Ah… Spring. A perfect adjective would be refreshing. We get out of the house. We start the garden. We clean off the deck. We pull out our soccer cleats, baseball gloves and running shorts. We pump up our bike tires, clean out our cars and hose off the outdoor dump trucks, bubble wands and kiddie pools. We open windows, smell the flowers, take long hikes. We start to fill the family calendar with all sorts of events.
As military families we also might be looking at orders. We clean out our closets, get rid of the ‘extras’, plan for the future. We make last ditch moments to see the town we called home for 15 months, 2 years, maybe even 5.
We have Hail and Farewells to go to, Spouse Clubs to step down from, favorite girl-friends to spend a few last evenings with. We find time in all of this to be a ‘couple’, a date night – or even a date-lunch perhaps? Through all of this we remember that while Spring is synonymous with Refreshing. Military-life is synonymous with Change. And we take it all in stride.
Through all of this what are some tips that you have for other military families perhaps overwhelmed by this season in their life? These are just some of my simple ideas; one simple idea at a time can make one evening better and sometimes that makes all the difference in the world:
- The crock-pot! (Can I get an ‘Amen’!?)
- I took two old school-backpacks and put each of the boys’ soccer gear (shin guards, cleats, uniforms) in their own bag. Nothing fancy. Just something to keep them organized and be able to say ‘Grab your bag and get ready’.
- I keep a golf umbrella and a “camping chair” in the van’s trunk. (And I’ve had to use that umbrella more times then I’d like to count during past Springs.)
- Another organization tip: I have a trunk-organizer that holds soccer balls, baseball mitts, and a few light coats in case it gets chilly. If we are going grocery shopping or travelling and I need the trunk space it comes right out. Otherwise, the boys know right where to check to make sure they have their stuff before we jump in the van to go.
- Find a reliable babysitter for those events that you either (a) can’t take the kids to or (b) it would be so much easier NOT to take the kids to. Perhaps become part of a co-op, ask a younger neighborhood teenager to watch your young ones while you do around the house work. Look into SitterCity. The DoD offers a free membership to help you find the sitter your family needs.
- We have lots of resources too if you are going to be PCSing this summer. Many are neatly indexed at “The PCS“.
Spring is a busy season. A fun season. A season to explore, prepare, be invigorated! Use the resources you have around you. Find time for yourself, your family, your spouse. Empower yourself to make this season the best season of your life.
– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com
Leanne is the mother of four boys from 2 1/2 to 19 years old. The wife of a soldier. The daughter of an airman. A believer in Grace, Hope and Love and leans deeply on her Christian Faith. She writes for MilitaryAvenue as a reminder that we’ve all ‘been there, done that’ in one way or another. You can read additional blogs by her by clicking here: Leanne