HOMETOWN Born in Baltimore, MD/Live in Monterey, CA (both are my hometowns)
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Two, not including my dog
DAY JOB Program Manager for an IT Consulting Company
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married
@TWITTER NAME @DadStreet
GOOGLE+ Josh Becker
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
When each of our children was born my wife took off several months to be home with the children. Since I live in California we’re provided with PFL (Paid Family Leave) which gives parents with children 12 months or younger six weeks of paid time off. Instead of taking all six weeks off I spread it out to maximize my time with the kids.
I was able to work it out with my employer so that I took off one day a week for seven months. This was an incredible experience and one that I don’t think enough dads take advantage of. You only get one chance to bond with your children at such an amazing time, in both of your lives. You’ll never get this time back. Work will always be there—so if your state offers this type of assistance, I highly recommend negotiating an arrangement with your employer.
Since returning to work it’s been easy physically and very difficult emotionally. My wife works four days a week and is able to be home with the kids on the other day. I work five days a week but have been able to work out of my home for one of those days in order to be closer to my kids. While my wife and I are both at work we have a Nanny that comes to the house. She’s been with them since they were each about six weeks old. Having her as their nanny has been great. Not only does she take great care of the kids but at 22 months and just-under-three they’re both bi-lingual .
Emotionally, it’s very difficult for both my wife and me. We each would love to be able to stay home with them full-time but given our current financial situation aren’t able to—until we decide to change our lifestyles and/or move to a much less expensive part of the country. We hope to change the situation sooner than later so we can both spend as much time as possible with these little guys.
WORST PARENTING MOMENT
I can’t recall one standout worst moment. However, I will say that there have been several occasions where in reaction to some really bad behavior I’ve gotten so mad I’ve raised my voice pretty loudly. I don’t believe in hitting (we can talk about that another time) so that’s never happened.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed whatsoever to getting upset or being mad, frustrated, etc. However, I do believe there is a way for a responsible parent to conduct themselves. I also believe that there are appropriate “teaching moments” for children. You can really mess up a golden opportunity to teach something by letting negative emotions get in the way. I should have cooled off more before trying to “teach”. Keep in mind I have two toddlers. When my children are 10 or 15 years old (or older) I may—or may not—have different feelings.
BEST PARENTING MOMENT
The best parenting moment was the day I became one! My wife and I struggled for four years; we went through four failed IUI’s, one miscarriage, and IVF for one of the kids. When we started treatment at one of the country’s leading fertility centers they gave us LESS THAN 10 percent chance of ever conceiving – and this was WITH IVF!
We became pregnant with O after the first try. Never expecting to have another child, Jake was born au natural. My wife was diagnosed with Decreased Ovarian Reserve which means that the quality and quantity of her eggs were less than that of a normal, healthy woman her age. That doesn’t get better so how we had Jake is beyond me.
These are two miracle babies in every sense of the word and the day each of them was born was the Most Amazing Parenting Moment for me!