“Mr. Mom” carries on while wife serves overseas

Story by Staff Sgt. Steve Tressler, 138th Fires Brigade Public Affairs Officer

SGT Rob Corson 138th FiB

Sgt. Rob Corson, 138th Fires Brigade Supply Non-Commissioned Officer, is playing “Mr. Mom” to three children while his wife Sgt. 1st Class Catherine Corson, is deployed overseas. (photo submitted)

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. — “Mr. Mom” was one of the more popular movies of the 1980’s that became a ‘catchphrase’ for stay-at-home dads and single fathers with children everywhere.  It was the story of a middle class couple with three kids living in the suburbs of Detroit, Mi., during the early 1980s recession.

Sound like your life? No, it doesn’t?

Well it does to Sgt. Robert D. Corson, the 138th Fires Brigade supply sergeant.

His is the story of a middle class couple with, yes three kids, living in Nicholasville, Ky., and yes, during the recession of the last several years.  However, their story is not quite the Hollywood version that is all wrapped up and ‘just swell’ in under 90 minutes.

For starters, it’s a true story. No Michael Keaton here.

SFC Corson with Kids

Kentucky Agribusiness Team 4’s Sgt. 1st Class Catherine Corson, a resident of Nicholasville, Ky. visits with local children in southern Afghanistan on Feb. 20, 2012. (Photo by Beau Neal, Kentucky National Guard ADT4 civilian)

This sleep-deprived real world “Mr. Mom” has a wife, Sgt. 1st Class Catherine Corson, who’s on her second deployment in three years.  When he’s not on duty this stay-at-home dad raises their three children, sons Hunter 14 and Logan 7, and daughter Brooklyn 5, aka ‘Angel’, de facto alone.

“It’s not an easy task, but when you love your kids like I do, it’s also not as hard as you might imagine” says Rob. “It has taught me a lot as well. I have learned to be a better parent and especially a better husband. No relationship is perfect.”

The thought of raising 3 children alone for a month scares me, three years would kill me.

“There are definitely days when you get a little, or a lot stressed. The toughest part for me was taking care of the day-to-day operations. I don’t like grocery shopping and I never set the appointments for the kids like the doctor, dentist, or whatever the appointment was for, so that took some getting used to,” Corson continued. “But I have some great neighbors and a fantastic babysitter I rely on to assist me when I can’t do it alone.”

“My oldest son Hunter is 14 now so I can rely on him for a few minutes here and there to watch the kids for a short time.”

However, it’s still no easy task. Free-time is not free. Babysitters still have to be paid.

“I don’t have a whole lot of free time anyway so it’s not a huge issue on the financial end.”

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Sgt. Rob Corson and his wife, Sgt. 1st Class Catherine Corson spend time with their children, Hunter 14, Logan 7, and his daughter Brooklyn 5. (photo submitted).

Corson said another part that took some getting used to was being able to find an adult to talk to at the end of the day. “My oldest son hangs out with his buddies, and you can only talk in so much depth about anything with a five and seven-year-old.”

It was also hard at night Corson continued, saying that his wife being gone meant that he was alone in a bed meant for two people. “There were lots of nights I would reach over to just pull my wife close to me, and in that sleep-daze you realize ‘Oh wow, they’re not there.’  It hits you pretty hard sometimes.”

When asked what was the toughest part his reply was instant. “It’s the meltdowns from the kids. I know it hurts me that Catherine’s gone, so I can’t imagine how it feels to them that their ‘Mommy’s gone.’  I just try to continuously parent them the best I can, be a good dad and yet still try to be a nurturer as well.”

Although he got a little teasing from his buddies that she was heading off to war and not him they changed their tone when they realized his nights wouldn’t be filled with beer bottles, rock music and parties but baby bottles, lullabies, and chores.

Corson’s message to all the men reading this is “It can be done.  Just love your family, do your best and,” — with the smallest of a laugh — “be all you can be.”

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