What You Need To Let Go Of As A Military Spouse
Do you ever feel like you are trying too hard to become that perfect military spouse? That you feel like you must do all the military spouse things? I have felt that pressure over the years. The pressure to be the best military spouse, to get everything done and to do it all with grace, all of the time. The truth is, this pressure isn’t healthy. There is only so much each of us can do. For our spouses, for our kids, for our homes, and for our communities.
I have learned over the years that letting go of certain expectations is a good way to find more peace as a military spouse. Knowing that there are seasons in my life where I can do more and seasons where I need to pull back and do less. Finding that balance is important.
So what as a military spouse should you let go of? What is not quite as important as you once thought it was?
Doing it all- You can’t do it all. Don’t feel bad if you tried and couldn’t make everything work. Balancing your own career with a spouse in the military is hard. Being both mom and dad for periods of time is hard. Keeping the house clean when you are running around different places on a daily basis is hard. Give yourself a break. Make lists of what you do each day and prioritize. Do what is most important and be okay saying no to everything else.
Going to every event- As a military spouse, there will be a lot of events you will be invited to. Don’t feel like you have to attend each and every one. If you want to sit one of them out, that’s okay. Your weekend is only so long. Schedule some time in for yourself and try to only say yes to the events you are most excited about. Fill up your calendar to stay busy but don’t overfill your days. That just adds more stress.
Feeling guilty about not going home- Going home to see family isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes doing so cost too much, other times schedules do no work out the way you need them too. Don’t feel guilty about this. Some families will try to make you feel guilty, don’t let them. Try to go home when you can and when details work out to do so. Families stationed overseas might not be able to go home the entire time they are over there. See if your family can come visit you. Sometimes that is easier, cheaper and will still allow you to spend time together.
Not cooking every night- Cooking when you have small children and no spouse coming home at night can be difficult. Cereal nights are okay. Pizza nights are okay. And if you do cook, you can always save some for leftovers for another night. The truth is, for every night you feel like you just want to order a pizza you will have other nights where you do want to cook. Using a crockpot can also save you some time when it comes to making a good and easy meal for your family.
Never shedding a tear– Crying happens and that’s okay. Whether you only shed a few tears or need to have a deep cry into your pillow. Crying is a release and sometimes having a good cry is the best way to get stress out and to figure out how you will get over whatever disappointment you are feeling. Some people cry more than others. Some spouses are more emotional than others. Sometimes all you need is to have a good cry so you can get back to doing what you need to get done.
Not asking for help when you need it- I admit I am really bad about asking for help. I never want to burden anyone with my own troubles. But sometimes asking for help is the best thing you can do. Friends are often willing to help you and would love to hear ways to do so. Sometimes people who want to help don’t know what you need. In return, you can help out your friends and neighbors when they need something too. That is what community is for.
If you are feeling too much pressure right now, take some time to step back and see what you can do to make life a little bit easier for you and your family.