The Stork Drops In on Agile Cat

The Office Ain't the Only Thing Expanding

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Peter Madden Peter Madden
My wife, Celeste, is pregnant. And after a month since she first delivered the news, I can now say this out loud without passing out.

Once in a while, life has a funny way of tapping you on the shoulder. Or in this case, tackling you from behind. You see, in one week, Agile Cat is moving its merry band of brand builders, PR pros, et al to much larger ($), center city ($$$) digs. Plus we've just two senior level execs in the past month. No, they're not working for scrapple.

As the founder (though in the early days felt more like the exotic N.J. "flounder") of the agency, my life is my work in many ways. When I'm not in the office trying to figure out how to conquer the world, or at least conquer some copy, I am at after-work-hours events and one-on-one get-togethers meeting, greeting, and eating (not dining on the aforementioned flounder though -- typically it's chicken).

Long story short, this lifestyle of leaving for work when it's dark and coming home when it's darker didn't seem to be the best situation in which to bring a child into the world. It's been all about the business, and with my (very) patient and (very) understanding wife, who works at a large mutual-funds company, things have definitely grown. I was just getting the whole work/life balance thing under control. So we decided we'd wait until we were out of the proverbial woods, given the investment in this next phase in the life of the agency.

Until of course, God said "HA!" I said "Whaaa?" and my wife nodded her head at me and said: "Yeah."

Me? A father? Apparently. When the news about the impending stork landing on our roof, I could only think about how I would run a business and be Dad of the Year at the same time. Or at the very least, not completely screw up what I've never done before. I don't even own a single pair of Dockers -- how the hell could I be that mellow dad who always has sound advice and a good spiral?

Small Agency parents who might be reading this -- how do you do it? As Dr. Evil would say, throw me a friggin' bone!

Tell the news to friends and you get a myriad of reactions. Everything from "It will be the greatest thing that happens to you" to "Your life is about to get turned upside down." I've even heard from people that having a mouth to feed at home makes you focus like never before on work and efficiency. I'll assume by this they mean you're so tired from being up at night with the little guy/gal that you live inside a coffee cup, hence all of this focusing.

As the days go on, I definitely am getting more and more excited at the prospect of parenthood. And given so many friends of mine who are struggling to have kids, I have to feel pretty darn lucky. I should just chill out on my ideas about crafting a mini drum set and surf board for the future little rocker and rider, and that he/she will have to possess an amazing grasp of 60s be-bop.

If it sounds good to you, I'll check in about how the dual expanding wife and expanding office are going. In the meantime, any tips on running an office and running a family without losing your hair, mind, or both are appreciated!
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