It’s tough to be a dad these days. Back in the Father Knows Best days – the black-and-white TV era – men went off to work, came back in time for supper and read the kids a bedtime story before turning off the lights. They didn’t agonize too much about quality time or their parenting skills – at least, not publicly.
Today, things are different, even for superfamous dads like Ben Affleck. In the new issue of Details, the actor/director explains that he chooses his projects carefully to help him achieve that elusive balance between work and kids.
“Anytime you think, ‘I’m wasting my time here,’ the first thought you have is, ‘I could go home and be with my kids,’ ” explains the father of three (whose third child, Samuel, was born just a few months ago). “Now, you may go home and be with your kids and very quickly start thinking, ‘What’s on the work front?’ Because running around after three kids is very trying.”
Not that he wants to give up the business entirely. Ben freely admits, “I don’t want to be a stay-at-home dad….But I need my work to mean something to me in order to not be home with them.”
Even so, when he comes home to wife Jennifer Garner, baby Samuel and daughters Violet and Seraphina, it’s hard to get out of the film mindset.
“I’m not very present in the rest of my life,” he says. “My wife is very patient. She does everything. If I have time, I try to spend time with the kids, even just to be a physical presence, the bath, whatever. But my mind’s always thinking, ‘How are we going to light that shot tomorrow?’ ”
He had a lot to preoccupy his mind with his latest project. Argo, opening October 12, is based on a true story of a CIA agent’s daring attempt to help American embassy workers escape from Tehran by having them pose as a sci-fi film crew.
Hopefully, he’ll become more adept at living in the moment with his children as time goes on. Little Samuel won’t be a baby forever, and the girls are growing fast. His younger audiences don’t even recall the days when he was half of the Ben-and-Matt Damon Oscar-winning writing/acting team.
It goes by faster than you think, Ben…
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews]
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