|The Stay-At-Home Dad – Can He Truly Last The Day Without Mom?|
When people talk about military couples, it almost comes naturally for you to imagine a typical picture of the man away fighting a war and the woman left at home with the kids. The way things are these days with women getting more recognition for their significant roles in the military, it is not uncommon to find the roles reversed and men are gradually facing up to the involvedness of being the military stay-at-home spouse and parent.
Staying at home with the kids while moms are away to fight a battle is not exactly a short-term thing for military husbands. Neither is taking care of the children a 9 to 5 job that they can relinquish at the end of the day. Being the parent who’s in charge of home while their spouses are on national duty is a full time concern that could take months; months that may spell some struggles and a lot of adjustments for most military dads.
Society has learned to accept gender equality and has come a long way in recognizing equal roles of both sexes in many aspects. In spite of this, there are quite a few challenges that stay-at-home dads have to contend with, at least at the start. Here are some of the interesting “tests” that stay-at-home dads may find quite tricky to deal with:
1. The intricacies of a woman’s hair “do”.
Trying to figure out how to miraculously come up with a neat up-do for his 6-year old daughter may prove to be a real test to the nerves of a man. He wouldn’t have any inkling on how chignons are formed, that’s for sure. And that’s not even talking about braids, or buns, or curling irons; just a simple, functional ponytail would be enough. Understandably, even the best of dads do have a little difficulty pulling off this daunting chore, no matter how hard they try.
2. Handling “life-changing” questions.
Dealing with a daughter’s questions about such topics as menstruation, breast development and yes, sex is hard enough for moms. Imagine what it’s like for a dad to cope up with these queries regarding “womanly” changes in his little princess’ life. Even the smartest among dads would attempt to postpone such discussions as long as they could. He may want to play it smart and offer her a copy of an adolescent book that explains these changes. That should help to start moving things along, and then he can just fill in other details.
3. Allowing his daughter to go on her first date – when he feels like beating the life out of the guy.
Dad has to tread carefully on this one. It’s important not to forget that this is a significant milestone in his daughter’s life. He may have to bring into play the “motherly” image – fussing over what she’s going to wear; asking whether the guy is really the cutest in school; even taking photos, no matter how embarrassing he thinks it is. Of course, despite all the show of “motherly” effusiveness, Dad still has to subtly “threaten” the scoundrel taking out his little angel.
4. Placing his child as priority number 1.
There are certain lifestyle modifications that a single stay-at-home dad has to take in hand. He has to “look at things” in a different way than what he’s been used to. He may have to let go of those action-packed movies he’s been watching in favor of Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs and it’s not just for one night, mind you, but dozens of times most likely. And the sparkling champagne and all night party on New Year’s Eve? He can also say goodbye to that and resign himself to sparkling apple cider, instead.
5. Learning how to breastfeed.
It’s a joke! But stay-at-home dads should really thank their lucky stars baby formula was invented.
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