First of all, I donít want to be the stereotypical man who canít handle the household chores.† With that being said, my wife has recently deployed.† We have two children and this is the first time I have been alone with them for more than a week† I have never done the finances for the house and the kids are acting out.† How do I handle work, the house and the kids without stressing myself out?

Stressed out Dad

Dear Stressed,

The answer is simple.† You canít. Stress is a military spouseís middle name. Youíre going to get stressed out.† Youíre going to want to scream into the pillow at night when the baby wonít stop crying.† Your kids are going to drive you crazy.† The dog will chew through the fence.† Youíll probably drive all the way to work with your baby in the car seat and forget that you needed to drop her off at daycare first. The local pizza restaurant might as well have you on speed dial because pizza is a regular dish at your dinner table. You will probably have to change your car tire at least five times in a week, change the oil and duct tape a door handle back on while juggling a screaming baby. What Iím getting at is things happen and we cannot control them. Not having another person around to help out is rough.† Iíve been there, a lot of military spouses have.† Settling into your new routine is going to take a while.

Firstly, your number one job is being a parent.† On a weekend, do something with your children to relax.† Once Family time has been established and rekindled, handling chores and work should be a little less stressful.

Army Community Service has all kinds of classes to help you cope. Give them a call at 396-8682 or stop by the Soldier Support Center. Life does not stop while our Soldiers are deployed.† We just help life continue back home, so they can do their job and come home safely.