Anything Moms Can Do, Dads Can Too

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Breanna Carter
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

When a stay-at-home parent is mentioned, it’s easy to imagine a mom manning the home front, armed with snacks and cleaning supplies, ready to fight off germs, clutter and toddler chaos. This misconception can be especially abundant in military families where many may think of the man being the one in uniform. Fortunately, it’s 2019 and a myriad of antiquated ideas about how a family should look are fading away. One particular family going against the stereotype is the Barrandeys.

Technical Sgt. Denise Barrandey, 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron battle captain, wears the combat boots in this family and her husband, Fred Barrandey, former security forces instructor, holds down the fort at home.

“With both of us being active duty cops, our girls would often be the first to arrive at daycare and the last to leave,” said Denise. “I remember I would trip out to the missile field for four or five days at a time and our schedules were too packed for us to spend time together.”

The Barrandeys knew they wanted more time with their two daughters, Peyton and Hayden, and they also wanted another child. After much deliberation and rock, paper, scissors, it was decided that Fred would separate through the Volunteer Separation Program.

This decision afforded the couple exactly what they wanted, more time with their family and the opportunity to have a third child, Harper.

“My decision to get out relieved a lot of pressure on our family,” said Fred. “I think we have a much stronger dynamic and I’ve had time to develop better relationships with my daughters.”

When he’s not taking care of their two-year old, or working from home, Fred finds time to take on his role as president of a girl’s fast-pitch softball organization.

“I coach locally and it’s a great opportunity for me to spend more time with my daughters because they play on the team,” said Fred. “We also have more time to explore Colorado and find things to do as a family.”

Fred and Denise both agree that their decision was the best set up for them.

“It feels good to know there’s always someone at home,” Denise said. “I’ve seen people who work in the missile field have to leave their kids with friends or people they barely know for days at a time because they don’t have other options, so this is a more ideal situation for us.”

The couple has been operating this way for about five years, and Denise plans to stay in the Air Force until retirement. Fred is in the process of joining the Air National Guard now that Denise has a more flexible schedule.

“I’m grateful that my husband was able to pause his career when we needed someone to be that constant at home for our kids,” Denise said. “He’s been able to go to school and accomplish some things in that time and our youngest will start preschool this year, so we’re in a good place.”

Whatever the Air Force throws at them, this family is ready to adapt and do whatever keeps them together.