Q&A with Author Joe DeProspero on the Pain and Humor of Fatherhood

JoeDJoe DeProspero is the author of “A Punch to the Groin: Painful Tales of Fatherhood.” I really enjoyed his honest and funny memoir of fatherhood. Joe was nice enough to answer a few questions about his book, the importance of self-care and the challenges of being a busy working dad of three.

Your book is really funny. And it also reveals pretty personal (and not always attractive) details. Did you have any concerns about writing so honestly? Did your wife?

Not really. Ever since I was a child, writing has been cathartic for me, a way to make sense of the thoughts swirling in my head, no matter how unflattering. I’ve found that my  readers connect more deeply with my writing that is intimate, so it’s mutually beneficial for me to be honest. Also, at this point, I have a fairly good sense of what my wife is comfortable with me putting out there. I’m the one who appears incompetent in the book, so I think she was fine with that.

My favorite chapter is “Keys to not favoring your first,” about our tendency to go overboard for our first kid and take a more relaxed approach with the second. Could you tell us about that chapter, and about how successful you’ve been at not playing favorites?

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Book Excerpt: The Magic of Time Chunks

My book would make a great Father's day gift.
My book would make a great Father’s day gift.

Just in time for Father’s Day, here’s an excerpt from my best-selling book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide.  (Which would make a great gift for yourself or any of the dads in your life!) This excerpt is all about how using time chunks can help keep us focused on family time and free up our mental energy to get the most out of it. It also references Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Regularly Scheduled Time Chunks of Unstructured Activity

A few hours dedicated to a single father-kid activity is better than several distracted twenty minute snippets scattered throughout the day.

When I first started writing this book, for example, Nick would often ask me to play. I didn’t want to disappoint him, so I’d set aside my laptop and join him for ten minutes of Wii LEGO Harry Potter. Then, I’d go back to my writing. Invariably, he’d be back asking me to play a half-hour later, and we’d repeat the cycle.

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Being a Successful Parentpreneur. Q&A with James Oliver

Parentpreneur James Oliver
Parentpreneur James Oliver

Through blogging, I’ve met so many friends, including today’s guest, James Oliver. James recently wrote a book about his experiences starting his own company while also being the at-home dad of two young children. His compelling personal story also contains great advice and encouragement for others who may want to become a parentpreneur.

Here’s a transcript of my Q&A with parentpreneur and author James Oliver about his book, his company WeMontage, and juggling entrepreneurship and parenthood.

  1. I love the title of your book: “The More You Hustle, The Luckier You Get: You CAN Be a Successful Parentpreneur.” Can you explain how this title inspires you and can help motivate us, too?

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The Fatherly 50 List of Best Employers for New Dads Shows Progress (at the top)

Fatherly compiled a list of the best employers for new dads
Fatherly compiled a list of the best employers for new dads

Yesterday, Fatherly.com released its annual ranking of the 50 Best Employers for New Dads 2017. The list highlights large companies from many sectors that have implemented policies and programs supporting new dads and working parents.

(Disclosure: I serve as an unpaid subject matter expert for this project)

The list of best employers for new dads is especially important for showing what is possible.

  • For employers, this could lead to a “race to the top” in which they compete against each other for top talent by expanding their benefits and changing their cultures.
  • It can show the business community that there is no tradeoff between being a financially successful company and an accommodating employer. In fact, it makes a compelling argument that the two are self-reinforcing.
  • For dads, this list can give us an idea of what leading companies are offering. We can look for employment at companies with similar policies in our job searches. Similarly, we can share this information with our bosses and HR departments and advocate for the expansion of family-supportive programs.

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Small Ways for Dads to Signal the Importance of Work-Life Balance

There are many small ways to signal the importance of work-life balance while at work. By doing so, we advocate for ourselves and support our fellow working dads.

When I am interviewed about the challenges faced by working dads, one of my go-to lines is that, “in many workplaces, it’s not safe for men to ‘out themselves’ as highly involved dads.”

While this statement is sadly still true, I am encouraged by the increasing number of men speaking up about their family priorities while at work. When dads signal the importance of work-life balance, we take the conversation out of the shadows. Sending visible signals reinforces the fact that involved fatherhood important, normal and widespread. We need to ensure that it is recognized as such at our workplaces and communities.

I’ve spent the last few years working with dads and employers on work-family concerns. Many dads have shared with me how they to assert their work-family priorities while at work. Here are a few things they’ve told me. While I recognize not every dad has the security to do all of these, most of us could probably find small ways to support our cause by signaling the importance of work-life balance.

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My Christmas List for Working Dads

As 2016 winds down, here’s my Christmas List for Working Dads: All I want for Christmas is… That you all have a restful and fun day with those you love on Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, or any other holiday event you celebrate That those in your family recognize how hard you work at work to … Read more

Effective Advocacy from Al Horford and His Sister

Al Horford and his sister demonstrated effective advocacy for working dads in their response to Mike Fleger’s criticism over Horford’s paternity leave

A perfect stocking stuffer for a dad in your life!
A perfect stocking stuffer for a dad in your life!

I love professional sports.

I hate how so many fans take sports too seriously and how sports radio hosts seem stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to valuing fatherhood.

Two years ago, MLB star Daniel Murphy took two games’ paternity leave, using MLB’s forward-looking policy, and was excoriated by some of the most prominent sports radio personalities for doing so. Thankfully, there was a swift backlash against these radio hosts, with one ESPN poll indicating 95% supported Murphy’s decision.

Two years later, the same dynamic has played out yet again. Boston Celtics’ center Al Horford recently missed one game to be at the birth of his daughter. Boston sports radio host Michael Felger somehow found this offensive.

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Work-Dad Success? Here’s some advice

How can we achieve work-dad success? My latest article, “12 Work-Life Balance Tips from a Working Dad” was just published in Success magazine. In it, I describe some research from Boston College’s New Dad studies and provide some advice for dads trying to juggle career success with being a great dad. Click here or on … Read more

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