By Selena Conmackie
Can we talk about this for a minute?
Iʻm 46 years old and I finally figured that out. As military spouses, we donʻt lead the traditional lifestyle in the sense that we arenʻt around the support system we grew up with.
Brother comes over to help the husband to heave the heavy shelf you wanted him to build. Or mom comes over to help you fold the laundry while you cry out frustrations of current life. Or maybe your besties come over to just clean the house because they know you just need a hand to pull you up when you are feeling down.
What do you do when you’re living a military spouse life and that support is not around? You still have heavy things to lift. Laundry sits waiting for you to cry it out and stare at it while thinking of the zillion other things that need attending to. And your house needs some help while you work 9am-9pm, while carting the kids to their next activity.
My husband deployed right after Thanksgiving last year when my business was in full holiday swing. My teenager had a social life for which I led the charge as her chauffeur. So it was just me dealing with it all.
I was exhausted.
Faced with the loneliness you feel when the partner of your home is gone longer than a month, I recognized the things he took care of in the home started to show he was missing. I knew it was time to lean on the ways to help my mental health by outsourcing.
I live off-post currently, so the local grocery stores that offer delivery services, I take advantage of. While late at night, in the dark, I pop in my grocery list and schedule it for the time I can receive it in the middle of my workday. This is a great time saver.
*When I lived on post, while you may not have the luxury of same-day grocery delivery if you are a better planner than me, I had friends that did their shopping via Costco, Samʻs Club, and Amazon, and had boxes delivered for non-perishables. (Psst, I use this still so I donʻt have to go out and fight the madness. I can also sample more food I donʻt need to buy.)
Door Dash/Uber Eats.
When my day has gone legit-hot-mess-express and I just physically can’t find my soul to go into the kitchen and cook a meal, I will order dinner from Door Dash or Uber Eats. Gosh, even pizza from the local pizza delivery people. Even if it costs a bit more, the time and energy saved is invaluable.
I remember, when I lived on post, how nice it was that the landscaping crew came around twice a week and kept the front and back lawns nice and tidy. However, not living on post, you are handling that yourself. My husband LOVES (no sarcasm) mowing our much larger yard the previous duty stationʻs yard and I… well, I donʻt. I hoped that the lawn wouldnʻt need him until he came back in late spring, but when neighbors would drive by my house with a look of pity, I knew it was time. I made a call. The landscapers showed up to help me get the yard tidy for my guy’s return.
**I was actually hoping to hire a teenager in the neighborhood to support their young entrepreneurial efforts, but none ever appeared.
This was by far the one task that, when the cleaning crew finished their work, I cried. The relief of just having someone for one day to help me feel “taken care” of was the fuel I needed to get back into “maintain mode” if you know what I mean. As a business owner that works probably 60 hours a week, I canʻt do it all.
Outsourcing to help yourself in the home is not a shameful thing. All the above has given me time back. Time back to spend chatting with my teenager about her latest drama at school, time to facetime with more focus when my deployed spouse calls. Time back just for ME.
And THAT is okay. I highly recommend it.
About Selena Conmackie
Some call Selena their Social Media Gal, Website Designer Extraordinaire Guru, Genius (their words, not hers). But she’s also a Military Spouse following her husband with her kid and dog in tow to wherever the Army sends them. So, just add Rockstar Mom and Ah-mazing Wife to her list.