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How to Turn Valentine’s Day Into 5 Date Nights

What's better than one Valentine's Day? Five!

What’s better than one Valentine’s Day? Five! (photo credit: Pixaby.com)

I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Yes, I’m a romantic at heart, but I also think that Valentine’s Day is an important time to reinforce  the romantic side of our relationships. Between work, home and co-parenting, it’s deceptively easy to let romance slide. We can use Valentine’s Day to reconnect.

But, you know, Valentine’s Day is just one day. Is there a way we can leverage it to open up the opportunity for multiple date nights?

Yes there is. Here’s how:

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How to Get and Take Paternity Leave

I was recently interviewed for a great article in Mashable on how to get and take paternity leave. I give four specific ways we can advocate for ourselves and get the paternity leave we need and deserve. Here’s a quick excerpt, and you can read the entire piece by clicking here or on the picture.

A great article on taking paternity leave from Mashable

A great article on how to get and take paternity leave from Mashable

Excerpt:

Scott Behson, professor of management at Fairleigh Dickinson University and author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home, says that instead of hiding family needs or worrying about being seen as insufficiently committed to work, expectant fathers should find a pro-active way to advocate for themselves and their families.

Behson knows that every employee, regardless of gender, may feel some anxiousness about their colleagues viewing leave as a vulnerability or even an opportunity. Some of that may reflect reality, but Behson also believes workers often underestimate their workplace.

“I think if you build up a reputation as a valuable employee over time, four weeks is not going to torpedo that,” he says. “Recognize that you might have more allies than you think.”

Building these relationships before departing and strengthening them when you return may help alleviate anxiety when transitioning to and from parental leave.

Behson urges fathers to remember the benefits of parental leave. Not only does it help foster gender equality at home and in the workplace, research has also shown that fathers who took at least two weeks of leave were much likelier to be involved in their child’s care nine months after birth. Additionally, longer leaves have been associated with higher parenting satisfaction.

“It’s really important that men as well as women are afforded the opportunity to bond with the children and to learn their new family dynamics,” says Behson. “It’s good for kids, spouses and families.”

What are your thoughts on how to get and take paternity leave? Any experiences to share? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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The Two Things Dads Can’t Do As Well As Moms

Many people believe the stereotype that moms are naturally inclined to parenthood and that dads are less capable parents, despite all the accumulating evidence to the contrary. There are, however, two things dads can’t do as well as moms:

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Way Better Things to Spend Money On Than Powerball Tickets

Dumb advice: Buy Powerball tickets. Follow my advice instead.

Dumb advice: Buy Powerball tickets. Follow my advice instead.

Yes, I know it’s fun to dream about winning the outrageously big Powerball lottery ($1.3 Billion as of this writing), but, let’s face facts, you’re not going to win. I’ve heard reports that perfectly sane people who never play the lottery are buying upwards of $50 on powerball tickets, and Fox News even had a talking head giving the advice to “buy as many powerball tickets as you can afford.” SMH.

Dear fellow working dads- this is crazy. There are so many better ways to spend $50 of your hard-earned money than on powerball tickets. Many involve buying yourself some much-needed family time. Here are the first 23 that come to mind:

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Support Family Leave in New York State

Join me in supporting Paid Family Leave in New York State

Join me in supporting Paid Family Leave in New York State

As a working dad, an advocate and a New Yorker, I wholeheartedly support this petition forwarded by A Better Balance in support of Paid Family Leave in New York State. Please join me (and the New York Times) in supporting Family Leave in New York.

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2015: A Year of Progress on Work and Family

2015 was a banner year for progress on work and family issues, and especially those of fathers.

Commenting on progress on work and family and Mark Zuckerberg on MSNBC was a highlight of my year

Commenting on progress on work and family and Mark Zuckerberg on MSNBC was a highlight of my year

I am gratified by the progress we’ve made in public policy, in the private sector, and as a culture. I am energized about the progress still to come. Here are some highlights of progress on work and family in 2015, followed by some personal milestones and my expression of gratitude for all of your support this year.

 

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Buy an Awesome 99-Cent Stocking Stuffer for Dad (or for yourself!)

A perfect stocking stuffer for dad! The Working Dad's Survival Guide. Just 99 cents.

A perfect stocking stuffer for dad! The Working Dad’s Survival Guide. Just 99 cents.

Since becoming a dad, my favorite Christmas presents haven’t been the big-ticket items. Rather, I’ve come to appreciate smaller, more thoughtful and whimsical “stocking stuffers” from my family.

This holiday season, I have a great digital stocking stuffer for dad (and you!). The e-book version of my best-selling book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide is just 99 cents today and tomorrow (December 9 & 10).

  • So, if you are a dad- spend $1 on yourself this holiday!
  • If you know a dad (your husband, brother, cousin, co-worker, etc.) who is working hard at work and at home- this book will make their work-family juggle easier. I guarantee it.*

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“New School” CEOs Zuckerberg and Mycoskie Walk the Talk on Paternity Leave

My paternity leave was important to me, buyt Mycoiskie and Zuckerberg paternity leave are important for the business world

My paternity leave was important to me, but Mycoskie and Zuckerberg paternity leave are important for the business world

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes are “new school” male CEOs who are sending an important message about the importance of fatherhood relative to business and how an involved home life goes together with financial success.

After all, if Facebook can survive without Zuckerberg for two months and TOMS can get by without Mycoskie for 12 weeks, what excuse do other top managers have for not taking or not providing extended paternity leave? Here are my thoughts on this exciting development.

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“I Am Not Unique”: On Being the Only Man at a Women’s Leadership Conference

My work-life panel at Mom-mentum

My work-life panel at Mom-mentum. I was honored to be the only man on the program that day

About two weeks ago, I was honored to appear as a panelist at Mom-Mentum’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference. It was a wonderful event filled with excellent speakers (especially the inspirational Debra Sandler), panels, workshops and networking opportunities.

I was the only man on the program, and I joked I was “there to represent the Y chromosome.” I served on a panel that discussed balancing family concerns with leadership ambitions. The discussion was great, in part due to the really interesting and revelatory questions asked by the moderator. The women on the panel and in the audience were very welcoming to me and to the work-family challenges faced by dads.

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12 Thoughts about Paul Ryan and Family

Paul Ryan and His Family

Paul Ryan and Family

Incoming Speaker of the House Paul Ryan articulated several demands before he would accept the position. Among them was his insistence that his new duties do not interfere with his time for family. Here are my thoughts on this intriguing news.

  • It is great news that Paul Ryan voiced his concerns that being promoted to Speaker of the House could represent a threat to his work life balance and his time with his family.

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3 Simple Rules for Stopping the Daddy Wars Before They Start

The “Daddy Wars” haven’t yet heated up. Let’s stop them before they start.

Stop the daddy wars before they start. Support your fellow dads!

Stop the daddy wars before they start. Support your fellow dads! (flickr: creative commons)

Women are under a lot of pressure to be “perfect parents.” There’s so much unfair societal pressure, comparison and judgment of those who do things differently. No matter what moms do, there seems to be some “queen bee” mom or some aspect of the media telling moms they are doing it wrong.

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Ambassadors of Involved Fatherhood

Me, along with fellow ambassadors of involved fatherhood at the National At-Home Dad Network Convention

The ambassadors of involved fatherhood of the National At-Home Dad Network

Say it with me: “Almost every dad I know is putting in the work to be a loving, hands-on, involved dad.”

Last week, I was honored to be the opening keynote speaker at the 20th Annual National At-Home Dad Network Convention. It was an amazing experience: I met so many fantastic dads, learned a lot,  and made many new friends.

More than any other group, this network of at-home dads represents the front lines of changing the way society looks at involved fatherhood and modern masculinity. Of course, being on the front lines means that these at-home dads face a lot of scrutiny and stigma, and that they get A LOT of really dumb things said to them. Things like:

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