Dear MilSpouse, I See You.
Waking up early in the morning to the notification of a video call starts the day. After a few minutes to talk and a brief “I love you, see you next time” the hustle begins. There are kids to wake up, breakfast to make, backpacks to pack, homework to check, coffee to make, kisses and hugs to be given, pets to feed, hair and makeup to do, and fresh clothes to put on. Right before stepping out the door, there’s a mirror. A mirror to make sure that smile is on for the day!
After the morning routine is flawlessly carried out, the planning begins. What activities do the kids have today? What will we have for dinner? How will we spend this weekend staying busy? What fun things can I do to make missing a parent a little easier? Who needs my ear today? It seems overwhelming, but somehow the milspo does it all and does it well.
Doing it well doesn’t mean we don’t see you, and it doesn’t mean we don’t care. The truth is, we see you. We see you doing your best for your children. We see you doing your best to support your spouse whose military career takes them a world away without the promise of so much as a text every day. We see you getting the kids to soccer, dance, music, school, and everything else they love. We see you sacrificing every last drop in your cup for others. We see you, fellow, haggard, milspo and guess what? We love you.
We are your tribe, and we support you. If you see your milspo friend drowning in the life that so often puts us using every ounce of ourselves to give to others, fill their cup. Be a listening ear. Listen without always offering a solution; sometimes we just need to say “Well, this stinks!” and have someone validate that feeling. Come sit with us and drink lukewarm coffee we brewed 4 hours ago and visit. Help us socialize! Invite us to the park with the kids. Invite us on that friend’s night we keep saying we should take.
Support us from near and far. So many times, our best milspo friends PCS and find themselves tired, lonely, and worn out from giving themselves. Even hours away, we can offer support. Send them a pizza on a really tough day. Send a surprise from their favorite online shop! Download a delivery app and send them a coffee, ice cream, or special treat to enjoy after the kids are asleep. Find a hobby, and do it “together” on a video chat. Help them fill up the cup so they can continue to care for their families and support their spouses. That smile? It only gets us so far alone.
One day, you might be that spouse, plastering on a smile and “getting it done!” even when you aren’t sure how you will do it. If, and when, you are, you will be thankful for the support of milspos who look at you and say “I see you. I love you. You’ve got this.”