Jim Joseph is the very proud father of two adult kids. He has spent more than twenty years navigating his career and family life the entire time. His newest book is about fatherhood as told by an “Out and About Dad.” Jim’s book tells an unconventional tale of a the rewarding journey through parenting and life. It’s our pleasure to share this with you, so take some time and get to know Jim.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
I am a career-long marketer, currently running a brand communications firm in New York. I have two grown children in their twenties…my daughter is just starting graduate school in San Diego and my son is in his third year of college. Like all active parents, I’ve spent most of my adult life balancing work and family, wondering how it’ll ever all get done. With them both “out of the house” so to speak, I feel like in some ways I’ve reached “the other side.” But truthfully, I’m not sure that the struggle ever ends. You just have to stay focused and flexible as you take on each day.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
Now that my children are grown, being dad means just being there for them, no matter what they need and when they need it. That actually has never changed and probably never will. The difference now is that it’s less being physically present with them and more being emotionally supportive as they go about their lives. Today’s dad duty was sending pillows to my daughter for her new apartment, because she wasn’t sure how to accessorize her new futon. Whatever it takes!
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
My children gave me dimension and purpose! I was one of those guys who always thought of myself as being a dad. I grew up in a different time when societal norms dictated a lot of the decisions that I made and I’m not sure that mine were all good decisions. But I ended up being a dad, which has made me who I am. I’ve had such a sense of purpose because of my children, and I think without them I would have been such an overly-focused, career-obsessed, one-dimensional person.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
Watching your adult children make their own decisions in life is such a gift. They are making good choices, learning from their experiences, and thriving as a result. I can see my influence and I relish in their happiness.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
I’ve written quite a few funny stories in my new book “Out and About Dad.” One of my favorites is when one fateful Christmas Eve we made footprints across our white carpet using ashes from the fireplace to show the kids that Santa had in fact come down the chimney. We thought it was a brilliant, creative idea. My kids didn’t see either the brilliance or the creativity, and in fact panicked and cried because someone had come into the house. We never did that again!
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
Find support. When I was raising my kids, I was a divorced, single, gay father and I felt completely alone. Fathers, and certainly gay fathers, weren’t embraced and accepted like they are today. I only wish that the support networks that exist today were around when I could have used them. Accept help from where ever you can get it and share your experiences with other fathers who are going through the same thing. It’ll make the journey so much more enjoyable. That’s exactly why I wrote “Out and About Dad,” with the hope that by sharing my story it will help others overcome the barriers that hold them back. No matter who you are.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us! Keep up the great work.
Follow Jim on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OutAndAboutDad
Buy his book, Out & About Dad here: http://www.amazon.com/Out-About-Dad-Journey-Father-ebook/dp/B0155KSNJO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=