Image: – Life as a Stay At Home Dad and Civilian Male Military Spouse by Taurus M. James – TaurusJames.com
I get these "google alerts" every day, which are basically just articles and posts from around the web related to certain keywords I want to monitor. "SAHD" and "Stay At Home Dad" are keywords I monitor and I have been getting a great deal of posts lately.
Much of the stuff that I'm finding on the Internet, regarding SAHD (Stay At Home Dads) and civilian male military spouses, is still in the "novelty" range, or the "Awww, that's cute" range. I also check out websites that give the spouse's perspective - you know, the women who live with these dudes.
I haven't found many stories or articles about the health of SAHDs. In all of my monitors and in all of the web surfing I've done on the topic of SAHDs, I have not come across any health-related posts. Maybe I haven't searched long or deep enough. Maybe I'm using the wrong search keywords. I thought "Stay At Home Dad Health" would return something i could use.
I'm far from a being "health nut" and I'm not suggesting that SAHDs are somehow automatically prone to bad health. I just found the lack of stories, articles and posts on this subject interesting because of the recent research I have been doing. As a SAHD and male military spouse, I'm concerned about my health and I'm looking for ways to improve any way I can. Pretty sure I'm not the only one.
My wife got me started looking at my health from a different perspective - that is, from her perspective and my daughter's. It boiled down to this: I need to care about my health for my family's sake. That's good motivation for me, especially on those days when I don't feel like running or going to the gym.
So, here I am as a SAHD (Stay At Home Dad) and civilian male military spouse, with more opportunity to really think about and implement ways of improving my family and myself. I decided to be more proactive when it comes to my health. Why? Because I hate hospitals and clinics.
Growing up, there was never anything good that came out of a hospital visit. I associated having to go to see a doctor with death. Yeah, that's a messed-up way of thinking, but I didn't know about being proactive in health to prevent illness.
Now, I make sure to go and get my annual physical. I also set appointments and go whenever I'm not feeling right. Notice, I wrote "feeling right" - just my way of saying that something is really wrong, especially if I'm making the appointment and going on my own. The point is that I do this, keeping my wife and daughter in mind.
Like I said, I'm no health nut, but I run a few miles and exercise a few times each week. My Taekwondo (TKD) classes with my daughter are great exercise opportunities. Taking these classes with my daughter allow her to see me in exercise mode and see that exercise, fitness and health are very important. We just started a swim class at the local YMCA, as a family. So again, my daughter can see how we approach health and fitness as a family.
My wife is an awesome role model for my daughter. She works out like a robot and runs marathons for fun. (That's "Health Nut-ty", right?) In fact, we're going to Tulsa for the Route 66 Marathon to support mommy this weekend. I'm not marathon material, but I figure that I can do what I can to show my daughter a healthier lifestyle.
Like I said, I'm constantly looking for ways to improve my health and fitness, but not just for my sake. When I think about the great opportunity I have now to be so intimately involved in my daughter's everyday life as a SAHD, I want to do my best to make sure that I'm healthy enough to be actively involved in her life years from now.
My goal is to make the SAHD stand for "Strong And Healthy Dad" - at least for my daughter and my wife.
If you are a SAHD leave a comment and let me know how you are becoming a "Strong And Healthy Dad". Grace and Peace!