It may be Meet-a-Mom Monday, but today we’re switching it up a bit as we recognize that it may not always be the mom that keeps a household running smoothly. There are so many amazing local stay-at-home fathers and single dads in this community too! Our focus at Morongo Basin Moms is to support any and all people raising children in this beautiful desert we all call home. This week we are honored to introduce you to our first Meet-a-Dad, Travis Usher. Travis is a married stay-at-home Father of 2 beautiful girls, Everly (4) and Willow (2), and a working artist @travis_usher_art in Joshua Tree. Travis and his wife Katherine decided in 2015, when their first daughter was born, that he would be the stay-at-home parent. Travis said it was a decision that just worked for their family and has allowed him to pursue his passion as an artist. Later in 2015, he began Travis Usher Art, initially by working on large commercial and residential murals down in the low desert. He spends his days raising his daughters and his nights in the studio, oil painting. His career has since progressed with his most recent project and feature at the Joshua Tree Music Festival. Read his story below..
Where are you from originally and what brought you to the Morongo Basin?
I was born and raised in Yucca Valley and currently reside in Joshua Tree.
What is your favorite thing about living in Joshua Tree?
I love raising a family in a small town and close-knit community.
What activities do you love to do with your family in the area?
Taking the family to check out our local art galleries, exploring Joshua Tree National Park and Covington Preserve in Morongo Valley.
Tell us about what you do and why you are passionate about it…
Being an artist is my passion because I love the technical aspect of oil painting.
What is your favorite thing about staying at home with your girls?
Of course spending so much time with them and not missing out on any milestones in their lives. But my favorite thing is being able to be a big part and influential on their day to day lives. Helping them learn right from wrong and making good choices. I get to be a part of teaching them that every day.
Do you ever feel like people don’t understand the stay-at-home father dynamic?
Absolutely. It’s not the traditional roles however it works perfect for my household. Mom will always be mom and have that close connection to her children. I get to have my own close connection to my girls because I am there for all the day-to-day things. I handle all of the household items so my wife can come home from work and spend all her time with the kids and not worry about laundry or dishes. It’s a great fit for us.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
That I am a science nerd! Haha. The girls and I spend a lot of time researching and watching rocket launches.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
The best life hack I’ve learned, if you can’t find your shoes, look to the small humans in your house. Chances are they are responsible and have hid them somewhere.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
Definitely the potty training age. My girls are 18 months apart. It felt like as soon as Everly finished the potty training stage, Willow was just starting it. Endless accidents in our house for a long time!
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other Dads?
Patience. I don’t think it is in men’s DNA to be as patient with little ones and it is in a woman’s. Having patience, especially with such young kids, it’s the key to getting through it and keeping your sanity.
Thank you so much Travis! Your art is beautiful beyond words!!