3 Ways Military Spouses Can Overcome a Bad Day
I heard two things at the worst moment; a Facetime request and my children screaming.
I took a deep breath and swallowed my tears. I was sitting on the floor with both children crying in my lap.
My son was being difficult all day, he woke up from his nap even worse. He was miserable and crying for no logical reason. But then again, toddlers aren’t logical.
My daughter was only weeks old. My son had just thrown one of his trucks at her head (he was aiming for me). But she cried a lot- we both did those first few weeks- I was learning how to be a mom of two, I was trying to get my milk supply up where she needed it to be. She also had terrible colic and a dairy intolerance.
I was at my wits end, I was stressed out and I didn’t want to press that button, I didn’t want my husband to see me cry; because that’s what was coming. Tears.
There are going to be days that are worse than others.
Solo-parenting doesn’t make life any easier. Whether it’s boot camp, training, or deployment. Anytime your spouse is away it’s going to be hard on you, your kids, and your spouse.
But there are ways to come back from a really bad day. Here’s how I do it:
1. Have some me-time
This is especially important if you are a mom. When your spouse is away, moms have to fill all the roles. They have to take the stage and do all the things on their own, and sometimes they forget to take care of themselves.
But, what’s the saying? You can’t pour from an empty glass. You need to take care of yourself. You need to recuperate and breathe. Whether it’s going for a run (or walk) or browsing the dollar spot at target- take some time for yourself.
2. Ask for help
Military spouses are famous for the, “No thanks, I got it,” attitude. It makes sense as we are so used to having to take care of things on our own. We are used to handling the big decisions, making sure the bills are paid, and holding down the fort that we don’t even think about it.
But, you can’t really have “me-time” if you don’t ask for help. Ask your friend to babysit. You can even offer to return the favor some time (because I’m sure she’s in need of some me-time too).
Or maybe you don’t have kids and you just want someone to hang out with who “gets it” or someone you can vent to that won’t judge you.
Either way, know when it’s time to ask for help and find someone to help you.
3. Pamper yourself
I remember shortly after I had my son, I asked my mother in law to watch him while I showered, did my hair and my makeup. I had nowhere to go, my husband was in basic, but I just wanted to look nice. It turned my whole attitude around that day.
Sometimes you just want to paint your toenails, or wear a nice dress (instead of the same spit-up stained sweatpants from yesterday). You want to do your hair, or put on makeup, or take a bubble bath.
Not to mention, it’s one of the million reasons I love MilSO Box. That box each month is like a little reminder: “Hey! It’s time to make time for yourself! Fill this awesome wine glass up and eat these homemade caramels and relax in a hot bath.”
Anyway, I know it can be hard- especially on hard days- but at least give it a shot. You might be surprised.
Never underestimate your strength, even when you feel weak.
In case you’re wondering how that Facetime turned out; it was bad.
I took a deep breath. I looked down at my t-shirt that was covered in drool, and snot, and tears. I pressed the button and closed my eyes while it connected.
My husband heard the crying from the kids. He asked, “What happened?” I explained that it was just a bad day.
But like most military spouses, I assured him that I was okay and everything was good. I didn’t want to burden him. I didn’t want him to think I couldn’t handle it.
Of course, he insisted that I was lying and eventually I cried. I cried a lot. He felt bad and I felt worse. I apologized for not being strong but he insisted that I was, even if I didn’t feel it.
Bedtime couldn’t come fast enough that day, but I took a hot bath and filled up my cute wine glass and I breathed. I got through my bad day, and I went to bed without any more tears.
Not every day will be a bad day, but they will come and go in waves. Knowing how to overcome them will make a difference in your overall well being. How do you handle bad days?
Kara is the owner of Foxtrot & Pennies, a military spouse, and the mom of two
awesome kids. Over 620,000 military families struggle with just buying food and
26% of military spouses face unemployment. At Foxtrot & Pennies we write about
ways for you to have more money. We found that many military spouses struggle to
get from paycheck to paycheck. This is why we are so passionate about showing
you how to use your military resources to save money, make money from wherever
you’re located, and overcome the challenges of military life. Check out our website