Work Life Balance From A New Fathers Perspective | Meet The Team [Banjo Babalola – Technical Specialist]
Banjo Babalola started working for AlphaKOR as a triage specialist in late May 2018. His responsibilities included answering customer phone calls and emails, determining the severity of the issue, performing minor diagnostics and troubleshooting, and scheduling the appropriate technician to achieve resolution.
Since then he has been promoted to a technical specialist in AlphaKOR’s IT services department. Banjo is a dedicated team member who is never afraid to go above and beyond for the company. We believe Banjo is a wonderful representation of the family culture AlphaKOR has worked hard to cultivate and we’re grateful to call him an AlphaKORian.
Him and his wife Adejoke have recently become parents with the addition of their daughter Bethany who is 14 months old.
What does an average day look like for you?
As a technical specialist my day begins by reviewing my voicemails and emails to verify if any new issues have arisen throughout the evening. I also check my calendar to see what tickets have been assigned to me from triage. Once everything has been addressed properly, I move on to resolving those tickets.
I am primarily an in-house technician, but I do go on site when it is required. I used to go on site more frequently, but we’ve had more need for in-house duties. I will always enjoy going on-site to help our clients. It’s a nice change of scenery and there’s a feeling of success when you’ve walked into a business with an issue and you walk out knowing it’s fixed because of your efforts.
You have recently become a new father, what can you tell us about your daughter?
Wow, my daughter is adorable and fun. She is an attention seeker and knows exactly how to get it. She loves working with me. She’ll sit on my lap when I have resolved an issue and look at the setup of my screens with curiosity.
She’s smart too, she knows when I have a headphone in and I’m on a meeting. All she wants to do in that moment is climb onto my lap and watch the computer screens. She loves watching all the people interact.
What were some unexpected challenges you met while trying to balance fatherhood with work?
I actually experienced fewer challenges because we made sure when my wife was about to give birth my mother was around. We had a lot of extra help. It made it easier to go to work and continue earning an income. I’d come home and everything was taken care of leaving me free to bond with our new daughter. We had a great support group.
Actually, a funny story, the day we went to pick up my mom from the airport my wife was not feeling well. She insisted on coming with me to the airport, even though the night before I told her I can do it myself.
We picked up my mom in Toronto and when we got back, we unpacked, didn’t even go into the house and went straight to the hospital. My mom came at the right time and she was here for 4 months.
Did you take any time off of work to be with your new family?
I took two weeks off from work to take care of my wife. It was a perfect setup because my mom was able to stay in the baby’s room. Everything was taken care of and this wasn’t my mom’s first grand-child so she knew what she was doing.
I remember the first two weeks I was just in awe of my wife. What she had gone through from the past 9 months and during labour was amazing. When people ask me if I’m going to have a second child, I try to put myself in my wife’s shoes and all the effort she went through to have our daughter. I’m not even thinking about it right now.
Did you receive any helpful advice from other parents in the AlphaKOR family, and if so, what was it?
You know, some of my colleagues were warning me that I’d lose sleep, but that was not the case with my daughter. At night, she’s a sleeper. If she cries in the middle of the night, we know she’s hungry and after eating she goes right back to sleep.
The only exception was between 4-7 months where she decided “okay, nobody’s sleeping tonight”. We’d bring here into our bed, but she’s very independent, she likes her own bed and personal space. Luckily that phase has passed.
Did you feel supported by the company through your journey into fatherhood?
I received so many well wishes and my colleagues have shown a lot of care. I felt a tremendous amount of support from the AlphaKORians’. They told me to take my time coming back to work and made sure I was well provided for.
What are some unexpected joys in becoming a father?
Just looking at her alone makes me happy and brings me a lot of joy. It was amazing when she started crawling and you could tell, she’s going to walk soon.
Right from birth, you can see parts of your personality reflected in hers. She has so many of my habits. She pulls at her hair or rubs her nose and I’m the only one that does that too. I know she’s watching me real close.
How has working from home affected your parenting abilities and style?
It has given me the opportunity to bond with my daughter. She sleeps early and by the time it’s 7pm she wants to go to bed. When I was working in the office, I would get home around 5:30-6. We’d have a bit of time to play and then she’d be off to bed. The only real amount of time I could spend with her was on weekends.
Now that I’m home, we have time to bond and have fun. The only downside is when I’m working, she can interrupt me. I’ll be in the middle of something when she wants attention and she demands it.
What are some activities you can occupy your kids with while you do work?
Honestly, she’s very independent. I can bring out the toys and without even a little motivation she can entertain herself for hours. She’s always running around and keeping herself busy without us having to entertain her constantly.
I’ve been blessed with an independent child who goes to bed at 7pm. I’ve had it much easier than many of my friends and their new children.
Do you have a parenting routine you stick to during work days and if so, what is it?
I don’t have so much of a routine as just a behavioral change. I am always aware of her and watching her to some degree. I respond to her and acknowledge her all the time because babies are just on the go all the time.
It’s not fair to her to be completely consumed by my work. It helps her feel important. Babies are constantly getting into trouble, they don’t understand there are consequences to their actions; therefore, we have to constantly watch them and make sure they’re safe.
Do you have any advice for first time parents in the work force?
When you have a new baby make sure someone has an eye on them all the time, they like to get into trouble. Babies are fun, bring a lot of joy and they grow up quick. Make the most out of the time you have with them. Appreciate it, because it only lasts for a small amount of time.
What have you learned at AlphaKOR that has helped you grow as a person?
AlphaKOR is more than work for me and they always want the best for you. They want you to grow as an individual and become a better person. We’re all a family and I love the togetherness that is the company culture.
From the company culture I have learnt the importance of communication. It gives you a need to think about what you’re going to say and if it’ll be beneficial to the other person. If you do hurt someone’s feelings then you have to be willing to have an uncomfortable conversation to clear the air. I’ve been able to adopt this in my personal life as well.
How do you hope to grow within your field of work?
I’d like to have more certifications. I would like to complete some courses to improve myself and my skills. The IT field is constantly changing, and I want to be expanding my skill set and knowledge of the industry.
I’m a knowledge seeker, it keeps life interesting and I never want that to stop.
Thank you Banjo, for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview. It takes a lot of support and security to start a family. We are proud to offer our employees a company culture that supports one another and provides an environment for individuals to grow and to grow their families.
As a father myself with two wonderful daughters, I can say that one of the greatest joys in life is raising a successful family and watching them grow into beautiful adults that we, as parents ,can be proud of. It brings me so much joy that we can support new parents and new generations to come.