It’s nearing Christmas time and I’ve begun thinking about my new year’s resolution. I’m not one to make resolutions, usually. It has always seemed a little silly to wait for a certain time of the year to make changes or better myself. But this year, I have a few simple goals to work on once the busy holidays are over.
Like most moms (and awesome military spouses) I put my family first. I run around taking care of everyone and everything else. And although I make a small amount of time each week to go to the gym, I never, ever, ever take a break outside of that time.
With no grandparents or family nearby to help, being new to base and PCSing again in a few months, I am not one to ask for help with my kids. Whether it’s a doctor appointment or errands, my kids come with me. That’s just the way it’s always been. My kids are my responsibility.
But, I am realizing (after some very long and tough days) I cannot do it all, all the time. I have days when my patience is non-existent and I am just going through the motions to get through the day. I am not afraid to say that the TV can be our best friend. But we need a change.
The military offers so many awesome resources and I am almost a little embarrassed that I have not taken advantage of them. I enjoy spending time at home with my boys. However, in short order I have had a second baby, a cross-country move, my oldest hit his terrible twos and I feel like I am going a little crazy. It’s almost impossible to keep it all together, all the time.
I am lucky enough to have my husband home and for him to be an awesome hands on dad. He’s also not afraid to do the laundry or clean a bathroom. But, some days I am still struggling. I beat myself up thinking I must just be terrible at this whole stay-at-home mom/military wife thing.
I have met some amazing women here, including many who have similar challenges: new babies, 2-year-olds, approaching PCS. Some of them have babysitters, another brings her daughter to preschool once a week and a few of the women take advantage of the hourly care provided on base at the Child Development Center.
Holy moly! These women are awesome moms and take time for themselves. My kids have only ever been cared for by family, when they visit us. But the reality is, that isn’t often enough. Asking for help or taking a few hours to myself here and there does not make me a bad mother.
Whoa! There it is. I realize why I have put off asking for help for so long. I have tried to do it all because asking for help might mean I have failed at my job as a mom. Not true.
Help and resources for military families are available for a reason. We cannot do it alone and this lifestyle is not for the weak. A happy mom who takes care of herself will make for a happy family. Things are going to get more complicated down the line when my husband is back in the fleet and deploys. I have to learn to stop spreading myself thin and just ask for help.
So there it is. Starting in 2013 I am going to look into hourly care for my kiddos and start taking care of myself. I’m going to start using more of the resources the military has to offer. Check in on me in the New Year to see if I can do it!
Special wishes for a safe holiday season to you all. This military family always has the men and women who are deployed in our thoughts and prayers as they are away from their families during this time of year. Special thanks to you all!