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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Balancing Parenthood, Couplehood and Work by Committing to Each Other’s Careers

Disclaimer- Like all of us, I find balancing work and family to be a constant challenge, and I certainly make my share of mistakes. In this piece, I’d like to discuss something that works well for my family. My intent is to share my experience, not to self-congratulate. 

Finally, an excuse for me to post a wedding picture!

As I detailed in this prior post, my wife, Amy, is a musical theater actress and her career presents interesting challenges to balancing work and family.

When Amy and I got engaged, my well-meaning-but-from-a-different-generation Italian great-aunts/uncles/grandparents/etc got to meet her for the first time. When they met Amy, they were welcoming, lovely and gracious. However, to a person, they asked Amy, “So, are you still going to be an actress now that you’re getting married?”

At first, this question puzzled Amy. She smiled and responded with grace and humor that “Yes, and Scott is still going to be a professor.”

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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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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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My Work-Family Balance Story

After a month or so of writing this blog, I realize that I should have started from the beginning- by sharing my own work-family balance story.  So, please allow myself to introduce…myself…

I’m a very lucky dad!

I’m lucky in that, as a college professor, I have a career with a lot of built-in flexibility in terms of where and when I get most of my work done.  Aside from classes, office hours and occasional meetings and campus events (usually about 15-20 hours a week), all my other work- class prep, grading, research writing, statistical analysis, committee work- can be done from anywhere at anytime- as long as it gets done (my work motto: have laptop, will travel).  I could be grading, preparing, teaching or even writing this blog in my pajamas from the Bahamas, although it is usually from the dining room table.

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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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Networking for Fatherhood (or, in praise of BEER FIRE!)

My friend and neighbor, Francesco, who is a terrific dad, (and, more importantly, a loyal blog reader!), has a semi-regular tradition of inviting his local guy friends to hang out by the fire pit in his backyard with a cooler full of beer.   We’ve come to calling this brilliant innovation BEER FIRE!  (and I maintain he be nominated for the MacArthur Genius Grant for this revolutionary idea)

Beer Fire! A fun a useful way to network with other dads
Beer Fire! A fun a useful way to network with other dads

Beer Fire usually consists of 8-10 forty-something guys, most of whom are balancing interesting and rewarding careers with the rigors of being fathers to young kids, simply getting a chance to relax,  hang out, swap stories, have a few beers, and get to know each other.

Beer Fire is awesome, and I have benefitted greatly from attending- it’s relaxing; it’s fun, and I always learn a little something from everyone I talk to.

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