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!