Holiday Gratitude 2013

2013 was a very good year for Fathers, Work and Family. Thanks for making me feel like the Richest Man in Town, and for contributing to our important conversation about men and their work and family challenges.

Nick and I thank you for making FWF a success!
Nick and I thank you for making FWF a success!

The holiday season always makes me feel so grateful. I’m an amazingly lucky guy. Yes, I have worked hard and made some good decisions to get where I am in life. However, a LOT of what is good in my life is outside of my control. I was born into a loving family with great parents and a cool older sister. Nick is healthy and bright. I did nothing to earn that. I met Amy on a blind date- talk about outside factors shaping my life- and she has made my life so full and rich. I have a good job, with a good employer and good colleagues- I didn’t control most of that.

Read more

Even Better Than Being Santa Claus

*This just in. I’m quoted in The Atlantic! In this great article on paternity leave*

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. I am so thankful for your support. As we end 2013, I want to share a Christmas story with you. Last year, I wrote a guest article for the National Fatherhood Initiative’s “Father Factor” blog as part of their “12 Dads of Christmas” series. Here it is:

Fatherhood is even better than this!
Fatherhood is even better than this!

Like virtually every child, I LOVED Christmas, especially when I was young enough to believe in Santa. After growing up, Christmas is still special, but it is no longer magic. That is, until you have kids and can now pass the magic along to them- and even better YOU get to be Santa. As a dad, it is never more true than during Christmas that it is better to give than to receive.

Read more

Hey Dads! This Christmas, Give the Gift of You

Our kids may want things, but they NEED time with their fathers more. This Christmas, instead of stuff, we should give our kids the opportunities to do more fun things with us. Here are a few ideas how.

Christmas is a special time for kids, but we can also use it as a way to build in more dad-and-kid time throughout the year
Christmas is a special time for kids, but we can also use it as a way to build in more dad-and-kid time throughout the year

A while ago, I wrote a piece (the most popular FWF post of 2013) in which I asked a bunch of dads how they want their kids to remember their dads and childhoods. The clear and consistent response was that dads wanted, more than anything, to be remembered as a constant, loving presence in their kids’ lives.

Buying the things on our kids’ Christmas lists is good and all, but it doesn’t really do anything to further this goal of building a childhood full of happy Dad-and-Kid memories that they can hold onto through their lives. Using Christmas as a way to purchase things that create opportunities for time together can. Here are a few suggestions:

Read more

How to Survive a Snow Day

When you have two working parents, unexpected days without school can really put you out. Snow days are awesome for kids. Not so for parents. By planning ahead, we can make them easier for us to handle.

Snow days are great for kids, but not so much for working parents!
Snow days are great for kids, but not so much for working parents!
(Disclaimer: I am recycling this article from the first snow day of last yea- it seems appropriate, given the weather across the Northeast. Stay safe and bundle up!)

Dear God, Don’t Let Them Cancel School!

Not long ago, I was awoken at 5am by the home telephone. Considering the time, and since no one (except my mom or telemerketers) calls me on the home phone, my disorientation turned to dread as I saw that it had begun to snow overnight. Before I could reach the phone, the answering machine picked up and I heard:

“This is an important message from the Nyack school district. Classes are cancelled for the day”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Amy has an audition in the city. I have class and some meetings at work. It’s not snowing so much that our work will be closed. Grrr. What are we going to do?

Read more

A Dad’s Dilemma: Prioritizing Time Versus Money

While it is important to provide for our families, be careful not to trade off too much time for money. Our kids may want things, but they NEED time with their fathers more. As part of National Work and Family Month, here’s a post for my fellow fathers who feel torn between spending time at work and spending time with our families.

Sure, kids like money. But they NEED you. (photo credit: Good N Crazy, creative commons license)

On October 3rd, my first article at the Huffington Post was published. I was invited to participate in National Work Family Month and contribute content to their month-long effort to raising awareness and support for work-family balance. Here’s the beginning of the piece, plus a link to the full article over at HuffPo.

Read more