I wish I had a Jack
Male Military Spouse, Jack Lauters, writes about how to approach social constructs and why they don't have to matter.
Guys, the APA has determined that men and women share cognitive skills, we are fundamentally the same. The whole notion of guys being better at math and women being better at communication is simply a social construct. I firmly believe that statement, but that doesn't change the social construct.
This same social construct demands that we take care of our families and makes us feel like lesser men when our combat boot wearing women make more than us.
Throw that idea away, after all it's just an idea. Who makes what, doesn't have to matter.
Understand that you are both part of a team and it'll make life a whole lot easier. Have both of your incomes deposited into the household account, which gets used for all the boring things (rent, utilities, groceries, cars, insurance, savings, phones and internet). From that account you each draw an equal monthly stipend to do whatever you want with for your contribution to the household.
Now we know why our wife's get their "allowance," they are saving the world from tyranny. But why do we get an allowance? Well, I'm Jack and here is the really freaking manly way I earn my "allowance."
"I wish I had a Jack," was a quote my wife heard multiple times during her orientation at our first duty station. You see, while the other service members had to simultaneously handle a career transition, a PCS and take care of their spouses, I took on everything I could and managed the house too, so she could focus on what I couldn't do. Movers, move out inspection, DLA, Per-Diem, Hotel Reservations, car maintenance, MALT, temporally housing, base housing, new uniforms, mypay, setting up play dates, checking for quirky things about the base, working out the spending plan, setting up delivery dates, porting tricare, changing car registration, and more just for the PCS.
I earn my "allowance" by doing what all men have been deemed by society to be good at: solving problems. I do everything I can to allow my wife to focus on her career and ensure that she can spend her limited free time with my son and I, not doing domestic things. I drive 30 minutes to get Thai while she plays with our son at home, I go to CVS at 9PM because she has heartburn and needs Tums.
I sneak into her command (confident posture and a brisk pace work wonders) to install/maintain/stock a Kurig and a minifridge because I actually have free time and she works 92 hour weeks. If she forgets a cover, or needs a book from across the city today, I'll hit the "easy" button and get it to her. I even wake up at 0350 to make her breakfast and have some time together before she has to go to work at 0430. I try and have food ready when she gets home, I take pictures of our boy on outings not for Facebook, but so my wife can share in the moments when the military affords her a break.
Guys, our drive to fix things gives us an advantage over the traditional military spouse, you've just got to nudge it a bit to make it fit with the role we have the opportunity to fill. So strap on that Ergo babycarrier and get s%&t done, cause we're men and that's what we do, and our wives just might be better Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Coastguardsmen because of it.
Jack is a reformed nuclear power plant operator who is completing his degree in finance while relishing being a stay at home dad. He is married to a brilliant service member and together they have 12 years of military service.