Welcome to the second Digital Dad interview here on the blog. I am stoked to get some positive reaction and great responses. I guess this establishes it as a series? This time we are interviewing Scott Behson a dad, professor and lover of chocolate chip cookies with M&Ms.
Scott, thanks for agreeing to be involved. I’ll let you take it away from here.
Tells us a bit about you…
“I’m a Professor of Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University, a busy involved dad, and an overall grateful guy. I run the FathersWorkandFamily blog dedicated to helping fathers better balance work and family and encouraging more supportive workplaces, and write on work and family issues for the Good Men Project online men’s magazine. I live in Nyack, NY with my lovely wife, Amy, and awesome 8-year old son, Nick. Contact me @ScottBehson on twitter or Behson@fdu.edu.”
What do you like most about being a Dad?
“Aside from all the life-changing, deep, amazing aspects to being a father, sometimes being a dad just makes me happy because I get to live out my second childhood through Nick!
It is great to re-watch the Star Wars movies through his eyes and then plan out the intricate series of light-saber battles we act out every night. It is awesome being with my son in little league and remembering all the time I spent on a baseball diamond with my father. Water parks, Lego exhibits, minor-league baseball games, the top of the Empire State Building- these things are all great, but are so much better when you can see them again for the first time with a smart, curious energetic awesome kid. I’m so glad Tigger and Buzz Lightyear and Obi-Wan Kenobi are with me for my second childhood.”
What’s been your proudest moment (so far) as a Dad?
“When my son was 4, he broke his leg attempting a triple axel off of some playground equipment at his pre-school. I feared he would be absolutely miserable being unable to run and play as actively as he was used to. After the pain subsided, however, Nick was a total champ!
He kept up his spirits, and insisted on maintaining all his activity- pre-school, play-dates, etc. despite being confined to his stroller. In fact, we made what we called a “Nicky cart” out of an old furniture dolly so he could scoot around the house- he would wheel away all day. A week after his cast was removed, he was back jumping off the same playground equipment. He hasn’t stopped being a daredevil since. What a trooper! I really admire his spirit.”
What do you want your kid(s) to remember you for the most?
“The day he was born, I promised Nick that I would do everything I could so that he would have a good life. I hope that when he looks back on his childhood, he’ll believe I walked the walk.
I want him to remember that I was a constant loving presence in his life. That I was always there for him and very involved in his life. That I love him more than anything and he could rely on that as a cornerstone for his life. That I am a fun dad who he loved the spend time with. That I am proud of the person he is and who he is becoming. I think I’m starting to get teary, so that’s enough for now. (BTW, I collected the responses of about 20 dads to this very question for a recent blog post)”
When did you start blogging?
“Almost a year ago. In my professional and academic work in Work and Family, I found that NO ONE was talking about fathers and their concerns. The blog was an effort to start a conversation on this important topic. We all want to be successful in our careers and as fathers, and we face a lot of workplace and family demands that weren’t placed on dads of previous generations. Yet, because there is no conversation at home, at work, and even among dads, many feel like they struggle alone.
So, my blog is hopefully a place dads can come for support, encouragement and advice. By no means do I have all the answers, but I can lend a different perspective (the professional and the personal) on work and family as I struggle along with my fellow dads.”
What’s your biggest challenge in balancing life/work/blog? How do you manage it?
“Of course, with only 24 hours in a day, it is often hard to balance being a present involved father and husband with a full-time career and a blog. However, happily for me, my job as a college professor, while demanding, gives me a lot of control and flexibility in terms of where, when and how I get my work done. Aside from classes, office hours and occasional meetings, I can do 95% of the rest of my job from a laptop at night or on weekends. This means I can almost always meet Nick’s bus, be at his little league games, enjoy fatherhood and be the primary contact in case of emergency.
This is especially great because of my greatest work-family challenge is my wife’s odd and very demanding career as an actress (she’s been on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours, etc.). The nature of her work means stretches of time with no work but an audition tomorrow!, grueling rehearsal schedules, and then shows 6 nights a week plus matinees. There are times when her demands spike incredibly (I wrote about these challenges here and here). If my job weren’t so flexible it would be harder to support her career and keep the family going. It also helps that Amy is an awesome wife and mom and she’s as committed to my career as I am to hers.
Also, happily for me, the blog is very consistent with my academic work, so it is not as separate as many other dad blogs are from the author’s day job. In fact, the blog has helped me network professionally, build a national reputation in my field, and hopefully will help me land a book deal (I’m working on my book proposal now!)”
Current City/State (nearest major city is fine)?
I love living in Nyack, NY, an awesome town in the beautiful lower Hudson valley just north of NYC. Our town is a diverse, artistic, quirky place with a walkable downtown, music in the riverfront park, street fairs, farmers markets and huge Halloween parades.
We’re about 30 minutes out of Manhattan, so the world is just a stone’s throw away.
Blog Title & URL?
Fathers, Work and Family http://FathersWorkandFamily.
Cookie or Brownie?
“Both? No? Ok, then a BIG chocolate chip cookie with M&Ms inside”