Friday, December 16th, 2011
A number of studies this year have documented the challenges military families face, particularly when a parent is deployed (you can read about one such study in my discussion of the 6 most important child development studies of 2011). The critical take-home message has been that those of us in the community can learn more about military families and ways we can support them, particularly given all that they do for us. So as the holidays are rapidly approaching, I’ve asked Laura@semperfimomma (who I have featured in prior blog posts) to tell us things we could do for military families during this busy (and perhaps bittersweet) season. Here are Laura’s thoughts:
Hearing of those looking to support a military family during the holidays warms my heart more than words can possibly describe. Here are 4 things to think about if you are looking to do such a kind act:
- Is there a deployed spouse? If so, maybe you could give the family a week or two worth of housekeeping.
- Also, with only one parent at home, she/he may have a hard time getting out of the house to do their Christmas shopping. A great way to support a military family during the holidays would be to either offer to do some of the shopping for them, or to watch the kids so that the parent can go out and do shopping on their own.
- To do a little something special for the parent who is deployed, offer to take a few pictures of the family to send to their loved one.
- We all know what a chore cooking a big Christmas dinner can be. Some military families do not live close to their families, and opt to stay home for the holiday. Offering up a precooked dish that can be frozen and reheated when needed is a huge time saver. Even when not deployed, the gift of time is always appreciated. If you feel comfortable enough, you can even invite the family over for dinner. This way you can help each other with the cooking and cleaning, and by opening your home you may help ease or lighten some sad emotions for a family that is used to being ‘home for the holidays’.
Getting Laura’s insider’s view on ways to support military families is invaluable, especially since her mission is to bridge the gap between military and civilian families. And to that end, please note that Laura is transforming her website -www.semperfimomma.com – into a platform that will host the voices of many other military moms.
Happy Holidays to Laura and her family, and to all of our military families!
Image of soldier at home during the holidays via Shutterstock.com
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Thursday, September 8th, 2011
Over the past few months we’ve had an ongoing discussion about the challenges facing family members — both non-deployed spouses
— 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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