Dads are Different : Interview with Neil Ribiero
MumsVillage recently caught up with Neil Ribiero, CEO of an International organization. His responsibilities span several countries yet he manages to put his family first. Neil shared his strategies for successfully balancing Career and Parenting.
MV: How often do you travel for work?
I travel a lot for my job. Last year I made 22 international trips.
MV: So when do you see your family?
I make it a point to be home every weekend. Last year I was home all weekends except one. When I’m in Mombasa, I’m home by 6 pm every day.
MV: Tell us more about your kids.
My daughter Kiara is 7, and my son Jordan is 5. When I get home It is my time with the kids. We eat dinner together as a family at 6:30 then we spend our evenings reading. After a story, we discuss what made them happy and what made them sad that day. By 8 pm it is time to sleep.
MV: What about your phone and laptop?
When I am home, I am quite disciplined. I take off my shoes at the door and put my phone in my drawer until well after the kids are asleep. I guess this stems from my guilt at being away so much. (SMILE) In any case I work for an organization where after 7 or 7:30 work stops. Unless there is some emergency. By 9:30 I check my email and respond to any crises.
MV: How do you ensure that your work does not interfere with parenting?
When I’m out of town, I usually have dinner meetings scheduled for work. I make sure that between 7-7:30 there are no meetings. I spend that time with my kids on phone or via Skype.
MV: What do you do for recreation?
The kids belong to the Whitesands Kids club. One Sunday a month, they do activities and play with other kids from other schools. That’s when my wife and I get to have a lunch date together. On Sundays from 4-5:30 pm we go biking as a family either at Nyali or Holla park. We also have a pool at home so we swim year round. Over the weekend we usually bar-b-que with friends or visit family.Occasionally we go for a movie or to a bowling alley.
What are the advantages of living in Mombasa?
Where we live is a lot more spacious than in Nairobi. The beach is three minutes away, and everything is close by. A couple of terms ago my daughter would do Lambda, ballet, and Kumon after school in the same afternoon. All between 2:45 – 6 pm. In Nairobi that would be impossible.
Here we get fresh seafood delivered to our door by the fishermen in the morning. Fresh catch. Not to mention the delicious street food here- local Biryani, Pilau, and others. You can’t get that in Nairobi.
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