At age two and three months, my toddler learned how to open doors. It was my worst nightmare is a parent. Now I had a child who could escape.
God help us all.
He could also open the pantry and fridge when I wasn’t looking. I swear I was only in the bathroom for exactly two minutes. When I returned, there he was standing on the third shelf reaching for the box of Cheerios.
As his toes pushed up and his arm reached further, he gained the additional half inch needed to knock the open box of cereal across the floor.
It wasn’t even 9 am yet and I had baby spit up in my hair, poop on my arm from a baby diaper explosion (hence the bathroom 3 minutes earlier) and Cheerios carpeted my entire kitchen floor.
This is the moment you want your mom or mother-in-law on speed dial. The moment you call in the grandmas and ask them to come babysit for an hour or two so you can escape to Target for a latte and a shirt from the sale rack that flatters your figure and doesn’t scream “mom.”
BUT…in that moment, there isn’t a grandma to call. They are both 632 miles across the country.
The military spouse community.
Where ever you are in the world as a military family, there is a military spouse community. At some duty stations it is more active than others, but it is always there. Sometimes you need to dig deep to find it, but I promise you it’s there. Each new place we live, I feel honored and privileged to be a part of the military spouse community. There are so many reasons why.
When you call, they will answer.
If you are the kind of person who asks for help—we all should ask for help before the house burns down—the military spouse community will answer your call. They will respond to that text, voicemail or Facebook message and what comes next will surprise you. They will go above and beyond what you expect.
When my husband and I had our daughter 6 months ago, we thought it was helpful when the military spouse community wanted bring us a few meals after the birth. We never expected over two weeks of meals brought to our home evening after evening. The number of strangers who dropped meals to our home out of mere kindness–and nothing more–well, it was inspiring.
Surely, we could’ve survived without the help, but those meals allowed us to focus on being a family, instead of cooking and cleaning up every night. For as much as military life pulls you apart with TAD, TDY, deployment and other separations, the military spouse community is there to pull you back to center.
They help you live smarter, not harder.
The military spouse community is incredible at organizing things to make life easier. I look at all the Facebook groups we have in our local community: From finding a babysitter in a pinch to discovering local tourist attractions to buying and selling stuff before and after a PCS, the community is active and thriving.
Before you needed to know a friend of a friend of a friend in order to find a good babysitter. Now, all you do is post your needs in a local Facebook group to discover countless, quality options.
Before you needed to figure out local tourist attractions by going to the brick and mortar tourist office. Now, you can hop online to see recommendations, directions, and words of caution from fellow spouses.
The military spouse community streamlines everything into one simple online community. Sure, there are trolls and drama in every group. But I assure you, the helpfulness of the groups far outweighs the one or two bad eggs you get.
They understand YOU.
Military spouses know exactly where you are coming from. They are in the same situation as you. They empathize more than anyone else. And they will lend a helping hand because “they just get it.”
You don’t have to explain why you move every few years and need to make new friends. You don’t have to explain why you don’t know anything about your local area. You don’t even need to explain why you feel angry about deployment. We’ve all been there. The community is there to help.
There is something for everyone.
There are military spouse community groups for everyone. Whether you are a spouse who likes the outdoors or a spouse who wants to organize charitable events or a spouse who wants to stay active in the LGBT community or a spouse who wants to participate in an all male military spouse or an all female military spouse group, there is a community for you.
I never made it to Target.
I washed the poop off my arm, combed the cereal out of my hair and managed to vacuum all the Cheerios up in less than 10 minutes. I didn’t make it to Target, but I did get a babysitter for a few hours and treated myself to a trip to faux Starbucks on base (you know the one that supposedly sells “Starbucks” coffee but it’s not a real Starbucks?).
I sat there sipping my latte, pretending it was real Starbucks. I also ate my chocolate glazed donut filled with vanilla cream. Everything was quiet and that was all I cared about.
There weren’t any grandmas to watch my kids for thousands of miles. But there was an entire military spouse community willing to come over, give me a break, and carry me through.
Ready to find YOUR community?
MilitaryOneClick is hosting an amazing #MilspouseFest 2016 tour. The first stop on the tour is in San Diego, April 19 from 10 to 2pm at Liberty Station.
And it’s FREEEEEE! (That was me using my Oprah voice).
At #MilspouseFest, the MilitaryOneClick team will help you discover the military spouse community you always wanted. They don’t expect anyone to sit and listen to canned PowerPoint presentations or the same old advice about keeping busy (who is not busy?) or planning a date night (with a partner who is deployed??).
Instead, they use individual activities, group games, and crowd demos to teach you how to use your strengths to build relationship skills, increase networking opportunities, individualize your career plan, and build your own financial success.
If you want to learn more, sign up now right here. It’s FREE PEOPLE!! The food, the prizes, the fun…EVERYTHING IS FREE!
Share it with your friends or RSVP yourself! You have nothing to lose!
This is a sponsored post. I received compensation from MilitaryOneClick. All opinions and work are my own.