Interview

Richard Tetik interview


20 Nov, 2019

When Richard took primary carers leave, he quickly learnt that a typical day with a six month old was like living army style. With the support of his leader, he took eight weeks leave to care for his first child Austin. He shares his experience.
My wife has her own business, and not wanting it to suffer coming into her busy period, taking this leave really helped me to support my wife and family.

It was a lot harder than I expected, and much tougher than a normal day at work. The days started very early in the morning - you sleep when he sleeps, eat when he eats (or when you get the chance to), and tidy up when you get a 30 second break to yourself. It was great to focus 100% on him and get to do fun things. I would take him to the park, go to the local beaches, and it also gave me an opportunity to teach him how to swim.

My return to work was relatively seamless. The team did a fantastic job managing in my absence, and it also gave them an opportunity to work on things that they may not have otherwise. I felt very supported, such that I was able to return and settle in again quickly. It didn’t impact my career or any key deliverables.

When contemplating taking this leave, there are perceived barriers we put up for ourselves, such as being too needed at work. We all prioritise work quite highly, with a lot of our personal self-worth based on that. This was the biggest challenge, saying this is going to stop for a few months and I’ll have to do without it. I would say to anyone thinking about taking parental leave, to just do it, and don’t worry about barriers, because everything will be fine. You often go on holidays for a couple of weeks and come back, and it’s really not that different.

It was a fantastic experience - I enjoyed building a much stronger relationship with Austin and just having a really good laugh together. There are things that I taught him and helped him develop, but just having fun with him was the best part.