On Veterans’ Day and every day it’s heartwarming to see the collective gratitude for those who have served and who currently serve our country. There are so many businesses that now offer discounts to veterans, some going so far as to provide a free meal or some other perk, which might not seem like a big deal, but just the recognition is huge.
I was honored and proud to be an active-duty Army wife for over a decade of my adult life. During the 13 years that my husband, my kids and I moved around the world, life was always in transition. As it is for most military families, we never stayed in one place for more than about 2 years. Brown boxes with numbered stickers on them were the constant background of our lives.
My main challenge as a mom was always adjustment – to new cities, new housing, new doctors, new friends and new schools. But these adjustments were accompanied by my affiliation with a group of women who are perhaps the greatest asset our country’s armed forces have – “Military Moms.”
I have been blessed to know and to befriend many of these super-humans during my life, and let me tell you, there are few things better than the love, friendship, and support of a fellow military mom.
5 Reasons Why Military Moms Are The Best
Whether she’s the spouse or the mother of a military member, here’s why these moms are simply the best.
1. They don’t sweat the small stuff. When you’re dealing with a deployed spouse, your kid waking up with a strange rash and your car not being shipped to your new duty station yet, it’s a typical day for a military Mom. They quickly learn to deal with all kinds of stuff coming at them at warp speed. This was the first thing I noticed when my kids started a new school after my husband left active duty: there were Moms freaking out over issues that wouldn’t even register on the stress meter for most military spouses.
When your husband or kid is in a combat zone, you’re not all that concerned with which teacher your child will get next school year. Perspective is always in the back pocket of a military mom.
2. They are so welcoming and giving. Every military spouse knows the feeling of walking into a new apartment or housing unit and looking around at the physical emptiness and feeling the emotional emptiness. Bare floors, bare windows, and a big bare spot in your heart, thinking about all the besties you just left behind in a faraway country or city. But it’s usually the case that within 12 hours, there are smiling strangers in your doorway, with cookies, a potted plant, some toys for your kids, and tips and tricks for your new existence. They welcome others with open arms and no questions asked, because they all know exactly what it’s like to be the newbie. This level of acceptance is rare and astonishing.
3. They know what to prioritize in life. The safety and health of family and friends is paramount. Everything else comes decidedly behind that. Because when the window dressings of life are constantly changing, you realize quickly that Things just aren’t that important. And when you have loved ones in harm’s way, their safety is what drives your decision making on a daily basis. The big picture of life seems a little more in focus for military families, and I strive to keep that emphasis in the forefront of my mind, even though my own spouse is no longer on active duty.
4. They make the best of any situation. A military mom is a true master of the MacGyver Method for everything in life. These gals have got skills for days. Most have passing proficiency in multiple languages. They can cook dishes from around the globe. They can set up and break down an entire household, solo, in a matter of days, and they can resolve conflicts amongst their kids like ninjas, never uttering the phrase, “Wait ‘til your Dad gets home.” Utterly brilliant.
5. They are the Village that we all seek. As every new parent quickly realizes, it does indeed take a village to raise a child. It does not matter if that kid is 15 months old, or 15 years old. A military mom is there to squeeze your hand as you push out a baby whose Daddy is four thousand miles away. A military Mom offers to watch your toddler for an afternoon, after she’s only known you for five minutes. A military mom picks up your college kid from the airport because you’re at the vet dealing with an injured dog. They are there for fellow moms with a commitment like no one else.
So on Veteran’s Day or actually any day take the opportunity to thank a vet, and don’t forget the service of their spouse or mom. Not every hero wears the uniform.
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