Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate dictionary defines a hero as:
1 a: [noun] a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.
If you’re an army wife, the word hero has come to mean a greater thing than its definition implies. For one, you know the depth of heroism it takes for someone to leave a family behind to fight for their country. And even though you may not be the one deployed, you still feel the aftershock that comes with the deployment in its entirety. Time is as ephemeral as it gets (and it’s also your worst enemy) because you’re hanging onto every phone call, and making the most out of any conversation you can grasp. On top of that, you have a family to take care of. You not only have to forge a new normal for yourself, but for your children as well.
Along with paying tribute to the people who serve us abroad, we want to thank their spouses for holding down the domestic fort as well. Because, of course, they are the unsung heroes who deserve a little limelight. Here are some ways for taking care of your household while your spouse is serving our country.
Get your people to be your people. Keep the contact information of all your friends and family handy. Even your neighbor. You will be alone at times, yes. That’s inevitable. But the actual feeling of loneliness - feeling alone – is another issue altogether. Having people in your corner serves as a constant reminder that you have a support system set in place.
Have a plan for what you don’t know. What does your significant other usually take care of? House repairs? Gutter cleaning? Meetings with teachers at school? PTA groups? Make sure you have a plan to tend to those duties while they’re gone. If you don’t know how (or don’t want to), have the number of a repairman, plumber, etc. to cater to those chores you can’t get to.
Be transparent as possible with your kids. Honesty is always the best policy. If your child is too young to understand, you can always explain that their parent is away on a superhero mission. It’s important work, and it’ll be easy for them to comprehend (it’s also not too far off base from reality). If they’re older, explain the exact days their parent is going to be gone, and when they’ll come back. When there’s time, invite them to all your webcam and phone conversations. That way, they don’t feel left out of the loop.
Schedule everything. When you stay on top of things, you’ll know what to expect. The more prepared you are, the fewer meltdowns you’ll encounter, for both you and your kids. Also, organizing causes you to fall into a routine, and helps establish a feeling of normalcy.
Here at McGruff Safe Kit, we want to thank the people in the armed forces for serving the United States of America. Both you and your deployed spouse are doing things way past the capacity of “normal”. You’re both tending to the people you love, and being brave for your families and your country. For us, there are heroes both abroad and at home.
McGruff Safe Kit defines a hero as:
1 a: [noun] a person (parent, guardian, or friend) who remains resilient in the face of adversity, and creates miracles – big or small – for the people surrounding them. A good person.