When I first started discovered Joel Schwartzberg – in The New York Times Magazine and Babble.com — I remember being struck by how openly he described his life as a divorced dad.
And now… his first book, The 40-Year-Old Version, is out!
“There hasn’t been much of a voice for divorced dads in the publishing marketplace,” Joel recently wrote to me in an email. “Most books I found were somber ‘survival guides’ and legal advice. This is the kind of book I needed in the early days of my own divorce.”
So, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Joel, who has offered to give away copies of his book to three of you!
What I loved most about The 40-Year-Old Version — besides the title (!) — is the fact that you, the reader, really see how he grows as a father, a man, and a human being (and he sure cracks you up along the way!)
So, please meet Joel…
In a recent email to me, you wrote: “A divorce is depressing and stressful, but in its wake is an opportunity to parent on your own terms, outside of anyone’s expectations.”
Can you expand on this?
Joel: “For some dads, it’s a continuation of what they’d been doing all along. Others have to rediscover their inner dads or build them from scratch. A father is never replaced or replaceable. Finding your ‘inner dad’ is especially difficult for divorced dads, who often feel cut out of their children’s lives. These dads have to reassert their roles, and sometimes rebuild them from scratch.”
You share custody of your nine-year-old son and six year-old twins with your ex-wife, yes?
Joel: “I work all week and see the kids every Friday night and all day Saturday. Plus, I take one child out every Wednesday for dinner or dessert, so I can have some individual time with each one.”
“Divorcing your spouse does not mean you’re also divorcing your kids… Fathers need to realize the permanence of their role in their children’s lives — and the silver-lining opportunity to redefine fatherhood on their own freshly-independent terms.”
Congratulations on falling in love again — and getting remarried!
Joel: “I’m lucky to have a wife who – as an elementary school teacher – really understands kids. So the blending has been not just easy — it has been delightful. My wife and I don’t condescend to my kids, but we also set consistent rules that may not be the same as their mother’s. I’m a believer that each home can have its own set of rules. If kids can adhere to different expectations between home and school, they can do it between home and home.”
Do you have any words of wisdom for other single parents out there?
Joel: “My advice really goes to the custodial or non-custodial parent outside the primary home, and it’s this: You divorced your spouse, but not your children. You are not a half-time parent. You are not a baby sitter. Your parenthood came with the birth of your children, but it’s also yours to lose.”
So, what do you need to do to win The 40-Year-Old Version?
Leave a comment. That’s it.
The contest will be open through June 22, and winners will be chosen by Random.org.
Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.