Welcome to Portraits of Fatherhood: We’re telling the story of today’s dads.
There is no better place to witness the changing roles of men and women in the larger culture than through the lens of parenthood. But rather than speculate on what and how contemporary fathers do what they do, we’d like to bring you portraits of the dads themselves. In their own words. Would you like to be interviewed for this feature? See the end of the post for details.
NAME John Schott
HOMETOWN / WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW? Miami, Florida
ON THE WEB
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Three; ages 5, 3, and 6 months :0
WORK Double full time:) full time entrepreneur in the wellness space and full time dad
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Domestic Partnership
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY? How have you, or you and your partner (if you’re partnered), arranged your life/schedule to provide the daily care for your kid(s)?
Work and family scheduling is ubiquitous in our lives. The truth is that it varies a great deal as it’s both challenging and nicely flowing. I’m a wellness entrepreneur who wears many hats. This means one day I’m coaching, another consulting, and some days product management– all the while making amazing healthy meals for the tribe under 15 minutes. The curse and blessing of this setup is that although there doesn’t often seem to be a straight forward line between both work and family, I have been blessed with certain freedoms that a corporate style job wouldn’t allow.
Some days, time constraints and the kiddos get under my skin and my work may suffer for it. But other days it’s absolute magic. I can take my three year old with me on a shopping run, give my partner a break, and involve my bright children in what I do. I wouldn’t change any of it. My partner and I have a great relationship where most of the time communication is key. This allows for us to be clear as to where the children fit and how we can both serve them. She’s getting a masters in psychology as well so there are a lot of moving parts. When they sleep, we “catch up.” When grandparents take them, we “catch up.”
All in all it’s a juggling act and somehow– at the end of the days and months– things balance each other out. We have a very connected unit and we are all daily involved in our nighttime rituals, daytime rituals, and in maintaining a general sense of gratitude that really helps. We don’t use childcare and we are a very naturally-minded and whole-child-education-minded family. It makes things a bit more challenging and commitment heavy. But again, we see the long term benefits and the truth is that the level of growth not only as a father, but as a conscious, well-rounded human is incredibly humbling. I’m constantly working on myself. Now, however, there is an additional intent behind my self development. I have two boys who I’m learning about rites of passage for and how to transition them, when the time comes, into respectful, balanced, and confident whole men. I never truly received that open and thorough type of life schooling, so I’m learning new things that inspire me each day.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
I remember this vividly. It was when my little girl was around two and it was 3am. She has always had challenges with growing pains and waking up with them screaming, crying, and sometimes demanding perfectly cooked soft boiled eggs. All this to take one bite and then, suddenly soothed, goes back to bed. Well, this one night she had all cylinders firing. It had been three straight sleepless night, lots of pressure with the business, etc. I found myself in a desperate state and just squeezed her and raised my voice with the intent of sounding mean. I know I was a bit too firm. I saw the sense of betrayal in her eyes. I have always been extremely loving and she’s my baby girl, so… it was definitely a shocking reaction for both of us. I immediately realized how I behaved, hugged her, and talked to her about it. She forgave and forgot right away.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
As first time parents my partner and I had a plan for what our “perfect parenting” would look like. Two months into the birth of our first child– our daughter — and after extreme difficulty of her breastfeeding, my partner had to go to the hospital for four days with a urinary tract infection. I was left with a 2 month old who up to that point was exclusively breastfed and on her momma’s boobs nursing all day. So here she was, angry, crying, missing her warm momma and her milk and me… armed with no prior parenting experience to handle this situation. Being that formula was not an option for us, I actually went ahead and created an alternative for mother’s milk using organic raw grass-fed goat’s milk with additional live probiotics and a few other elements that followed a Weston A. Price Foundation model. It worked; she took to it. But on the third day the baby was struggling with pooping given the sudden change in diet and my heart was aching. I wanted to take the pain away, but even with my effort it was still too dramatic a change for her delicate digestive system. When my partner came back home, however, everything worked out and it was like she was never gone.
We’re looking for a few good dads.
IF you’d like to be interviewed for this feature, please write to Lisa Duggan at: [email protected]
Please write “Portraits of Fatherhood” in the subject line.