Taking Turns to Balance Work and Family

“Sharing Experiences” is a series of posts in which a variety of dads, all in different work-family situations, share their experiences. I hope this series can forward the important conversations we have here, and spark ideas we can apply to our own lives.

Guest blogger, Erik Eddy and his wife Margie and son Jackson.
Guest blogger, Erik Eddy and his wife Margie and son Jackson.

Supporting Each Other’s Careers By Taking Turns

In kindergarten, we learn the importance of sharing and taking turns. Erik and Margie Eddy took this lesson and built a successful family life

By Erik Eddy, as told to Scott Behson

My wife, Margie, and I met in college, and got married the year she graduated. She decided to pursue a Masters degree in Higher Education from Bowling Green State University, so I tailed along and enrolled in their MBA program. We were young, in love and completely poor. Somehow, we managed to get by on a $9000 stipend and a $7500 student loan for the two years it took to complete our degrees.

When Margie finished her program, one of my business professors approached me about following her to the PhD program she was joining at SUNY Albany.  After talking it through with Margie, we went off to Albany where I pursued my PhD while Margie began her career as an Assistant Dean of Students at Smith College. At this point, she was working to support me as I continued my education.

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What I Learned From (Briefly) Losing My Job

“Sharing Experiences” is a series of posts in which a variety of dads, all in different work-family situations, share their experiences. I hope this series can forward the important conversations we have here, and spark ideas we can apply to our own lives. 

Back to Work

A guest post by Blake Friis. This article first appeared at Blake’s funny and poignant blog about fatherhood (and other things): Pureed Green Beans and Whiskey

Our guest blogger, Blake Friis, with his beautful family
Our guest blogger, Blake Friis, with his beautful family

Tomorrow morning I will go to work. Under normal circumstances there would be nothing special about that statement. But there was nothing normal about the circumstances under which I was fired three weeks ago.

I was driving home, an easy residential drive I count among the many perks of my job, when I received a call from one of our HR representatives. She asked if she had “caught me at a good time”. I would later find that an interesting lead-in when calling to fire someone. I told her I was driving home, and she insisted we speak when I got home because she doesn’t like distracting people as they drive. As the father of a 9 month-old, the car is actually the best place to secure my undivided attention, but she was adamant we speak after I arrived home. There is no “good time” to receive news someone refuses to share while you’re driving.

It is difficult to describe the feeling of being fired from the job you love, over the phone, 45 seconds before walking into the house. It leaves you with no time to digest the news, search for a silver lining, and contemplate the best way to break the news to your wife. Instead you are left to shuffle through the kitchen, into the living room where your wife is ready to hand you a smiling baby, and drool the words down the front of a button-down shirt about to hibernate in the closet until further notice.

I just…lost…my job.

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How Starting My Own Business Helped Me Balance Work and Family

“Sharing Experiences” is a series of posts in which a variety of dads, all in different work-family situations, share their experiences. I hope this series can forward the important conversations we have here, and spark ideas we can apply to our own lives. 

Making the Career Change at 40

A guest post by Brian Shields

Our guest blogger, Bian Shields, recently became an entrepreneur to better balance work and family
Our guest blogger, Bian Shields, recently became an entrepreneur to better balance work and family

Last year was a big year for me. I finally made the leap, I started my own full-time business.

I actually tried this 1 year earlier, but things didn’t go so well.  After a few months, I was offered a good job with a solid company near my home.  So I took the job, only to leave 10 months later.

So Why Did I Leave the Corporate World?

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Fatherhood vs. Work Related Stress

This is a guest post written by Theron Bostic, and it originally appeared on his excellent blog Active Duty Dad. Theron is active-duty US military and an involved father of three.

Our guest bogger, Theron Bostic, runs the great Active Duty Dads bog and is one of America's heroes.
Our guest bogger, Theron Bostic, runs the great Active Duty Dad blog and is one of America’s heroes.

FWF is focused on helping fathers balance work and family, but I can’t imagine a tougher challenge to achieving this than being in our armed services. Between long deployments, forced moves, intense training, stressful work, a workplace culture of duty and an employer to whom one can’t legally say no- this is an enormous challenge. I salute Theron both for his service and for his efforts in balancing work and family. Theron’s blog offers a great perspective and reminds us that military dads sacrifice far more than most, and are true heroes.

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On Being a Dad in a Mom’s World

I’ll be back on Friday with a note of gratitude, a Chrsitmas post, and some FWF milestones! In the meantime, here’s an awesome guest piece by my good friend, Neil. 

Bizarro World

A guest post by Neil Cohen. This article originally appeared at Neil’s blog, Man on Third, which I highly recommend.

Neil and Alex
Our guest blogger, Neil and his boy Alex

During the Thanksgiving break, I took my son Alex to a place called CuriOdyssey, which is a small “children’s museum”/zoo type of place with a number of animal exhibits – think a bobcat, not a lion.  We were walking around and came upon a volunteer sitting on a bench.  I noticed that he was cradling a small rat in his arms (the staff at this place often bring out animals for the kids to see up close).  I half jokingly (mostly to myself) said “Gross!” and the following exchange occurred:

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Expert Perspectives: Are Your Finances Foiling Your Job Flexibility?

A guest post by Pat Katepoo

While I spend some time with Nick, my friend, Pat Katepoo takes over today with a GREAT guest post.  I'll be back on Thursday.
While I spend some time with Nick, my friend, Pat Katepoo takes over today with a GREAT guest post. I’ll be back on Thursday.

Last week, I heard from a state government employee who told me his current job provides him with “much flexibility and work life balance.”

Josiah (name/details changed to preserve anonymity) said he works an average of 35 hours a week, plus he can flex his hours as needed to meet family needs that come up. Oh, and he makes more than $125,000 a year.

All that’s the good news.

The bad news? Impending state-mandated furloughs along with 12% across-the-board pay cuts. It’s a salary slashing Josiah says he can’t absorb, forcing him to respond to an opening for another higher-paying job. A job where the culture is far from flexible.

Josiah came to me with his dilemma: “I’m devastated about the pay cut, but even more scared of the prospect of going to a new job where I no longer have the flexible schedule I currently have.”

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Juggling Fatherhood and Work Across Generations: A Guest Post From My Dad

First off, a very happy holiday weekend to all my friends and readers. Among the many things I am thankful for- family, friends, health- I am also so grateful for all of your help in making the launch of Fathers, Work and Family a success (3000+ page views, 64 followers, Good Men Project, etc.). While I’m carving the turkey, I’m handing over the reins to the father of FWF, my Dad, Joe Behson. It is my fervent wish that, as we grow older, Nick and I can have a relationship as great as the one my Dad and I share.

Take it away, Dad!

From the Father of Fathers, Work and Family, Joe Behson

Three Generations of the “Behson Boys”!

Have things really changed for dads regarding work and family demands? The answer is yes, and the answer is no.

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Parenting Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect

Periodically, Fathers, Work, and Family will feature a guest post from a working dad relating some of their experiences, struggles and advice.  In this way, we can all benefit from multiple perspectives and start building a community on this blog.  If you’d like to participate, please email me (you can find the email here) and we can discuss what you’d like to share.

The first installment in this series comes from my good friend (and more importantly, loyal blog reader), Neil Cohen, who also has an great blog of his own, Man on Third, to which I highly recommend you subscribe.  Enjoy. 

Neil and Alex
Guest blogger Neil Cohen and his son, Alex.

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