Essay Fatherhood

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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?

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?

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 a family person—and that felt right because of what I was interested in, and also because of the pain that I had around the idea of fatherhood and around the idea of family. I wanted to hear from guys that are really amazing artists and writers, that you could be a great writer and also be a loving, engaged, active father.That, from the start, is something that has surprised me about fatherhood.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.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 started thinking that maybe I was different because my biological father had given me something other than what I was getting at home, and being such a reader, I started to imagine that he was someone like Henry Miller.I really fell in love with Henry Miller and it made sense to me that if [my father] was this really bright, creative guy, then he couldn’t be tied down to a kid since he was pursuing his own artistic path.I had always completely accepted the idea that a writer or artist had to choose between their work and having a family, but that is not the case.In fact, the experience of having a kid opens you up emotionally in a way that [causes] you to see the world totally differently.


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