My Wall Street Journal Interview with Max Schireson on Prioritizing Family and Career

Last month, Max Shireson gave up his job running a billion-dollar startup to spend more time with his family. And he couldn’t be happier about it.

My WSJ article in which I interview Max Schireson

My WSJ article in which I interview Max Schireson

Schireson’s departure from Internet database company MongoDB Inc., which he announced in a blog post that quickly went viral, became a catalyst for a discussion that rarely takes place in the national media: the challenges faced by fathers as they attempt to balance work and family.I was thrilled by that. As a scholar, advocate and consultant in the area, Schireson’s story resonated with me. And the more we acknowledge the importance of these issues, the better off both families and businesses will be.

A month later, with the media scrum dying down, Schireson agreed to talk with me about his decision, the aftermath and the challenges faces by working fathers. Click here, or on the picture above, to go to my Wall Street Journal Q&A with Schireson.

For those of you who are visiting Fathers, Work and Family for the first time, thank you and feel free to have a look around. Here’s a link to my “Greatest Hits.” Here are links to my work at HBR, Time, Wall Street Journal, Good Men Project, Huffington Post, and other publications. Here are links to my various media appearances and information about my participation at recent White House Working Families Summit events. There are category listings along the right-hand side of the page, and of course, buttons you can use to follow Fathers, Work and Family via email, twitter or Facebook.I strongly recommend reading this post which describes how my paternity leave made me a better husband and father, and why I feel it is so important to encourage employers to provide paternity leave. Thank you!

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Happy Blogaversary!!! Reflections on Two Years

Two years ago, I jumped into the blogosphere, not knowing what the public reaction would be. I feared a great big collective yawn.

Happy Blogaversary to me! (flickr Creative Commons)

Happy Blogaversary to me! (flickr Creative Commons)

Today, I am humbled as I reflect on everything you, dear reader, have given me over these past two years. I have been able to accomplish so many professional goals, make so many new friends, and I even made it to the White House! Thank you.

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(insert number) Lessons About Fatherhood I Learned from (insert tv show/movie)

As you can imagine, I read a lot of parenting blogs and websites. If you visit enough of these sites, you will quickly come across posts like “X Things I Learned About Parenthood from Y,” with Y usually being a popular tv show or movie.

You can learn a lot from fictional dads!

There’s no surprise why these are popular: they are fun to read, fun to write, are universal and accessible for a wide audience, and VERY clickable. When a movie becomes a phenomenon, that rising tide lifts all posts- witness the thousands of Frozen-related blog posts last summer- I bet the readership numbers were also really high. Also, because people will be making Google searches for Frozen or Star Trek or the Goonies or even Leprechaun 3 probably forever (especially when the sequels and remakes come out), these posts tend to have a long tail. (Heck, the awesome Jeffrey Brown has made a career of this)

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There Are 168 Hours in a Week: How Are You Using Yours?

A few weeks ago, Harvard Business Review Online published my latest article, “Relax, You Have 168 Hours This Week.” This is my eighth article for them (click here to see a list of them all), and one I am particularly proud of. In the piece, I use time management techniques to illustrate how we, as busy working parents can find enough time for career, family and life. Please click on the picture below or here to go to the full article, or see below for an excerpt.

Click here to read the full "168 Hours" article at HBR online

Click here to read the full “168 Hours” article at HBR online

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Ryan Braun Supported While On Paternity Leave During Brewers’ Playoff Chase

The Brewers are in a playoff race, in a major team-wide slump, and now, their best player goes on paternity leave. What has the public reaction been?  Surprisingly understanding. This is progress.

The birth of his child is a bigger deal than receiving his MVP award from hall of famer Robin Yount

The birth of his daughter is a bigger deal than receiving his MVP award from Hall of Famer Robin Yount

Over the past few years, Ryan Braun went from beloved National League MVP to national pariah for using, getting caught using, lying about using, getting away with using, and again getting caught using Performance Enhancing Drugs. Throughout, however, Braun has continued to be an excellent player.

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Catch These Moments While We Can (on the end of “Nicky, the Skunk and the Dinosaur”)

…but then it occurred to me that never again would he be seven years, one month, and six days old, so we had better catch these moments while we can. -Bill Bryson

I'll miss fun times like these while Nick is little...

I’ll miss fun times like these while Nick is little…

My wife Amy was recently in a play in which her character’s family was, after many years, selling their family farm. In one scene, she’s reflecting with her teenaged son about the memories they shared in the house, and she dreamily reminisces about the bedtime stories she had made up for him when he was a young boy. She ends this scene with the line, “I don’t remember the last time I told you one of those stories.”

On this day, as Nick enters fourth grade, I found this line particularly profound. My son is growing up, and there are lots of things I “used to do” with him that he’s now grown out of. But, just like Amy’s character, I don’t remember the last time I did those particular things with him.

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Work-Family News Roundup, August 2014

As a new feature on Fathers, Work and Family, I will be writing a monthly roundup of various news, information and commentary that relate to the content of the blog. In this way, we can stay abreast of the latest developments and note the progress in the attention being paid to these incredibly important issues. Here is the first installment.

First, my work at other publications:

And, I was extensively quoted in:

Now, the best of the rest:

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How Family Support For Dads Also Helps Working Moms, Kids and Employers

My colleague’s story illustrates the negative ripple effects that a non-supportive employer has, not just on working dads, but also on their spouses, kids, and their own bottom line.

Employer support (or lack thereof) creates ripple effects for families (, creative commons)

Employer support (or lack thereof) creates ripple effects for families (, creative commons)

The other day, I was chatting with a new colleague. She had just returned from the workforce after having opted out of her career due to family demands. Her two young children had health problems, meaning that she and her husband needed some family support from their employers- but never received it.

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Fathers, Work and No Family: What I Learned From My Week Alone

Amy and Nick are spending the week out in California, visiting her brother and his family. Because my semester starts next week, I had to stay home to ramp up my class preparation and attend too many meetings.

Home alone...

Home alone…

This means I am in the middle of a week with pretty much no family responsibilities or time constraints. As I most often write about balancing fatherhood with work and other life roles, I am finding this family-free time to be an interesting experiment.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far from this experience.

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Father-Son Ice Bucket Challenge! (and welcome NPR Listeners)

Like everyone else on the internet, I have done the ALS Research Ice Bucket Challenge!!!  My brave 9 year old son joined me. Here are the videos, and a link if you’d like to join us in making a donation for research into stopping this horrible disease.

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16 Dads 16 Experiences: This Is What Paternity Leave Looks Like in 2014

A few weeks ago, I asked a group of fathers to share the stories of their paternity leaves (or lack thereof). A few had very supportive employers with generous policies, some had nightmare situations that led to them find employment elsewhere, and most were unsupported and left to rely on their accumulated time off.

Nick and I during my paternity leave. I wish all dads were so fortunate.

Mick and I during my paternity leave. I wish all dads were so fortunate.

As tends to be the case with paternity leave- there is no standard benefit and experiences vary greatly (my paternity leave story is here). Here’s a round-up, with my thoughts at the end.

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CEO Steps Down To Be A More Involved Dad

Yesterday, Max Schireson stepped down as CEO of MongoDB, a successful and growing software company, in order to be a more involved father. He used this opportunity to give voice to the work-family struggles of today’s fathers. Why his work-family role modeling is so important.

I hope that me telling this story in my position will help others feel more comfortable in making similar choices and help people in senior leadership roles be more public about it. – Max Schireson

Max Schireson downshifted from his CEO role to be more present with his family

Max Schireson downshifted from his CEO role to be more present with his family

In his own words:

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