Time For Another Move

lynford-arboretum-arch

Just as we were settling into a nice routine, it all came to an end.  We’d spent the last 23 days in temporary lodging, a 952 sq ft apartment on base.  Sleeping was a little tight because of bed sizes/configurations, but we had all the essentials.  It was nice and we got comfortable.

Until yesterday, that is.

We moved out of temporary lodging and into our new house.  While we should be ecstatic, and we are, we can’t really make it a home yet.  We’re still without our household goods and there’s no definitive timeline when they’ll arrive.

Fortunately, the base loaned us a couple mattresses, a dining table and chairs, a sofa, and some kitchen supplies.  And thankfully one of Mrs. DTG’s coworkers was gracious enough to let us borrow some pillows and blankets.  We had a good night, but we’re very ready to finally have our own stuff again… it’s been almost two months since everything was picked up in San Antonio!

Now it’s time to figure out a new routine.

As I mentioned above, we’d gotten comfortable in our previous set up.  Mrs. DTG went to work each morning, a nice 2-minute walk.  I’d get the two boys ready and drop them off at school.  You’d think at this point I’d be free to go about my day, but remember we have three kids.

With my daughter tagging along, we’d begin our daily errands.  A typical day might include a stop at the grocery store followed by four loads of laundry (damn you, tiny British washing machines!).  After that, we’d usually hit up the gym.  My saving grace has been a children’s play area in one of the rooms that allows parents to work out while the kids watch movies and play.  This would bring us to lunchtime, a quick stop at the park, and then a return to the school to pick up the boys.

And just like that folks, you’ve witnessed my domestication into a house husband.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it is a HUGE transition.

On the plus side, I’ve spent more time with my daughter over the last month than at any other time in her four years of life and have gotten to know her in a different way.  We go for daily walks, usually with her on my shoulders since she can’t seem to go more than 100 feet on her own two, and I’ve been introduced to a side of her personality I had never seen before.  This is probably the last time we’ll get to hang out like this since she should be starting Pre-K any day now and I really do cherish it.  Well, maybe not the daily tantrums surrounding seemingly simple tasks like going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, or getting dressed.  Those just come with the territory.

On the downside, it feels a little weird.  The military is a male-dominated profession, so while my wife and everyone else is at work, it seems like it is just me and all the housewives out and about.  Plus, this is our first PCS (permanent change of station) since I left active duty and my first one as a dependent.  For me, this has been a tough pill to swallow.  I still refuse to show my dependent ID card unless I absolutely have to, opting for my reserve ID card instead.

During the entire PCS process, I’ve gained a much greater appreciation for the military spouse and stay-at-home parents, in general.  It’s not easy to lose your job and have to start over every three to four years.  Fortunately for us, this has been part of our FIRE plans and my experience serving in the military has prepped me for a lot of the stressors that go along with PCS moves.  For those unaccustomed with the military or who have tighter budgets, a PCS could be devastating both emotionally and financially.

My transition from a full-time rat racer to a semi-retired stay-at-home dad continues to evolve each day.  It has been a full month since I last worked and I don’t miss the daily grind one bit.  I’ve found myself becoming more relaxed and being more playful with the kids.  Although I usually know the day of the week, I generally have absolutely no idea what the actual date is.  And quite frankly, I don’t really care.

Still, I’ll probably find some part-time work and a couple opportunities have unexpectedly presented themselves already.  The biggest difference now is that I’ll be working on my own terms, only taking on tasks that seem fun and interesting.  I’ll even be heading to Germany to work for a week soon and I’m very excited for this trip.  Bitte noch ein Bier!

In the coming weeks, we’ll highlight some of the financials surrounding our move and provide an update on our passive income streams.  Once we’re finally completely settled, probably around early October, we’ll get back to a more regular posting schedule.  We’re shooting for a consistent two posts a week.  Also, be on the lookout for a new blog theme coming soon.  It’ll have a cleaner look and some new features.  We think you’re going to like it!

22 thoughts on “Time For Another Move

  1. Mrs. DTG says:

    Awww, I love this post! You’re doing great! I could sense a little uneasiness at first, but you’re really settling into your routine and becoming a great househubs haha 😉

    Don’t worry, I’ll have honey-do lists for you soon… you gotta earn your keep somehow, can’t just tag along to the U.K and live for free. Lol. Kidding, not kidding 😂 I love you!!! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr. SSC says:

    Mrs. SSC and I had this conversation last night about her loving the teaching and it being a pretty cushy gig. I said, “Well, I’m still planning on “retiring” around 2018-2019 at the latest. We have things set up pretty sweet around here if you did want to continue teaching there for longer than you thought.” She said, “But what would you do with your free time? There’s nowhere to hike, and it’s still Houston.”

    I laughed and said, “You act like I’d have free time as a stay at home dad. I’d probably have a schedule like Justin at Root of Good – get up get kids to school, go exercise or play music, grocery shop, laundry/house chores, maybe some video games depending on the day, then go get the kids and start dinner. I might squeeze in fishing one day a week, or every other week, but I doubt there will be much free time.”

    I could see her have this “lightbulb moment” and she was like, “Yeah, I guess there won’t be too much free time.” It sounds almost exactly like what you described.

    At least I’m being realistic of the view of the SAHD and what it will most realistically look like. On the one hand I can’t wait, and on the other it sounds like way more work than my current job. 🙂

    Have fun in Germany! A little jealous over here…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks! We found out earlier today we’ll be getting all our stuff on Tuesday which will be awesome! Once our internet gets set up we’ll be golden.

      It really has been an interesting transition and I’m getting the hang of it. And even though she can be a brat sometimes, it’s been fun spending time with my daughter. She’s a much different person when her brothers aren’t around.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions says:

    “I’ve found myself becoming more relaxed and being more playful with the kids” – for all the stress you are going through – they will remember this time and “this” dad. Great work for such a HUGE transition! Can’t wait to hear more about your part-time adventures too. Being able to choose work is great – even if the work isn’t (because you can always leave when financially independent!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks, Vicki! There are still lots of challenges, especially because our stuff hasn’t arrived yet. This forces us to be creative sometimes and will make for good memories.

      I hope to share more about potential part-time gigs soon. One is something I’ve thought about for a long time and an opportunity just fell in my lap. I really hope it works out!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Liz says:

    This makes me never want to PCS overseas. It sounds like a complete nightmare, and I don’t know that I would be happy without all my American stuff (big washer/dryer, apartment, etc). Sounds like you’re making the best of it though! And you’re Mister Mom now! It’s great! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Prior to this we had three stateside moves and this one has been by far the most stressful! That being said, we think the cultural experiences and travel opportunities will more than make up for it. In all, it hasn’t been too horrendous, but there’s definitely an adjustment period.

      Like

  5. Graham @ Reverse The Crush says:

    Nice post!
    Glad you’re enjoying your independence over the last month. I don’t have any children but that doesn’t sound like too bad of a routine at all. And it’s cool that you’re going to be working more on projects you enjoy. I have a few projects coming up myself. Can’t wait to see the new theme!

    Like

  6. Ditching the Grind says:

    I can’t complain at all. I think freelancing and picking up various part time gigs is much more my style.

    Good luck on your upcoming projects. If I’m ever out your way, we should grab a beer. From reading your posts, I bet we could come up with some interesting collaborations.

    Like

  7. Mrs. PIE says:

    Transitions are tough, and living without your stuff for even a short time can be hard. Hope you start to get more settled soon.
    I can understand how full you find your days. I work 4 days a week and am at home on Fridays. before the kids went to school we did chores and something fun each friday. Poof – day gone!
    Now they are at school I am constantly amazed what a short day it is between drop off and pick up. A few chores and poof – day gone! I can imagine that a week full of days like that would take some getting used to. resetting your definition of productive!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Donna says:

    Isn’t it amazing that the same kid who can spend hours running around a playground or splashing in a pool can’t walk 5 minutes without needing to be carried? One of those great mysteries. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      We’ve been so busy that I’ve wondered several times how anyone has time to go to work! That being said, I’m actually working this week for the first time in six weeks and I can’t imagine doing this every day ever again.

      It has been great spending time with my daughter. She’s so much different when her brothers aren’t around. Lots of personality with that one!

      Like

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Maggie, it’s definitely tough no matter if you’re a mom or dad and in many ways a lot harder than just showing up to work everyday. You actually have to be engaged all the time. I think I’m adjusting pretty well, though, as we start figuring out what our new normal is.

      Like

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