We could sit here all day and swap triumphs and frustrations about the military. As dependents, we are constantly being torn away from family and friends to plant ourselves in a new duty station. We deal with the stress of finding new schools, doctors, dentists, and after-school activities. We learn to live with our spouse missing milestones, like anniversaries, birthdays and births. We’re close friends with Murphy. You know him — the guy who gives you a flat tire or breaks your child’s arm the day your spouse deploys. And we’re always in a state of waiting — waiting for orders, waiting for movers, waiting for homecomings — lots of waiting. With all that working against us, how are we supposed to not hate military life?
Decide to Bloom Where You’re Planted
Most cities have a local Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) chapter, where child care is provided. Moms get a break, some adult conversation, and a chance to listen to guest speakers. Churches provide ways to make connections and build relationships with like-minded families. Meeting new people and curating new friendships help make a duty station feel a lot less lonely. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a tribe that will last a lifetime.
Become an Entrepreneur
Many moms embrace this nomadic season by taking a leap into business ownership. Finding a job that allows you to work from home can provide both financial security and a sense of fulfillment.
Maybe you join a local Meals on Wheels, give your time to your church’s nursery, bring your children to sing songs to grandmas and grandpas at a local nursing home, or volunteer in your child’s classroom once a week. Helping your community brings so much joy to everyone involved. It makes a big city feel smaller and helps you not hate military life so much!
Whether you hop on a Space-A flight while stationed in Germany for a little European sightseeing or become a tourist in your own backyard in 29 Palms, use this unique opportunity to get out and explore! Embrace your new location and learn the local culture. There are sure to be many beautiful memories made.
Daily Mom Military managing editor and co-creator of #TheDependas, Lauren Lomsdale, says she maintains a positive attitude by “finding the funny in this lifestyle.” Being able to re-establish your relationship with the military in a positive light is imperative. Practice thankfulness and gratitude to help eliminate your daily worries and tribulations. Ask yourself, “What can I do to make this situation less stressful?” Laugh!
This is not one-size-fits-all. Some ideas for self-care may include:
- Taking a mommy timeout (a.k.a. chocolate or wine in the laundry room)
- Getting a manicure or pedicure
- Taking a long walk (through the aisles of Target, maybe)
- Practicing yoga
- Going to therapy
- Planting a garden and actually keeping it alive
- Hiring a babysitter so you can share a nice meal with your spouse
- Getting extra sleep
Whatever you decide to do to help yourself not hate military life, know that you are a strong, capable, and resilient military mom. If you’ve learned anything through the military, it’s that you can handle anything! Bring it on, Murphy!