Have You Bought Into the Cult of Overwork?

Here’s a quick checklist from Greg Marcus’ book “Busting Your Corporate Idol” that can tell you if you are exhibiting signs of chronic overwork and have internalized corporate “work before all” priorities.

Have we turned our employer into a "Corporate Idol"?
Have we turned our employer into a “Corporate Idol”?

Greg Marcus recently wrote a great book “Busting Your Corporate Idol: How to Reconnect with Values and Regain Control of Your Life.” He describes corporate idolatry as the state in which one looks to their career/job/employer as a “false god” above other more important priorities such as family, health and religion.

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Fun Family Science Experiments (A Photo Essay)

Last weekend, Nick and I spent some time working on four short, easy and fun science experiments. Here’s a photo-essay.

Nick really enjoyed the science experiments in this book
Nick really enjoyed the science experiments in this book

My friend, Mike Adamick, recently wrote “Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments,” a follow-up to his best-selling book of kids’ projects. These science projects are easy to do, teach quick lessons, and were really fun. Here are some photos from our experiments. Enjoy.

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Author Q&A- Whit Honea, The Parents’ Phrase Book and Parenting with Love

Whit Honea recently wrote “The Parents’ Phrase Book.” Whit is a friend and a writer I respect, and I think his book is quite helpful for parents; I hope you find it helpful, too. (I did not receive any remuneration- even a free book- for this interview.)

Whit Honea's "The Parents' Phrase Book"
Whit Honea’s “The Parents’ Phrase Book”

The best advice I could ever give is to do everything with love—from packing a lunch to discipline, building a fort to volunteering at a school function—it can be frustrating and trying, but childhood is a small window closing quickly, and only we can decide if it leaves us with wonderful memories or too many regrets. -Whit Honea

Briefly tell us about your book

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Old Dads, New Dads and Super Dads: Which Are You?

Sociologist Gayle Kaufman recently wrote a great book examining the lives of men balancing work and family, and describes three general categories of dads- Old Dads, New Dads and Super Dads. Here’s a discussion of each. Which are you?

"Superdads" by Gayle Kaufman
“Superdads” by Gayle Kaufman

Superdads: How Fathers Balance Work and Family in the 21st Century,” by Gayle Kaufman, is an excellent sociological study of the changing nature of fatherhood. The book is based on extensive interviews with a wide range of fathers–about their lives, relationships, parenting styles and work-family concerns. Kaufman finds that today’s generation of dads is more involved and more conscious of work-family demands and tradeoffs. In her analysis, Kaufman sees today’s dad as falling into one of three broad categories:

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Book Review: “A Father First” by NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade

A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball” is NBA superstar Dwyane Wade’s memoir about his upbringing, life in basketball, the battle he fought for custody of his sons, and fatherhood.

"A Father First" by Dwayne Wade is an inspiring story about overcoming adversity, fatherhood, and, o yeah, a little basketball
“A Father First” by Dwayne Wade is an inspiring story about fatherhood, overcoming adversity and, o yeah, a little basketball

I never liked Dwyane Wade. He always seemed to me a borderline dirty player who intimidated referees and constantly drew attention to himself. No one can deny his skill and work ethic, however, and some of my negative perceptions, I must admit, are based on his beating down my beloved Knicks (55 points at MSG in March 2009) and the self-aggrandizing persona of the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” (and don’t get me started about The Miami Heat- my enmity for them goes back to the Pat Riley betrayal of 1995 and the Jeff-Van-Gundy-attached-to-the-leg-of-Alonzo-Mourning fight of 1998).

After reading “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball”, Wade’s memoir about his upbringing, life in basketball, and the battle he fought for custody of his sons, I have come to admire Dwyane Wade as a man and role model.

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Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” and Its Lessons For Working Dads

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” also contains lessons for working dads

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book, "Lean In" also has some great lessons for working dads
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In” also has some great lessons for working dads

I admit I haven’t yet read Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead”- it was just released today. But I have read a lot of what has been written about the book, and think that, while Sandberg’s book was obviously written for working women, it contains lessons for dads as well.  I’ll read and review the book as soon as I can (if it is as good as her TED talk, it will be excellent), but until then, here’s what I’ve picked up so far from the media coverage:

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Michael Lewis on the State of Modern Fatherhood and Work-Family Balance

Michael Lewis may be the best non-fiction writer working today.  From his business-related books (Boomerang, Liar’s Poker, The Big Short) to sports-related books (Moneyball, Blind Side; both GREAT books but WAY over-rated movies), he always nails his subject with both intelligence and humor.

Michael Lewis' memoir on fatherhood, "Home Game" contains his typical wit and wisdom
Michael Lewis’ memoir on fatherhood, “Home Game” contains his typical wit and wisdom

While introducing his highly-recommended memoir, “Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood”, Lewis writes:

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On Work and Fatherhood Priorities (with Bill Bryson and Ferris Bueller)

How could I turn down a chance to play catch with him? Work can wait.

Bill Bryson is my favorite author, and puts my writing skills to shame.  His humorous travel writing (e.g., In a Sunburned Country, A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson’s African Diary, Neither Here Nor There), memoirs (e.g., The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, I’m a Stranger Here Myself), and science/history books (A Short History of Nearly Everything, At Home) are all fantastic.  He may have written the best passage about Fathers, Work and Family that I have ever read.   The following is excerpted from “On Losing a Son (to College)” from Bill Bryson’s book I’m a Stranger Here Myself, 1999:

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