For fathers managing child single-handedly during the paternal break can be difficult. However there are a few important considerations which fathers should factor as they plan to get started.
1. At a high-level develop a plan for the period identifying plans and the milestones for progress towards getting your child more self-sufficient, typical day of a Latte Dad, resources needed to manage the day and to execute the plan. Few examples from my experience
- In our case, we aimed to get our child on day-long day care by the end of the 2.5 months with milestones for half-day and 2 hour-long day care identified
- Weekdays were primarily devoted to managing child but the weekends were kept relatively free to ensure I pursued other interests and chores
- Resources e.g., support from a maid at home to manage the child are critical for you to manage the period well
2. Given the high attention needed by the kids, days can look non-eventful and energy-consuming. Pursuing interests outside parenting can help you remain motivated, however be cautious of not defining hard targets for self. In my case, visits to coffee-shops, reading business magazines, and coding were regular part of the day. Additionally reading up on work topics and informal conversations with colleagues helps you remain connected to the workplace and makes transition back to work easier.
3. In absence of one stream of income (assuming you are on absence without pay), planning for your financials becomes critical. Given there is no change in the lifestyle, the expenses are likely to remain the same and hence you should plan your financials to manage the expenses during this period. Deferring discretionary high-value spending during and before the break can be one good way to manage financials for this phase
In case you have specific questions or feedback on these considerations, please feel free to add comments or write to me using the ‘Contact Me‘ page.
Like many families in the city [Gurgaon], me and my wife migrated to Gurgaon for work and have a dual-career family. Post the 6 month long maternity leave, when my wife was joining back the office we had a few options around managing the child:
- Solicit help from parents to help raise the kids while we were at work
- Send the child to day-long day care while we were at work
- Quit jobs [one of us] to raise the child
- Take a break from work to help raise the child for a few months
After some thinking, we opted for choice 4 because many of the other options seemed unviable and / or did not align with our thinking around parenting and career-aspirations. Choice 4 seemed the most attractive and viable because of the following reasons:
- I had not spent enough time with the child so far
- I had a strong desire to be a primary care-giver for my child for sometime
- I wanted to ensure my wife had a good career [breaks may not go well for career]
- I wanted a few months break from my work
So a 2.5 month long-journey started with me taking a break from office and becoming a full-time dad [Latte Dad]. But when compared to the developed countries, the Indian workplace and society has not evolved to accept and enable long enough parental breaks by fathers.
- Both my and wife’s workplace do not offer equivalent paternity leaves, and continue to design policies considering mother as the primary care giver
- Long paternity breaks come at a cost to the employee e.g., loss of pay, lower performance ratings
- Society still considers mothers as primary care-giver with an unstated expectation of sacrifices from the mother for the child at any cost
However I believe these are changing and Indian society will have more Latte Dads in the future. The blogs in this series are intended to help a few parents especially ‘Latte Dads in making’ understand this journey a bit better. I have seen support from my wife, families, office teams and seniors, and this is one of the way to pay the due forward.
The intention of the note is to make customers aware of potential discrepancies in GoIbibo’s processes and systems which may affect the value of the ticket or refund resulting in incorrect charging. Unfortunately in absence of any grievance addressing channels handled by a non-customer service division, I have taken this channel to bring this incidence to the notice of customers, regulators (if any), and management.
I had booked a 2-leg itinerary for 2 passengers. Due to change in travel plans, I had requested for cancellation and rescheduling of the tickets. Cancellation / reschedule process broke at many points and had discrepancies due to which the following issues were observed:
- Only 1 leg of the ticket was cancelled against the two-legs for which the request was made. Reminder message from airlines [2 days before the travel date] helped me identify the issue
- 1st follow-up [2 days prior to the travel date] to cancel the ticket was inaccurately confirmed and acknowledged by CS agent but was not cancelled by the agent
- Upon receiving the check-in reminder from the airline [1 day before the travel date], I had to submit a 2nd follow-up request to cancel the ticket
- Leg 1 refund value was initially calculated as INR 192 by GoIbibo but later contested [nearly 30+ days later]
- 30 days later GoIbibo inaccurately calculated the refund value as INR -58 but after multiple email conversations / calls agreed to refund INR 192
- GoIbibo claims that INR -58 is the correct value and is now offering the refund of INR 192 only as a courtesy and INR 192 was calculated as a result on technical glitch
- In the refund calculation, GoIbibo seems to have excluded convenience fee of INR 250 which explains the difference between the two refund values calculated by GoIbibo
- Leg 2 refund value (INR 322) was inaccurately adjusted in the rescheduled ticket which resulted in overcharging of INR 100 to my credit card
- Detailed invoice provided by GoIbibo indicates the correct value to be charged to the card. However the payment system had inaccurately charged the card
- GoIbibo claims to be facing technical glitches due to which invoices are not updated or accurately generated
- Inaccuracies in refund calculations and charging to the customer indicates that these processes are possibly manual in nature and are not reliable. GoIbibo customers should be diligent about the invoicing and charging to avoid any inaccurate charging
- Priority customer service (CS) requests seem to have an aggressive Turn-around Time (TAT) and CS agents seem to rely on unbaked / quickly available information [which may be sometimes inaccurate] to address the query / request. Customers should request for additional information / request confirmation details whenever they suspect inaccuracies in the addressal by customer service
- Unfortunately customer service agents do not provide any details about grievance addressal and relevant regulatory addressal channels. Hence makes one believe that e-commerce industry is NOT regulated and is in dire need of regulations
If you have faced similar challenges / issues with GoIbibo, please share the same in the comments so that prospective customers, regulators (if any), and management is aware of such incidents.
History tells us about Birbal trying to cook rice (a khichdi) by suspending a pot from a tall tree branch and lighting a tiny fire much below on the ground. Me and my room partner nearly repeated history by making tea using a few candles when we ran out of LPG. Though initially it seemed impossible, the love of tea spurted the engineer’s instinct inside us to innovate and try out new ways. The only source of heat was candle and thereby came the idea of lighting up 6 candles to make tea. Watch out the video of making AN ENGINEER’S TEA and Probably you may laugh looking at us!!!