The holiday season can be difficult for military spouses. Maybe you’re spending it away from your extended family in a new town. Maybe your spouse is deployed and you’re struggling with working up the energy to feel festive. Maybe you’re in the middle of a military suck fest and are in a cruddy mood. I get that, but have found that when you look for things to be thankful for, more and more appear.
Once I began thinking of things to be grateful for as a military spouse, the list grew quickly. As hard as this lifestyle can be, it does give us many wonderful moments.
Military Spouse Gratitude List
I know that deployment doesn’t seem like something that should immediately be on a military spouse gratitude list, but it should be! Deployments can seem like all bad, but in the midst of the suck, there are moments to be thankful for. Maybe it’s accomplishing something you never thought you could do solo or fixing the leaky faucet like a rockstar or getting to control the remote and have the whole bed to yourself. Deployments are opportunities for growth and when we approach them with that mentality, we’re far more likely to get the most of out them.
The military spouse community is one of my favorites part of the military lifestyle. By marrying into the military, you are immediately part of a worldwide network of men and women who are so welcoming and willing to support you. This group of people who “get you” can be the biggest source of strength during the hard times and cheering during the good times.
Flat rate boxes
Anyone who’s ever sent a care package (or shipped anything overseas) knows that flat rate boxes can save you a significant amount of money. My poor husband would definitely not receive as much love from home during deployment if I had to pay by weight!
Time spent with family
Many of us will spend the next day or two with family, whether they be immediate, extended or friends who feel like family. These moments are not always possible when you move frequently or are stationed far away. The military steals a lot of family time so any time you do have together is precious.
Of course, homecomings are on the military spouse gratitude list! That moment when you’ve survived (and thrived during) a deployment and are reunited with your loved one can feel like the best moment in a long time. We all look forward to that first hug after a long separation and are so thankful when it happens.
A strong internet connection
Is there anything you crave more during a deployment than a good solid Skype date? Phone calls are good, but there’s something about seeing your loved one’s face that really lifts your spirits. This past deployment, my husband had awful internet and we never got to Skype. It made an already difficult situation just a tiny bit harder because I didn’t have the benefit of seeing A. So anytime there’s a good quality internet signal, it’s time to be thankful!
A fulfilling career and understanding bosses
So many military spouses have a hard time finding quality and fulfilling employment that I am always very thankful for my career, even during frustrating days. When A is gone, it’s one of the things that keeps me sane and I honestly don’t know what I would do without my day job. A second part is definitely understanding coworkers, including your boss. No one is their best self during deployment and having people give you a little extra leeway during the hard days is so appreciated!
An extra mess
More often than not, an extra person in the house means a little extra messiness. So when your spouse is home, odds are there may be more socks on the floor or dishes in the sink or boots to trip over in the dark. While you may silently (or not so silently) rant and rave about having to tidy up more stuff, deep down you know that the extra mess is actually a good thing because it means he or she is home. And how could you not be thankful for that?
As a military spouse, what are you thankful for this year?