Jason Greene is a stay-at-home dad and blogger in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and four kids. He originally moved to the city to become an actor and playwright, but after a few years auditioning for parts, he took on the role he was born to play, that of a father. His blog and Instagram candidly relay his parenting fails and triumphs, travel, and life in NYC. He's received an NYC Dads Matter Award from Mayor Bill de Blasio, and an Iris Award (along with 11 other dads) for raising money for Camp Kesem—an organization that supports children impacted by a parent's cancer. He has also appeared on various talk shows to discuss parenting-related topics.
Why follow Jason Greene? This thoughtful SAHD writes about a lot of different issues but his parenting observations are always spot-on and sincere.
What is a typical day for you?
Typical day? What’s that? My days usually start out relatively the same. During the week, I get my four kids up, make breakfast (meaning I pour cereal into a bowl), make sure they picked out clothes that won’t cause me embarrassment, and get them out the door and into their various schools. After they are dropped off, I usually work on my blog or a play that I’ve been trying to finish. Once 2pm rolls around, I’m outside the school picking up the youngest, then usually the playground, back home for snacks and homework, mix in some arguing with teenagers, get them fed, and off to bed. Maybe fit laundry and dishes into the schedule. If time permits, a little Walking Dead with the oldest. We’re trying to catch up with the rest of the world.
What’s the best parenting advice you ever received?
Paraphrasing many parents I’ve met: Make sure I take care of myself. If I don’t, then it will be harder to take care of the kids.
What are your favorite books or movies on parenting?
Movies: Field of Dreams, Father of the Bride, Finding Nemo, Pursuit of Happyness, Sleepless in Seattle, Boyz in the Hood, A Quiet Place
Fiction: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Road, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Anne of Green Gables, Danny- The Champion of the World, The Kite Runner.
Non-fiction: Raising Cain, by Michael Thompson; Let Her Fly, by Ziauddin Yousafzai; Raising Empowered Daughters, by Mike Adamick; Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan; Dads Behaving Dadly, edited by Hogan Hilling and Al Watts.
Which famous parent would you like to have dinner with and why?
Jim Gaffigan. I think we could commiserate over a large meal about the joys and not-so-glamorous dad moments. We met during a Strahan, Sara and Keke TV show taping where I shared a “dad fail” during the Father’s Day special. He may have encouraged me to get naked, which was stopped by Michael Strahan. I guess it was too hot for morning TV.
How did you get involved in blogging about parenting?
It’s a long story, but here it is in a nutshell. My blog began over eight years ago while I was feeling my creative juices drying up. I was an actor and a playwright before becoming a dad, but since becoming an at-home parent, I had stopped creating. Since I was a stay-at-home dad in New York City, I felt I have a different life than most men. To be honest, I had never read a blog up until that time. I began writing and told everyone I had started a website. It was many months into blogging when I joined the NYC Dads Group and met Matt Schneider and Lance Somerfeld. It was Matt who informed me I was a blogger. He invited me to a Dad 2 Summit event and that’s really when my blog began taking shape.
What’s your favorite place in the New York City area to bring your kids?
Governors Island is my favorite place to take kids. The island feels removed from NYC and is quiet. You can ride bikes, fly a kite, explore New York history, and have picnic with a skyline backdrop.
What is your favorite time of year in NYC?
Fall is my favorite time of year in every city because the summer heat is gone, and the frigid winter has yet to set in. I can watch my son play soccer on his high school team and not sweat it out or freeze.
Also, you can’t beat Central Park during the fall. The orange-tinted leaves and the crunching sounds beneath our feet as we explore the park might be my favorite parenting NYC moment. Also, on a windy day in Central Park, you can play “catch the leaves” with your kids and it wears them out and helps putting them to bed easier.
What is the best thing about raising kids in the New York City area?
Donation-based museums. Living in NYC is expensive, but fun outings in NYC for residents is cheap. Where else can you see priceless works of art (I know there is a price, but saying “priceless” sounds better) dinosaur bones, museum activities, etc. all for cheap?
What do you think is a parent’s hardest job?
Besides not screwing up humans? Parenting is as hard as you let it be and that’s the hardest part. Not letting things get to you or slow you down. Kids get mad, they get hurt, they say things they shouldn’t, and we all too often feel like a failure when those things happen. We’re in charge of a precious gift and feel we dropped the ball. Hardest part is accepting what is and moving beyond it. Making things right and better. This is why bedtime is my favorite part of the day. All can be made right at bedtime. Forgiveness and the hope of a better day the next.