Tips For Supporting Military Families When A Parent Is Deployed

Over the past few months we’ve had an ongoing discussion about the challenges facing family members — both non-deployed spouses and children — when a parent is deployed. Today  featured blogger Laura @ semperfimomma offers some great suggestions for those of us who want to support military families:
Supporting a military wife and her family while her husband is deployed is easier than most think. My top 5 ways to support are as such:
1. Just be a friend. An ear. Usually, a husband comes home from work. The couple will chat about their day, or any current events going on in their lives. Often when they go to bed at night they lay there and talk about whatever is on their minds. This is time for a wife to vent, talk about something exciting, or share some new news. Either way, this outlet for conversation is now gone. Being a friend and giving a military wife simple, adult conversation is one of the most important things you can do to show support.
2. Lend a hand. In the simplest ways, mind you, as they are usually the ones that make the biggest impact. Taking a baked dish over saves a friend on prep time. If all she has to do is pop it in the oven you’ve afforded her some extra time with her kids, or possibly a little sanity by not having to rush around trying to throw something together while her children are squawking at her like baby birds.
3. Share neighborhood tips and info. If you see a military family just moving into your neighborhood, pass along some tips that you all know about the area. Like which places have the best deals, or what the closest places are and how to get to them. Personally, I’m directionally impaired, so this advice is extremely valuable to me.
4. Share a sitter. Have a babysitter? Maybe there is one that you and a few neighbors would recommend? Again, extremely valuable advice to share. Even under normal circumstance we all like to enjoy a little break: some ‘me’ time. However, it can easily be put off just for the sake of not having a sitter and not knowing where to look for one who is trustworthy.
5. Offer simple yard management. And I mean simple. Little things like pulling trash cans in from the curb, or helping to rake leaves. This may seem fairly minor, but it really is the little things that make a big difference. A friend of mine, who lives in a civilian neighborhood, said her neighbors were such a blessing to her while her husband was deployed, and one of the reasons was the little yard work they did for her to help her out.
Thank you, Laura!
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