In a few days, I'm due to become a father for the second time.
I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the learning from last time, so I read my original "Can you Project Manage a baby?"
If you've not seen this and are a new parent or are thinking about becoming one, have a look here: http://juggling-sand.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/can-you-project-manage-baby.html
The key message that I would like to convey to new parents, is that parenting shouldn't scare you, after all people have been doing it for years! You will undoubtedly be worried that you're going to kill the child accidentally, but it is really unlikely that this will happen. Having said this, if you don't want to die of tiredness yourself, there are some basic things that you do need to pick up quickly.
For us, one of the most difficult things was that we couldn't figure out what exactly made the baby cry at any particular time. It took a while for us to figure this out, but that was stressful and I thought that it would be easier to publish something quite simple to assist new parents.
In my professional life, I'm also messing around (learning) BPMN2.0 for some of the more 'Internal consultant-y' work that I do, and this was a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience using the process tool.
The idea was to do something that was tongue in cheek, rather than something overly serious. Trust me though, this flowchart does actually work!!
So what is this all about? Babies are primarily interested in sleeping, but they get really grumpy if they're wet/dirty, hungry or have wind. So you just need to run though a simple process to sort things out - essentially a workflow. When you're winding, 'more is more' because babies seem to find a little wind really nasty, but they also seem to release loads of it in tiny parcels.
That's the sort of thing that you need to be stencilled on the fridge door when it's 3am, you've not slept for 9 days, and you're contemplating if it's actually possible to die from tiredness.
If you're reading this and thinking "that guy doesn't take thing seriously enough and probably makes a really bad dad and husband", you'd be wrong. I'm really committed to the role, but I was so uptight before I became a parent and I want people who are just becoming parents to realise that you're probably going to have to go with the flow a bit more. You can't really control a baby - just like in life, control is an illusion!!