Essay Fatherhood

What was the environment like for stay-at-home dads at the time?This was in Brooklyn in 2009, so it wasn’t foreign, but even today it’s much more normal to see guys walking around with their babies strapped to them or with strollers.I think of the old Modernist image of the male writer as being unattached and kind of hardheaded; someone hard-drinking with big opinions.

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You feel vulnerable; you want to protect them but you know you can’t.

You want to be the best dad you possibly can, but it’s impossible to always have as much patience as kids require, or to be your best self all the time.

My decision to be a writer and to be a dad all came kind of at the same time for me, or out of the same catalyst.

At the time, my then-girlfriend was nearing 30 and wanted to have a family.

It was a really tense conversation and an uncomfortable thing for them to talk about, so we never discussed it again after that.

During the process of my dad legally adopting me, my parents had been asked, “How would you address this with the child?Those feelings can really feed your creative work, and that’s something I never anticipated.That’s interesting, especially given the idea that corporate careers are the ones that limit family time, while “creative” ones are seen as more flexible or accommodating—even though writing can be a very solitary thing.And online, Gresko says, “There’s definitely a growing trajectory of men writing honestly and openly about parenting” as a counterbalance to the well-established mommy-blogosphere., compiles 22 essays on fatherhood from a host of distinguished contemporary attempts to showcase the wide range of experiences that men have as they grapple with being called “Dad.” I spoke with Gresko about the changing nature of fatherhood and visibility inside and outside of the home.When did you become a stay-at-home dad and why was that the best decision for your family at the time?When I came back home, I enrolled in an MFA program at The New School, my wife and I got married, and she became pregnant.My son was born a week after I got out of school, so my wife wanted to go back to work.I wish I could do that,” instead of recognizing what I was doing as another kind of work.So, those first couple of years when I was at home with my son were very lonely.I had taken myself out of a career path at that point already, and it appealed to me to stay at home and have time to write in the evenings and while my son napped.But it also really appealed to me emotionally because even though I had not wanted to be a father for most of my life, I had decided to embrace it as fully as I could.

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