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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.
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:
In the 13 years my wife and I have been married, my wife has also been in the Army. We have moved a total of eight times. As I post this topic, we are in the process of moving again. Our next stop will be Fort Knox, Kentucky. We are excited about this new location and have heard many good things about Fort Knox. But, we will certainly miss the friends we have made here at Fort Hood. As with any PCS (Permanent Change of Station), we currently have movers packing all our items. Moving is always interesting when dealing with the movers, and this time is no exception. Before I begin talking about our current PCS, however, I need to tell you all about a few previous moves. I would also love to hear your stories...the good, bad, and ugly.
I'm finally over the two month hump and I honestly feel like I've accomplished something! This is the longest that we've been apart since we've been married and the longest I've ever had our daughter by myself. The house, while not quite up to her standards, doesn't exactly look like a tornado's blown through either. I think she has little fairy helpers or something, because I don't know how she managed to work a full day, do our daughter's hair, wash/fold clothes, and still get a decent amount of rest. I helped out a little, but this experience has really shown me how much I hadn't been doing all these years!
I've come to the conclusion that the ability to communicate using various internet resources could possibly be some sort of enemy ploy to drive me crazy! I didn't realize that internet speeds as slow as they have over there still existed. Most of the time, it's just enough to tease you into thinking that you're going to be able to have a decent video chatting session. Other times, it just cuts out for no reason and you're left wondering if everything is ok. And then, there are the days when you don't hear anything at all, not even a quick message to say “I love you”. Those are the worst. Sometimes I wish things were like when my Dad deployed to Desert Storm and all you really had were letters in the mail, video tapes sent back and forth, and the occasional phone call. That way I wouldn't worry as much if I didn't hear from her for a day or two. Technology creates unreal expectations and can sometimes make you forget that it's still a war zone and communication will never be normal.
Army Dad is a blog by Tim Blake (Army Male Spouse).
From Army Dad:
"I'm a stay at home dad raising four beautiful children. I am the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel. I do my best to keep up with the kids and all of their activities. I enjoy playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can follow me on twitter if you so desire...@ArmySpouse007."
Now that I'm a SAHD (Stay-At-Home-Dad), I'm taking the time to reflect on my journey by doing a little writing. As a male military spouse of a female active duty US Air Force officer, my approach to this "SAHD Life" is with the same basic question I have for making it through just about all of my experiences - "How do I do this?" I hope my attempts to share my answers to this question help at least one person out there.
Here's a post from my blog about The Power of Being Present in a child's life. This power is shared by moms and dads and it has been very helpful for me to remember this fact, especially when I can't see my efforts as a male military spouse and SAHD amounting to much.
(I like that Newsweek cover and the idea that it is time to rethink what it means to be masculine. However, I don't agree with all points in the original article. At Macho Spouse, here is part of our effort to help people rethink masculinity.)
Judging from a lot of online discussions that I have read, it appears that there is still a novelty effect when it comes to dads staying home and being the primary caregiver for the kid(s) and taking care of the house. At the same time, I am seeing more Stay-At-Home-Dads (like myself) becoming more of a presence online.
I get these "google alerts" every day, which are basically just articles and posts from around the web related to certain keywords I want to monitor. "SAHD" and "Stay-At-Home-Dad" are keywords I monitor and I have been getting a great deal of posts.
Much of the stuff that I'm seeing regarding SAHD is still in the "novelty" range, or the "Awww, that's cute" range. I also check out websites that give the spouse's perspective - you know, the women who live with these dudes. These sites are way more interesting to me than the talk about the latest television show depicting SAHDs.
Anyway, I haven't seen much about the health of SAHDs. In all of my monitors and in all of the web surfing I've done on the topic of SAHDs, I have not come across any health-related posts. I found that very interesting.
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."
Depression affects quite a few male military spouses and not everyone handles it the same way, some better than others. In part two of William McEvoy's Man-to-Man interview, William shares how he has been able to successfully manage his own fight with depression. We're not saying this is the best way to beat all forms of depression. His strategy worked for him, it may not work for you. Either way, this interview is a good place to start for those who feel they may need help.
Introduction to Marine to SAHD Blog, laying out where I have been what experiences I have.
My name is Andrew “Fergie” Ferguson; I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2007 and did four years of active duty in Hawaii. In those four years I deployed twice, once to Iraq and Afghanistan. I was injured during those four years on multiple occasions and still am injured and receiving help from the Veterans Affairs.
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.
We know that many our visitors here at Macho Spouse are dads - some working and some stay-at-home-dads - who are looking for answers to the question "How do I do this?" We are constantly looking for resources to help all male military spouses and we are happy to share a great online resource for dads.
Help is available for male military spouse dads at the National At-Home Dad Network. All dads can learn from this online resource that provides support, education and advocacy for fathers who are the primary caregivers of their children.
This article is a piece of information that has helped me capture milestones for my loved one who is always at work. I know that it can be difficult so I hope this helps someone down the line.
I know that it has been awhile since I have written anything regarding Twin life but here is why. MILESTONES! The girls are almost one and a half years old now and the milestones have been piling up. From saying their first words to walking and the list continues to grow each day. As a stay at home dad and the love of my life working during the day it is expected that she will miss things in person. This can be depressing for our loved ones but I have found that the smartphone is my best friend when it comes to this. I take pictures and videos constantly so she does not feel like she is missing everything. As male military spouses we have to understand that we are that small percent as our wives are in the military community. We miss out on special time with our wives because they work, and they miss out on milestones and this can be daunting for some. We can use our smartphones for good and show them that we do care and we understand the sacrifices they make. I hope this helps any dad out there having trouble showing their wife that they do love them and understand. This has helped me with my twin girls and my marriage; I just hope it helps someone else out there.
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.
Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday I became a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD) and was asking for help and opinions on everything. I have to say “thank you” to everyone who helped me with this big transition. And speaking of transitions, this one is complete...I am now a SAHD and proud of it! I can now rock a puke-stained jacket, diaper bags, and car seats with pink bows on them with no problem. My days of being a Marine are in the past, I will always love the Corps, but now I have a greater love...my girls.
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.
By Aaron Brodniak
My journey as a military spouse began shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Within a week my wife was recalled into the U.S. Coast Guard and working as a sea marshal boarding ships and performing inspections. At that time, I was the primary breadwinner of the family and had a job as a regional brewer.
Initially my wife's return to active duty was an easy transition since her first duty station didn't require us to move. That soon changed and less than a year later we were assigned to a duty station that led to me leaving my job.
My first challenges were house hunting and trying to figure out what to do with my time. In my adult life I had served in the Coast Guard and then worked in the private sector; this was my first time not having a job outside the house. Since we were expecting our first child, we decided it made more sense financially for me to stay home and finish up my bachelor's degree before my G.I. Bill expired.
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).
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?"
"SAHD Life" is a blog segment by male military spouse and stay-at-home-dad, Taurus James - husband for 15 years, father for 7 years, SAHD for 2 years. In this post, Taurus takes a look back at his personal struggles with anxiety, depression and lonliness during the holidays and encourages others to seek help.
When I was a boy, I loved the holidays. I had great anticipation and excitement during Christmas. I loved being with family and friends during Thanksgiving. Food, football (Washington Redskins forever!) and fellowship are what I looked forward to the most.
But then something happened. I didn't know exactly when, but I was definitely a grown-up at the time when I started dreading the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas became the worst times of the year for me. The things I loved about these holidays and anticipated as a boy, I hated as a man and a father.
The last several weeks have been non stop for our family. There have been trips, sports events, family visits, etc. It seems like there is a never ending stream of things to do and places to be. I find it hard to imagine a stretch of more than a few days where we have nothing planned. Take this week, for example. Yesterday, my oldest had a football game, while at the same time our battalion (for which I play) was in the championships of the base racquetball league. Somehow, my wife and I managed to cover down on both, all the while dragging three other kids along for the ride. Tonight is not much different. The battalion has its Halloween party while my oldest is again at a football event (this time playing in the band). Add to that our martial arts class (which I teach). I can envision my head hitting the pillow tonight and my eyes closing quickly afterwards. And this isn't the last of it this week. Friday night there is a school Fall Festival while one of the kids has to be out of town at a different school event. At least the price of gas is going down...
For the rest of the story, visit Tim's blog at: http://armyspouseami.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-busy-life-of-army-family.html
About the Author: Tim currently lives in San Angelo, TX and is a stay at home dad raising four beautiful children. He is the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel who does his best to keep up with the kids and all of their activities. He enjoys playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can follow him on twitter if you so desire...@ArmySpouse007.
Marine veteran and male military spouse, Andrew Ferguson, has stepped outside his comfort zone to make a little money. He is selling Scentsy stuff. Guys, THIS is the type of creativity, determination, and courage it takes to be a successful business person as a miltiary spouse! When we asked how this new venture came about, this is what Andrew said:
Wait, you're a stay at home dad? How'd you get on base?" said the hairstylist at the exchange when I responded to her question on what I did for the Air Force. This happens a lot when you're a military husband. You'll get salutes from the gate guards, military discounts that only apply to active duty personnel, and maybe if you're really lucky, the start of a chewing out over haircut and shave regulations by a senior enlisted person. Why? Because our wives make up a small part of the force.
As a male military spouse and Stay-At-Home-Dad, learning to properly care for my ladies' hair has been a challenging and rewarding experience.
Doing my hair is simple. I've been cutting my own hair since my 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?Keywords: male military spouse, SAHD, stay at home dad, daughter, hair, school
Fellow male spouse Tim Blake has a new post on his Army Dad Blog, "Thoughts on Command Pt 1." Army Dad is a blog by Tim Blake, a stay at home dad (sahd) who raises four beautiful children. He is the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel and does his best to keep up with the kids and their activities. In his free time, he enjoys playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can connect with him on twitter @ArmySpouse007.
Did you know a total of 66% of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight, with a whopping 34% of those being obese. And did you know that a little over 9 million children in America are overweight or obese? Can you believe that a total of $1.7 trillion dollars goes toward treating overweight Americans annually?
Let's take a look at what happens to your body when you are overweight/obese. If you “live” in this category, the door is open for you to have many different types of health problems that include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and certain types of cancer. All of which lead to a shortened life expectancy and a decreased quality of life.
With all the stresses and demands in our daily lives, we sometimes forget about showing appreciation to the ones we love most. A simple, heart-felt compliment, or "thank you," can go a long way to keeping your marriage healthy and strong. In this "Quick Hitter" video, Elizabeth Cabibi, M.S.,LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), talks about the importance of sharing mutual appreciation in any relationship.
The network has greenlighted a new nonfiction series called “Modern Dads” for eight half-hour episodes.
From the press release: “Down in Austin, Texas there's a group of guys who are unapologetically loud and riotously funny. They're like a fraternity, but this time around, all-nighters, babes in your bed, empty bottles and projectile vomit carry a whole new meaning. They're on 24/7 dad-duty…their dreams used to be fast women and fast cars, but now they only fantasize about using the bathroom without an audience. Their wives may bring home the bacon, but these dads have no trouble fryin' it up in the pan.”
It revolves around four stay-at-home dads in Austin, Texas and follows their adventures balancing their requirements at home and society's definitions of “modern men” and “modern dads.” Production is expected to begin immediately.
The federal government's consumer watchdog has changed a regulation to make it easier for stay-at-home parents and others who don't work to be approved for new credit cards.
Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a regulation change to allow card companies to consider financial support from other people when evaluating a consumer's credit-card application. It changes a 2011 regulation under which banks were allowed to consider only the applicant's income.
The 2011 regulation and its more accommodating new version both grew out of the Credit CARD Act of 2009. Its underlying purpose was to clamp down on students getting cards and racking up debt they couldn't repay, and it required individuals applying for credit to demonstrate an ability to repay what they borrowed.
As originally written, though, the regulation had a side-effect impacting more than students: Its "ability to repay" language meant that anyone who relied on someone else's income -- including stay-at-home parents or spouses who are divorced and don't work -- suddenly had a harder time being approved for credit cards and building credit histories in their own names.
"Stay-at-home spouses or partners who have access to resources that allow them to make payments on a credit card can now get their own cards," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in announcing the rule change. The agency proposed the change in October 2012, calling it a common-sense move.
Instead of just an individual's income, issuers can now consider broader measures, such as "available income" or "accessible income." Previously an issuer could not consider household income -- which used to be widely used on credit-card applications -- without confirming how much money the applicant has access to in order to pay bills. The changes apply to people 21 and older.
Do Stay-at-home Dads (SAHDs) need a title? Anne-Marie Slaughter, over at The Atlantic, argues that dads who are the family's primary caretakers need a word to describe them that makes "male caregiving attractive to men" and makes it "cool."
From The Atlantic:
We need a new vocabulary to describe men who choose to be at home as caregivers all or part of the time. In my last post I linked to Abigail Rine's description of her "feminist housedude," a term that is catchy but unlikely to spread beyond the hipper spots on the West coast. Mr. Mom is obviously out, as is househusband. Stay-at-home dad is neutral but not exactly enticing.
One alternative is the phrase that a number of men are using, calling themselves "work-at-home" dads. Most of them mean that they are working on income-generating projects out of the home while also taking care of kids, but we use work-at-home mothers and work-at-home fathers for any parents who are not actually going into an office, whether they are working for pay or not? Or we could try to ignore gender altogether and call men or women spending time at home caring for children, aging parents, or any other family member needed care full-time or part-time caregivers, while calling anyone who works for pay, whether from home or an office, a full-time or part-time breadwinner.
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.