Dads and Fatherhood
We know that some of you civilian male military spouses are fathers and stay-at-home-dads. Here's a section with links to resources, blog posts and articles to help you out.
Dads and Fatherhood
So what's it really like being a stay at home dad? Bryan Alkire of kzoodad.com reveals our secrets!
How my wife and I met. A little about our life and how I started my own business!
My name is Josh Vittetoe. I am 27 years old and have been married to my wonderful wife Jennifer Vittetoe who is 24 for almost 7 years. We have two boys who are Jack (6 months) and Tannar (5 years). We are currently stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.
My wife has been in the Air Force for 3 years and is a Senior Airman. She is deploying in a coulpe weeks for the first time.
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As I stated in my introduction, I couldn't have been more wrong in my life about being bored. With twins everything is times two, sounds simple right? Not exactly. I STRONGLY suggest to anyone who has twins to create a simple set of rules and follow them. For example, here are the rules I created for me and my girls:
Rule #1: Do NOT try to feed them at the same time or you will stress out your rotator cuff. I did.
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Carpe Diem is the Latin term for seize the day. I've seen on social media, and the news, some folks complaining about the “would've/could've” aspect of their life. Far too often people talk about things they wish they could have or should have done. Being married to the military, I find myself slipping into that trap more and more often because my wife's Navy career can keep me from pursuing certain passions.
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Not too long ago, a Facebook friend and fellow military spouse posted how much she missed living in the U.S. We had a three year overseas assignment several years ago, and so I could relate to this post. I remember missing “home” too.
Personally, our family had the opportunity to live in Germany for three years. We visited many wonderful countries and I would not trade that opportunity for anything, but we also missed Texas, our friends and family. Since we had a house on the economy, many times I would take our daughter to places like “The Kids Zone” (think “Chuck E. Cheese”) and we enrolled her in activities on post, such as ballet and soccer. One of the biggest opportunities living overseas offered to us was for our daughter to enroll in German Kindergarten at age three. She had a great time and quickly picked up the language (but even with proactive efforts and good intentions, maintaining those skills in the US is very difficult).
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The YMCA Adventure Guides Father-Daughter Sweetheart Ball was not on my radar until a good friend of mine told me how he takes his daughters each year. I thought, "Cool! You and your girls are really excited about this thing, huh?" When my wife started getting emails about the event, there was no controlling her excitement. She was even talking about renting a car for the night!
In case you didn't know (like me), a daddy-daughter dance allows dad an opportunity to set an example and standard for how his daughter should be treated on a date. It is also an opportunity for dad to build that special bond with his daughter and make special memories.
Okay, based on the description above, I tossed the whole daddy-daughter dance thing out the window because my daughter and dating don't even go together in a sentence. And I can build that special bond with my daughter at the creek - FISHING!
But I thought about the whole thing (I do a lot of thinking) and with my "try-almost-anything-once" attitude, I went all in.
That's right! I went to my first daddy-daughter dance AND I LOVED IT!
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If we string Webster Dictionary's definitions of "active," "duty," and "dad" together we get "active dad dutifully taking care of his child(ren).
All too often I find myself watching dads who are disengaged with their children. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that there may be extenuating circumstances that I cannot see. The Dad may be tired, just come off a long shift of work, not feeling good, or just plain needs a break. I can understand that and I've been there too. By the same token we still need to be active in the rearing of our kids. Taking the time to be the example of how to interact with the world. We need to put the cell phones down, stop checking Facebook or emails. I'll also take into account the physical limitations placed on folks too. We may not be as flexible in movement as we once were, but we can still try.
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For guys, staying at home with the kids can be unchartered territory. I think every stay at home dad approaches his role differently, and he conducts a lot of discovery learning to figure out what works best for him and his family. For this reason, I comprised a list of key points to advise fathers who are stepping into the role of "Mr. Mom." Although every family is different, I have to imagine seasoned stay at home dads will find my list relevant and in the ballpark of what to expect. If someone had given me a list like this nine years ago, it would have been helpful. Feel free to share your experiences and add some points that I didn't include to this discussion:
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As a male military spouse and Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD), learning to properly care for my daughter's hair has been a challenging and rewarding experience.
Doing my hair is simple. I've been cutting my own hair since my Air Force Academy days. I don't waste time worrying about my hair style anymore, I just shave it all off. I cut as low as my shears will allow me to and then I use my Norelco face shaver to shave the sides and back of my head. My haircuts are free and done in 15 minutes, but I could not imagine being able to perfect doing my daughter's hair in the same amount of time.
The big question for me used to be, "How do I do this?" How do I quickly do my daughter's hair in a way that looks nice and still allows me to get her to school on time?
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Whatever your Winter Holiday tradition, now is the time when many cultures have historically livened up the dark days of winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) with celebrations of community, charity, and gift-giving*. Going into debt, however, should not be a part of your tradition.
How much should you spend on Christmas?
I'm big on using percentages when budgeting. Except for the really, really poor or really, really rich, it makes sense to me that if Martha gets paid 50% more than George, then Martha can spend 50% more than George. That generally goes for housing, cars, or Christmas presents. In other words, don't try to “keep up with the Joneses,” especially if you get paid less than the Joneses. That's the idea behind the 60% Budget: keep regular, monthly expenses down to 60% of your gross income, so you can save 10% each towards retirement, long-term savings, and short-term savings; the last 10% is 'fun money' for Starbucks, beer, wine, pizza, McDonald's, toys, etc. Ideally throughout the year you've saved up enough in your short-term savings to pay for Christmas, even after you've paid for oil changes, shoes for the kids, and a trip to the beach over the summer.
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