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.
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:
If I asked a group of people that ranged in age if they would like to play a game of “PIG” or “HORSE” outside (and I had a basketball in my hand), how many would know what I was talking about? You might be surprised that some children might ask, “You want us to make pig or horse noises as we shoot hoops?” Some of you may laugh, but this was an honest question from some of the neighborhood children that come over to play with my kids.
Through my studies in education and working with students in classrooms, technology certainly brings a new perspective to learning. Students not only have the ability to research topics instantly through the use of the internet, but they can also talk to other students in different countries, take virtual field trips to museums that are in other cities, and write or edit papers quickly.
Never really thought about that word “dad” until I became one. However, I focus more on it now than ever before. I find that the word “dad” means more to me today because my own father wasn't there for me when I was growing up, and he's still not around, not even for his own granddaughter.
Yes, the word “dad” means more to me now than ever. My ability to be a good father comes from more than one source, and the fact that I choose not to be like my old man is a great motivator.
My dad left by way of divorce when I was just seven. There was no custody battle and he was given every opportunity to see his children. Yet he still chose not to be around.
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.
CONUS = The 48 CONtiguous States and the District of Columbia or "the lower 48, as they're affectionately known to the Alaskans." OCONUS = Outside Continental United States. Overseas = Any country or place beyond the CONUS. Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. territories are considered overseas under the Space-A Regulation.
Space-A = Space available travel is defined as "travel aboard DoD owned or controlled aircraft and occurs when aircraft are not fully booked with passengers traveling under orders". It is a privilege offered to United States Uniformed Services members.
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.
I recently came across an article that really made me stop and think "Could this really happen?" then it became "Oh Wait... They are talking about a Family like mine."
The Article I am talking about is a post from MrDad.com answering a a Veterns question "My husband and I both have disabilities. He is blind and I suffer from a traumatic brain injury I received serving in Iraq. I'm pregnant and we're due in about a month. We were both so excited, but a friend told us that there's a chance we could lose custody of the baby because we both have disabilities. Now, instead of looking forward to becoming parents, we're both in a panic. Is that true? If so, what can we do?"
First, turn off the news! As a spouse, naturally, you worry. The media certainly does not help you out. Occasionally, I would watch the news or see internet headlines that just “grab you” to make you read. But, this really is a balancing act. If you have the news on all day, you will end up making yourself sick!
The Military Spouse Education Initiative (MSEI) has done an incredible job of compiling a list of Spouse Clubs & private organizations who are, or will be, offering scholarships for spouses & kids. There are over 40 locations that represent over 20 states, please follow the link to learn more.
Below is the basic list, click on the MSEI link above to find more information on each opportunity.
Yesterday we shared a way to "thank" our military family members by helping with their pets, today we ask you to remember the military children.
November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.
Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”
So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources (Columbia, SC). In this multi-part series, Dr. Lind defines PTSD, explains the symptoms, shares how and when to seek help, and offers insight into living with someone who struggles from post-traumatic stress. In this fifth segment, Dr. Lind discusses the importance of including one's own children in the healing process. Depending on the symptoms, children can learn valuable life lessons from watching, monitoring, and even participating in PTS rehabilitation.
In this "Quick Hitter" video on Helping Kids Cope with Deployments, we have a tough question from an anonymous male military spouse that Elizabeth Cabibi, M.S.,LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) answers.
"What is the best thing to do for a child that won't calm down from missing the parent that is deployed? I tried cuddling him and just being there but didn't really seem to help."
2013 Military Spouse of the Year candidate, Patrick Donaldson sits down with Macho Spouse to share his story and offer some relationship advice to young military families. Patrick is an Australian native who is happily married to an active duty Navy sailor. Patt's career as a professional chef was cut short due to a back injury, but that hasn't stopped him from spending long hours volunteering for Operation Paws for Homes, the Children's Tumor Foundation, and Macho Spouse. We think by the end of this video, you will feel the same way about Patt as we do...he's just a cool guy to be around.