The demands and uncertainties of Military life often cause today’s Military Spouses to wonder if it’s possible to be married to a servicemember and still have their own lives. From managing the household, finances and family to the unpredictability and emotional roller coaster of deployments, many Spouses put their own needs at the bottom of the priority list in an attempt to maintain the well-being of the family.
Believe it or not — doing so can actually be more harmful than helpful.
Often, it seems as though the only way to actually be an outstanding Military Wife is to put “me time” on hold, or give it up altogether—but some experts actually assert that being a good wife is actually a result of having your own life!
Even knowing the benefits of having a life outside of the Military, it can be hard to focus on your own needs. Sometimes we feel guilty putting ourselves first and other times, we just don’t know where to start. There are simple ways to start making a habit of focusing (at least just a little) on yourself.
Start by getting to know yourself, your goals and who you believe yourself to be. My challenge for you is to think about who you are independent of the role you play as a wife, Military Spouse or mom—instead think of yourself in terms of what you do well. For example, entrepreneur, writer, blogger—even something like frozen yogurt guru, or extreme couponer! Don’t worry so much about what it is. The point is just to start the habit. Then, write it down and think of ways you can nurture this area of your life! Write those ideas down too. The act of simply notating a goal actually improves your odds of following through with it.
Remember, every time you say “yes” to things other than yourself, you are ultimately saying “no” to your self improvement. If you continually say “no” to your needs, it becomes easier to neglect them. At least one time this week, try saying “yes” to you!
I’m the owner of Military Spouse Portable Career Planning and the wife of an active duty soldier. I’m a Certified Career, Education and Adult Learning Coach, and love providing Military Spouses with proactive, strategic approaches to career fulfillment through the development of individualized Portable Career Plans. Check out Portable Career Planning for more information!