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My Experience With Paternity Leave at Cox

Anthony Jordick posing on his couch with his wife and two kids

Cox's progressive family leave policy helps parents build important bonds with their newest family members.

 

In August 2023, my wife and I welcomed our second child to the family, Sebastian. While this was my second time taking advantage of Cox’s family leave policy, my paternity leave looked much different in 2023 compared to the pandemic-era leave when my daughter Violet was born in 2020.

As second-time parents, you have a better idea of what to expect with a newborn, which certainly does make the adjustment easier. Fortunately, Cox offers team members a generous amount of family leave to use during the first year after the birth or adoption of a child, giving parents plenty of opportunity to bond and adjust to the new dynamic.

As Sebastian’s due date drew closer, friends and family often asked me if I was going to be able to take any time off and were always shocked when I told them I could take up to 8 weeks of paternity leave. Their surprise is further evidence Cox has an incredibly progressive attitude towards family leave and bonding time, and that the primary concern for Cox is the wellbeing of team members across the company.

After Sebastian was born, I worked with my manager to prepare for my four weeks of paternity leave. We were able to develop a plan that included several of my team members to ensure adequate coverage while I was out, and I was met with constant reassurance that the team would survive my absence. That last note may sound dramatic, but we spend a significant amount of our time at work, and in turn, work takes on a high level of importance for many of us. It’s easy to feel guilty or self-conscious about completely stepping away from work for a month while leaving your team to handle the additional responsibilities. For those reasons, it was important for me to feel supported by my leadership team while I was on leave.

After the first few days of leave, I was able to comfortably settle into my most important role to date: a father and husband. Amidst the sleep deprivation, forgetting how to appropriately dress an infant, and chaos of a two-child home, I was frequently and acutely aware of how fortunate I was to be spending this time focused completely on my family. From the moment I woke up (usually to a crying infant) to the moment I went to bed (usually to a much sweeter “I love you, Daddy”), I was dedicated completely to taking care of Violet and Sebastian along with my wife. My mind was never preoccupied with impending project deadlines, presentation prep, 15-minute meeting warnings, or constantly refreshing my inbox.

On top of my wife and I adjusting to a new infant in the family, it was especially important for us to give Violet (three years old at the time) opportunities to acclimate to her new role as a big sister. We made an effort to keep her home with us so we could do things that she enjoyed, like trips to the Echo Center Aquarium in Burlington, VT (which is free to Dealer.com employees!), checking out the animals at Shelburne Farms, tending to our own flock of chickens and countless lunch outings.

Our family of four is incredibly grateful for the time we were able to spend together during such a formative period of our lives, and we will always look back fondly on the memories we were able to create.

 

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