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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Author Q&A with Clint Edwards on the Funny and Messy Sides of Fatherhood

I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it
I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it

Clint Edwards wrote This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, a really funny, honest and insightful memoir about fatherhood. As one reviewer said, “It will make you laugh. It will make you think. It will make you cry. Sometimes all three at the same time.”

Clint is a great writer and I think all of us will see ourselves in some aspect of this book. Clint was nice enough to answer a few questions about his book and the advice he has for working dads.

Your book is really funny, can you share one funny story from This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things?

Sure! Here is a list of stupid questions I received after having my third child and how I’d like to respond… If I wasn’t such a nice guy.

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Fatherhood and Empathy: Author Q&A with Torsten Klaus

Empathy and fatherhood. Torsten Klaus' very authentic and readable book of encouragement and advice.
Fatherhood and empathy. Torsten Klaus’ very authentic and readable book of encouragement and advice.

One of the cool things about publishing a book is that you get to become “book friends” with other authors in your field. A few weeks ago, Torsten Klaus and I exchanged books. I want to share some of the wisdom and perspective from his book, The Empathic Father, which I recommend. Here’s my Q&A with Torsten, focusing on his advice on fatherhood and empathy.

1. Your book covers a wide range of issues- birth plans, attachment parenting, sex after childbirth, child discipline, work-family balance, how couples argue, active listening, etc. The through-line is the importance of leading with empathy. Can you explain how empathy can influence how dads can handle such a wide range of parenting and marriage-related challenges?

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Author Q&A: Laura Vanderkam on Time Management

Time management expert Laura Vanderkan is the author of I Know How She Does It.
Time management expert Laura Vanderkam is the author of I Know How She Does It.

When I was doing research for a Harvard Business Review article on time management, I came across Laura Vanderkam’s work on the topic. She has since become one of my favorite authors. We corresponded on twitter, and it turns out that our most recent books were published on the very same day, just a few months ago.

Her book, “I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time,” is really great, and makes the case that many successful people are able to find enough time for both their careers and their family/personal lives. I wanted to share some of the wisdom from her book with you. Here’s my Q&A with best-selling author, Laura Vanderkam.

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My Recommended 2015 Father’s Day Books

In addition to my book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide, (you can buy it here!), several other fatherhood related books are now available. While I haven’t read all of them yet, I know most of these authors and respect their work. These books would make great father’s day gifts for the dads in your life, and I recommend you start dropping hints to your spouse and kids right now.

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Dr. Stewart Friedman on Leading the Life You Want, Bruce Springsteen and Getting Yourself Unstuck

Dr. Stewart Friedman discusses his latest book
Dr. Stewart Friedman discusses his latest book

 

Dr. Stewart Friedman is the Practice Professor of Management at the Wharton Business school, the Founding Director of the Leadership Program and the Director of the Work/Life Integration Project, and the author of several books on leadership and work-life integration, most recently the excellent “Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life.” As one of the most prominent men in the field of Work/Life Integration, he has long been one of my role models. In fact, getting to know him over the past few years has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my foray into social media.

Dr. Friedman was kind enough to speak with me about his latest book. In it, he profiles successful people in business (former Bain CEO Tom Tierney and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg) public service (First Lady Michelle Obama and former Navy Seal and philanthropist Eric Greitens) and sports/entertainment (rock god Bruce Springsteen and US soccer champion Julie Foudy) as models for work-life success. He then leads the reader through assessments and exercises so they can apply those lessons to their own lives. Great stuff.

1. Since I’m a big fan, let’s start with the Boss. Can you discuss one important lesson we can learn from Bruce and apply to our own lives?

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7 Things I Learned from Reading “Overwhelmed” by Brigid Schulte

Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time” by Brigid Schulte is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It examines why so many of us feel so stressed and time-pressured and, more importantly, what we can do about it. Here are seven lessons I took from “Overwhelmed.”

"Overwhelmed" by Brigid Schulte expertly examines our hurried and conflicted lives and provides hard-won advice for us all
“Overwhelmed” by Brigid Schulte expertly examines our hurried and conflicted lives and provides hard-won advice for us all

Disclaimer: Schulte is a friend of mine, and we were both participants at recent White House Summit events. However, this article represents only my honest opinion; I received no compensation (never have, never will)- not even a free book!

With that, here are seven personal lessons that can help us feel less overwhelmed (The book also contains an analysis on how US culture, public policy, gender norms and corporate culture all contribute to “the Overwhelm,” but for now, let’s focus on things we can control):

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