It never ceases to amaze me how many times military spouses are supposed to play both roles in the marriage. Most spouses of military members would agree that they’re husbands employment comes first, you never know what time to put the dinner on or if you should eat without your husband/wife. One thing stands true and that is that no matter where they (spouse) are the family must continue its daily schedule. Many wives/husbands let loose and eat dinner in the living room with a movie while daddy is away, and the kiddos get to sleep side by side in bed with mom. Some wives keep to the schedule only to find themselves lonely by the end of the evening or relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book. which ever wife/husband you are it is you that keeps the house running so if its working don’t change it.
I am the type of wife that allows the kids to eat in the living room with a movie, and once they are done eating we clean up and we bring out tents and sleeping bags. The amount of children and ages do not allow for a nice stroll to the park or to the movies so we try to play games inside when daddy’s gone. We have indoor campouts where each of the children have their own tents and sleeping bags and we stay up watching movies until everyone starts to sleep. Our family tends to be a little lax when daddy is gone but with structure, we still have the same routines, brushing teeth, bath time, clean up time, etc. However when it is bed time my little ones keep my company.
Understanding the need for companionship is important in military life whether through children, animals, friends in the military community or even outside of it. Keeping busy keeps the mind off of the stress of wondering if your loved one is coming home or not. It is equally important to stay out of situations that could pose a threat to the marriage, remembering to always keep your radar in check. Some of the ways this can be done is by having a pizza night with the neighbor and his/her children, this keeps the kids entertained and gets them exercise and allows mom/dad time to speak with an adult. Having the ability to hold an adult conversation is sometimes the icing on the cake, interaction with adults can reduce the stress levels in the house when your spouse is away.
These are just some examples of the things that can be done when your spouse is deployed or away for some time. Stay active, whether it is at a park or in the backyard, the fresh air does wonders for the mind and body. If this isn’t enough just take a deep breath and relax, there are many others in the same situation.