Doing parental leave. I don't expect you to go to a career search engine, then go and find a job. Right? Your focus is on parenting. And I think that's really great because as I went, sometimes I will still check my email, feel guilty or whatnot.
I'm not sure where there's an Asian context or Singapore context, but I still check my emails, I still reply. And then he texted me and said that "I don't understand why you're doing what I used to like replying emails and, or you should just focus on parenting." And that you know, was a true validation that Salesforce leadership cares. And they want us to just focus on parenting. The second part was, I think when it was close to my end, all the four months, I got a text from the director who's like, "Hey look, I just heard that somebody is hiring. I think you should reach out. I've put in a good word for you. I know you have done a great job and I support your move."
So then I think it was one or two months before I went back to work. I see when prepare for an interview internally, both to the hiring manager and then, you know, kick start the whole interview process. So it was, I would say it's [a] harrowing experience. It's lack of sleep. I haven't been working for like a few months and you're not in that state of working or interviewing as well, but thankfully you know, things turn out well.
I got the job. And then when I went back to work, I started on a new role. So there was, I'm still very shocked by the whole experience. And then the second time, when I went on parental leave, there was an opening. So I've been in the sales world for two years. And then in my mind, I'm like, okay, I'm going to be a second time parent. I'm just going to stay in my current role. I'm not going to rock the boat.
And then an opening came and had a conversation with the hiring manager. And I was very upfront because I know now I know how Salesforce works. There, I told her the current manager, I said, well, firstly, I'm going on parental leave likely, it will be three to four months. I haven't decided yet. Will you still hire me? He thinks that anyone who doesn't hire a person, just because they're going on parental leave is very short-sighted. Whether or not you go parental leave is a very personal thing. You are expecting the person to performance, stay for the long-term and you trust that this person will do what's right.
So that, I mean, I was like, okay, I'm so, and I was quite impressed actually. Obviously it was a good fit for both of us. So yeah. I got a promotion I'm moved to a new role and then shortly you know, within three months I went on parental leave. So that the transition was smooth because likewise, the management and the leadership team were very supportive.
I was still doing what I can to contribute to the business. But what, what is the hangover plan? How do we make sure that the business still continues when you're not around, but when you come back, how do we get you up on speed again? So I think it's a very professional way of looking at it.
Qin En [18:36]
Yeah, it sounds like it's an incredibly supportive environment where even the initial fears and concerns you have of taking extended parental leave as which by your managers and by our bosses. And I think it's making a lot of us, and I'm sure the audience, definitely jealous. That's a wonderful employer brand that you're doing on behalf of Salesforce. But I guess also related on that, you also mentioned the part about coming back, not working for four months. Coming back restarting the engine. I'm sure it wasn't easy.
So talk to me a bit more about what were some of the challenges and how you went about dealing [with] those, right? Cause I'm sure you really enjoyed the time with the family coming back. There's all these adjustments. So yeah.
Yeah. I will share both of my experience for the two times that I've gone on parental leave.
So the first time, because I moved to a new role, so it was a brand new role I needed to figure out. I will say there are pros and cons, right? The con is that you are not in that motion. You are not moving like a third year or fourth year. The benefit I will say is that you're moving slowly, but you are a bit more strategic and you might see things from a broader perspective.
Sometimes when you are in your work, you have a very narrow viewpoint of what has been done before, what might work, but might not work, right? Because you look at what has been done before, or just based on your own experience or based on your peers experience. I think taking a step back during that four months of parental leave allowed me to see things a bit more clearly, not only from a business standpoint, but also in my own personal life as well.
Okay. How do I recalibrate what's important for me? So I will say this, it was actually a very refreshing and energizing experience because when I came back, I was running a hundred percent for a long time. But I imagine, previously my role, I probably was looking at 70, 80%, maybe sometimes 60%. How do you run a hundred percent for a long period of time?
I just don't think it's sustainable. And I think it's a topic that maybe Salesforce has, was talked about right. Which is how do we keep our employees looking, you know, at their best, for a long period of time? And recently, you know, we've also heard leadership stays any part of time, especially during this pandemic,
if you require to take time off, take as much time as you need. Some people take a few months off, some people take a few weeks off. Some people take a few days off, somebody will say, I just need to have a good sleep. I just need to do meditation. For example, or one hour everyday, then I feel refresh. So it really depends right from people to people, but for myself during the, parental leave it was really good time to really, to recalibrate and get all the energy back before I start to do my work again. So because of that experience, then I also taught myself. I think it's good occasionally, after like two to three years, for some people it's like five years to take a sabbatical or take some time off of work. Whether it's three months, whether it's six months, but it's one month as well, just to rest before you start to work again, because if you're always working on new thing, I think some people just forget to rest.
I think for my second experience, because now I'm still translating back. I still feel I'm not in my, like high-speed here, but I feel I'm more intentional in what I have to do. So I am moving. As you will know, if you are working, your gears will always move fast. I'm not in a hurry to move fast. In fact, there's a lot of value in moving slow. Sometimes you just need to stop and think like what you're doing, you know?
Qin En [21:55]
True. I think there's a whole book on that, right. Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman. But yeah, I think what you say is definitely so valuable, not needing to rush and perform a hundred percent all the time, but also an enlarged part, pacing yourself.
So I guess having gone through this twice, what kind of advice would you give to parents who are returning from leave? Right? In terms of strategies to cope things that worked well for you.
I don't think I'm an expert in this. I feel like parenting is really a journey. I was recently sharing with a friend that sometimes I feel like parenting is like a role-playing game.
As a parent, as a level one player, you just don't know what you're doing. You have no armor. You have no gear in your— everyday you have so many battles to fight. Sometimes you're just not equipped. And sometimes you follow it sometimes you get hurt. I think it's okay, because if you come back from it, you would just be better not having my second child and taking care of my first one.
I do feel a bit more equipped. Maybe instead of level one, maybe I'm now like level 10 and the highest level is probably like a hundred and probably I'll see that when my kids have grown up. Um, but I think, I think, uh, sorry, I got a bit of brain freeze.
Qin En [23:09]
No problem. Right. I wanted to understand, you said that you now at level 10, there was setbacks. So tell me what was perhaps one setback or I wouldn't say mistake, but perhaps one thing that now on hindsight, you would do differently.
I think in the whole grand scheme of things, I don't think we really need to rush into getting back to work. Parenting is really good in training or personal mastery. And then also leadership.
I say personal mastery it's because a lot of times the emotions that we have will be easily captured by our children. I can't really say whether there's any like specific times, but there are a lot of times when we lose, for example, for myself, where I lose my patience with my child, because he doesn't want to sleep or take an afternoon nap. It's sort of like seeing a train crash coming, right. But I still do it. I know that I shouldn't like lose my temper because the moment I raised my voice at her, suddenly she raises her voice. It's just a downward spiral. Similar to how, you know, we're working with our peers or even interacting with our family and friends, being a parent helps with, you know, your personal mastery and also how you control your thoughts or emotions.
And yeah, this specific example, uh, it, it's funny. I can't really think of any. I will say my, I'm very blessed because I think my kids are quite well-behaved in many ways, even though I think it's also because my, my wife is very patient. I'm the less patient one in the relationship.
Okay. So you, you read my mind, cause that was going to be my next question where you talked about the shouting. So tell me, how does discipline look like?
How does discipline look like?
Qin En [24:47]
Yeah cause your other daughter, I guess be quite terrible twos in inverted commas, the part where they are trying to express themselves. So I'm sure you'll have battle stories; hopefully not battle scars to show.
I think at least with the child is young, it's a time of setting boundaries because I think children are naturally curious and instead of shutting them down, I think me and my wife, we often want to explain to them or tell them, you know, this is the boundary. Of, obviously, if the child wants a knife I'm not going to give him or her a knife. Right. Cause we know better, it's dangerous and children will always push the boundaries. They will always test the limits and think that's okay. Because sometimes it gives us a glimpse of what our limits [are]. Sometimes we don't even know.
And one example would be me and my wife. We are quite against screen time. At home and we have a TV, but my, my children, they don't watch it. Even if we watch, you know, we probably watch it when they're not around just for a while. But as long as the children are around we don't watch screen time. So a lot of times, you know, they will test the limits. Like, no, I, I want to watch, uh, this, I want to watch that and we just cut it off.
The rule is no screen time is no screen time. And then we also know, Hey, this is our hard limit. But another example would be like food. They say like, oh, uh, "Can I eat a bit of your cake?" And then in our minds, like "No cake, no cake for you." Right. And then they will push, right. They will say, okay, uh, "No, I just want small bite just a bit only."
And then if we cave in, then you know, it's not your height limit. That means it's not really a boundary that you just don't like it, that they eat cake. But children are smart, right. They would model after your behaviors and action. So you can't tell your child, "You cannot eat ice cream it's bad for you." And then everyday you just eat ice cream in front of them, then they will know it is not fair.
Right. So then how do we model to be a kind of leader or person that is respectable? And also they, you know, has authority.
Qin En [26:40]
So true. So true. You got to role model the example because kids, they catch on very quickly, right? They will. When they see you do something that it's a little different from what you say, they will catch onto it and keep you accountable for that.
Qin En [26:54]
Yeah. So I'm curious now it sounds like there's something in parenting. Of course, it's something that you give a lot of thought to that. What are perhaps some of the resources, mentors, books that you use to kind of get advice or learn?
That's a good question. I'm not sure if this is something which everyone has resourced to.
So in Salesforce, we actually have this resource called the Cleo program and this,
Qin En [27:17]
How do you spell it?
CLEO, C-L-E-O. I think we have a partnership with Cleo, I guess. And what happens is as Salesforce employees we have access to like an app where we can have a direct conversation or direct message with a family guide.
This family guide is someone who can guide us through the experience of being a parent and the topics can vary from food, to sleep, to emotions, to milestones and whatnot. And it's just something we should we should have access to. So me and my wife have both have access to, for example, there's a few months, I think right before my second child was born, we were a bit concerned about sleep and the topic of sleep is a bit broad, right?
So we share with the family guy who said, what is the sleeping arrangement going to be like? Then my older daughter was stepping in her own room, but then the moment we say, "Oh, we are going to have a new born. You're going to be a sister." And then suddenly she wants to sleep with us in the room. Now, what does that mean for our new child is our new child going to sleep in the room?
Obviously the new child's going to cry every like two hours or so. Then how is that going to affect my daughter's sleep? It was a bit of tangle, right, that we had in our minds. We say, how do we untangle this? And we spoke to the family guide and the family you guide said, okay, if you want a bit more detailed or deeper conversation, I'll connect you with a sleep like a sleeping coach.
And we had a conversation, I think, give us a lot of assurance. Let's just take it one step at a time. We may not have to worry a lot of resource available. Maybe I can share it because a lot of these books are books that my wife shared with me, but I don't have a specific book title in mind.
Qin En [28:56]
No problem, actually, on that topic of that, co-sleeping with two kids. Can you tell me how to resolve it? Because I think that it's something that at least some parents do go through. So what was some of the insights, if you can recall, what was the outcome.
At least for the first few weeks out, say across two, was it two months? So every night my daughters sleeps around like nine plus 10.
We will, she need somebody to help her to get to bed. She sleeps in my room. She sleeps on a mattress because in school she has that mattress as well. She's used to sleeping on the floor in a mattress. After we get her to bed, then that's when we take care of my new born and help him to get to bed as well.
I mentioned to you we have this [feeling] of. What if he cries? And then my daughter cries. And then it's, cry. And it's a lot of cries and a lot of chaos. I am not sure I want to go through that, right. So what we did is both me and my wife we slept on the sofa in our living room. We got like a mattress to sleep as well. I think at the point in time, we were living with a lot of uncertainty and a bit of fear.
And then later on, I think when we noticed that my younger boy was sleeping a bit longer, we said, we can try, let's go to the room. Eventually we need to just bite the bullet and just do it. We also read that a lot of times the older kid will get used to it. They will, it's sort of become like white noise to them.
So we put it to the test and we tried it now, you know, we all sit together in the same room and my younger one still cries from time to time, but a lot of times we soothe him back to sleep. So thankfully it's okay. Yeah.
Qin En [30:29]
Got it. Wow. I mean, it sounds rough that you guys had to sleep in the living room, basically displaced from your, the covers of your bed to a sofa.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think being a parent just really brings you on an adventure. Uh, and just, there's a lot of crazy experiences. Yeah.
Qin En [30:50]
Yeah. You become super creative, right? You figure out what works and what doesn't work.
Qin En [30:56]
Very interesting. Well that it's such a joyable composition. I have, to kind of wrap up our time today.
Qin En [31:01]
If there's one lesson you learned as a parent in tech, what would that be?
I think being a parent in tech is really quite a wonderful experience. At least, uh, doors and the benefits that I've seen. And I really enjoy is flexibility. I think, especially in a COVID post pandemic as some would call it. I think we realized that there is a blur between working and also your personal life, right.
Especially when working from home. I do find myself, you know, for example, working past my usual working hours, I also find myself incorporating my personal time into my working hours. So there is a blur in terms of like, what really like nine to five. Obviously for me in sales, we are not bounded by the nine to five.
A lot of times we have to work late at night or even like early morning as well, just to take a call. But I think just being in tech gives me a lot of flexibility to say, okay, if there's an emergency today, if there's something important and I need to attend, do I have that flexibility? Or do I have that autonomy to attend to it?
And I will say yes. And I didn't realize flexibility was so important to me until, in a company like Salesforce. So, yeah, flexibility. I think it's underrated. I would say, obviously we have conversations with many people in other industry that might not be something which would be so readily available.
Very thankful to have that flexibility and also ability to manage my own time.
Qin En [32:27]
True. True. It's like a feature, a perk off working in tech. Cool. Well, thanks so much for joining us on the show today. If some of our audience would love to connect with you, how can they best do so?
I think they can connect with me on LinkedIn.
So you can just search Nathaddeus I don't think there are any other Nathaddeus on LinkedIn. Find my Gmail is still Nathaddeus. Um, I don't use Facebook or Instagram. So I think LinkedIn is the best way.
Qin En [32:53]
Sure. We'll add your LinkedIn profile to the show notes too. Well, thank you so much for joining us on the show today, Nat. Such a joy speaking with you.
Thanks again. Pleasure to meet you.
Qin En [33:07]
Thanks for listening to the Parents in Tech. With me, your host Qin En. We hope you were inspired on how to raise kids and build companies to catch up on earlier episodes or stay updated with upcoming ones. Head over to www.parents.fm to join our community of parents in tech. There, you can also drop me a question, idea, feedback or suggestion. Once again, the website it's www.parents.fm that's all for this episode, folks.
See you next time.