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March 20, 2023

Military families serve too. The raw and real of solo parenting and overwhelm when your service member is gone.

Military families serve too. The raw and real of solo parenting and overwhelm when your service member is gone.
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This weeks episode is really personal. Michael has been on travel this week and this momma is at her limit!

We need to normalize talking about the overwhelm and stress of not only motherhood and everything that goes along with being the "default parent" but also the added stressor of being a military family. 

I share my coping mechanisms and encourage you to reach out to a friend, or me, if you are struggling and don't have anyone to talk to. 

Its ok to not be ok. Let's throw ourselves on heck of a pity party and then pick ourselves up, dust off, adjust our crowns and move on. 

As I mentioned in the show, here are a few of my favorite meditation apps:
The Tapping Solution
Insight Timer
Sacred Acoustics

I so appreciate you listening to the show!

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[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the show. Today is just a little bit different. I have been feeling . They're salty, is what I like to say. You know, we're a Navy family, so that's how I like to say it. But this past week in our house has been really, really, really hard and and I feel like. , we don't talk enough about.

[00:00:29] The challenges of not just motherhood because it, it is, parenting is a huge part of it, and just the mental and emotional load of being responsible for so many things, and then also being the default parent, right? Like you, you're the. The, you know, we're talking to mill spouses here. So you're the, you're the constant.

[00:00:53] You're the one that's always there. You're the one that's taking 'em to school and picking 'em up and making sure everybody's got their stuff and all of it. Right. And that in and of itself is, is a lot. And then you put on top of that the stress of a military lifestyle, which is being separated from your family and from your.

[00:01:18] Being lonely as hell, and not having a community. It is having your spouse being gone. Maybe not for you, but for a lot of us, our spouses are on deployment. They're on T D Y, they're in an incredible travel op tempo, which is what our family is. You put that on top of , what we're all already feeling as that overwhelmed mom.

[00:01:52] And, I don't know if you guys have heard of or follow, but I follow, , someone on Instagram. She's from Canada. The Instagram handle is diary of an Honest Mom and , she's just blown up and I feel like. Part of it is because she's telling the truth about parenting and about motherhood and how freaking hard it is and how hard we are on ourselves and the societal.

[00:02:19] Expectations of parents and of moms and of stay-at-home moms and the, the pressure that we put on ourselves to be all of these things and expect to still you know, eat healthy and exercise and, you know homeschool your kids and you know, , you know what I'm saying? Like all of the things. It's just so unreal.

[00:02:45] and it's really freaking hard. So I wanted to talk about today the hard and and I think again, it's something that I have, it honestly have leaned away from in this podcast multiple times because of the stigma that we have in the mills past community of the de Depender, right? I, I hadn't heard that until I started this podcast.

[00:03:07] I'm like, what the hell is that? And the de depend is. Is supposed is like the lazy mill spouse, right? Their husband goes and works and brings home the money and they just sit around on the couch watching tv, eating bon bonds and spending their husband's money. And I have to tell you that I've been in the military life for 20 years now and I have never met somebody like that.

[00:03:30] So let's just put that to bed right now. But then the other part of it too is, is I think that there's a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves, and I, and I don't know if this is the case for you, but I know it is for me, is when we were, when Michael and I first started dating and he was talking about going back in, we had someone close to our family and their spouse was in the military and they couldn't do it.

[00:03:54] so the spouse got out because the, the wife just couldn't handle it. And I thought to myself, can't handle it. What the, what are you talking about? Like, come on, buck up, let's go. Right? And so I've always had in my mind like, I'm gonna handle it. You watch me handle it, like, give it to me and, and watch me go, and it's gonna be fine.

[00:04:16] Everything's fine. We're all fine. Right? And, and I've had, I've carried that mantle for so long and you know, honestly, . It just is getting harder. , it's just getting harder. We're at 20 years, we're tired. Oh, the whole family's tired. Michael's tired. I'm tired. The girls are tired. And and the lifestyle, it just gr I feel like it gets harder the longer that you're in it.

[00:04:44] And I don't know if it's the, like the mental resiliency that you have at the beginning of, you know, , the adventure of it and, and things like that. I don't know what it is, but it is, it's really hard and, and I think that we need to talk more about and be okay with not being okay, because I have to tell you, this past week, I have not been okay at all.

[00:05:11] And the problem is, is I have no outlet, right? I have a couple of very close friends. I'm just being like brutally honest with you guys. I have a couple of really close friends and one of them was on vacation with her family, so I, I didn't wanna bother her, bother her. And then the other one, I feel like I reach out to her all the time and not vice versa.

[00:05:36] And they're a civilian family. They're not a military family, and, and I feel a little bitter about that. And and I saw someone else post about this. That's kind of, kind of what has spurd this conversation as well is in one of the spouse groups that I'm in was a, was a spouse whose husband is deployed.

[00:05:55] and she's like, I am really struggling right now because I had all of these family and friends as we were gearing up for deployment and he's getting ready to leave that we're like, oh, we're gonna be there for you. We're totally gonna help you, we're gonna support you. It's gonna be we're, we've got your back.

[00:06:08] And now she's like mid deployment and they're nowhere to be found. And she's like, I am dying here. Like, where are you guys? You said you were gonna be here to help me and you're not here. And I think that that is so true. Like no one's calling me and saying, are you okay? Cause I'm not okay. I'm not okay.

[00:06:25] No one's calling me and saying, Hey, how's it going? Oh, I know your spouse is gone right now, da, da da da da. What? How? How are you feeling? You know, it's not happening. And I think that doesn't happen for a lot of people. And so I've been thinking about that and I feel like. , everybody has their own pile of poo that they're dealing with, right?

[00:06:46] Like they're, we're so involved in our lives that a lot of times we don't have, we don't take the time to think about how are other people feeling? How are our friends feeling? And so I started thinking about this and I'm like, well, what do I. , you know, am I reaching out to friends? Am I reaching out to, there's some mill spouses that I've interviewed on the show and I'm talking to them and I can just feel that they're as lonely as I am, which is why I want the mill spouse tribe, right?

[00:07:17] I want this membership community where we have each other's backs. And it doesn't matter where you are, it doesn't matter when you move. That group still stays the same, right? It's, it's, it's building. And I, and I'm like, you know what though? It's. , it's been a couple of months and I haven't reached out to them to say, Hey, how's it going?

[00:07:35] How you feeling? So that's something that I'm gonna change is I'm gonna take, I'm gonna think about two people each week that and they could be close friends, they could be acquaintances, they could be Instagram friends and just say, Hey. I'm thinking about you, how you feeling? So I'm gonna try and be proactive in that way.

[00:07:53] Cuz here, here's the thing. And, and, and I don't want this to be, because I feel like in our community, and this is another reason why we don't talk about it, there's so much negativity, right? There's a lot of nega. Oh, this place sucks, this sucks, this is awful, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I get it cuz it's there.

[00:08:09] But, and so that's another reason, right? I feel like we shouldn't talk about it. There's so much negativity, but at the same time, this is our freaking life. Like this is real time, this is our life, and we need to talk about it. Right. We need to talk about it because it's, and I, you know, I've had multiple conversations with, with my friends this week, and it's not just the, you know, the daily stuff, like when your spouse is gone.

[00:08:39] It's not just the taking care of. Of the house, it's, you know, you're taking care of the bills, you're taking care of, like does the house need to be cleaned? Grocery store gas in the cars, getting kids to and from school, and then if you've got pets, right, adding pets on top of that. So I've got dogs, we've got tropical fish that I have to take care of.

[00:08:59] Like there's a, one of our fish died this week. Like, it's just like piling all this stuff. So there's all of like the, the physical acts of taking care of your household. And then you put on top of that, what am I gonna do for myself, why I wanna exercise. And I'm working on, I'm doing this podcast, which takes a lot of time.

[00:09:15] And then I also, you know, I have goals that I want for myself. And then there's the emotional load of carrying your household. And honestly, That is probably what takes the toll on me the most is we've got, we've got two little girls, they're nine and 11, and they are emotional disasters, especially my oldest, especially when daddy is gone and for, and I'm the one.

[00:09:46] that's here. I'm the one that that takes it all. And, and not like, and it's not like, you know, with acting out. I mean, they definitely show their butts sometimes with not listening and things like that, but it's like, I, I, I miss daddy. Why isn't daddy home? Why is my daddy always gone? And, you know, all of the, the different, those different things and trying to help them through all of that stuff, that emotional load gets put on.

[00:10:14] And it is exhausting. . It's exhausting. And you know, I feel really grateful that I have a really supportive spouse. Michael is really supportive and, and I'm like, this week guys, it's just been an absolute disaster. And I was talking to him last night and he's like, would you want me to come home early? And my gut instinct was, I don't want you to come home early.

[00:10:40] You're, you're on your trip for a reason. You're there for a reason. You have stuff that you need to do. You have meetings, you have people you need to go see, blah, blah, blah, blah. I will handle it. And, and then, and then it feels like, it almost felt like suffocating. Like, I, I have to do this on my own. I have to handle this.

[00:11:01] And that's a lot of pressure to put on ourselves and. and, and so I just started thinking about like, what are we doing in, in that regard? Like why, how can, how can, okay, so, so then to flip it a little bit, how can we, right, because, because I think we need to address the suck. We need to talk about the suck , and sometimes you need to sit in the suck.

[00:11:29] I have definitely. Some ugly crying this week. I have definitely had copious amounts of chocolate. There's definitely been those coping mechanisms in there for sure. But moving forward, we need to move forward, right? So what can we do to move forward? And you know, Michael was like, you need to take some stuff off your plate.

[00:11:53] And I'm like, Uhhuh, . Take some stuff off my plate. What am I taking off of my plate? Because my day yesterday was getting the girls to school, going to the grocery store, gas in the car, taking care of the dogs. Exercise for me. School, do you know like they're cleaning the house. So if I take, what do I take off?

[00:12:18] Who do I take off my plate? Who's gonna who? So this is the thing. Who's gonna do it if I don't do it? and the answer is it's not gonna get done. Well just put it off. Well, putting it off is not a good answer for me because I, I have that type a personality. Like if I know something is on my quote unquote to-do list to do, it bothers me until it's done right.

[00:12:43] It needs to get done. So. So let's talk about some of the things that we can do to help us cope and to help us navigate. All right, so the first thing. Reach out and talk to somebody. Right? So my good girlfriend who was on vacation came home and I was literally on a walk yesterday with the dogs, and she called me.

[00:12:59] I was literally thinking about her, and she called and I was like, oh my God, this is the craziest thing. Like I was literally just thinking about you. She's like, oh, I was thinking about you too. So that was great. We had a really good conversation and that helped a lot. Okay, so reach out to a friend, right?

[00:13:16] And if you don't have a friend to reach out, to, reach out to. , reach out to me. I'm on Instagram. You can email me, and I am happy to sit on the phone with you and have a conversation because this lifestyle is really freaking lonely and it doesn't have to be that way. It doesn't have to be that way. Okay.

[00:13:37] The second thing is, what can you do to take care of yourself? And that's gonna be different for everybody. But for me, meditation helps me a lot. And there are multiple apps. I've talked about them before. I've got quite a few of them. My favorites, the Tapping Solution. Tapping is a really, really good way to help your body move through stress and trauma and release, cuz that's what we need to do.

[00:14:04] Right? Get it out. Get it out. However you need to get it out. It might be kickboxing, right? That put on some gloves and you know, punch the crap out of a bag also. Fantastic. So the Tapping Solution app, love insight timer.

[00:14:20] Also really great sacred Acoustics. Super good. Those are three of my favorites that I love for meditation journal. Write it just freaking word vomit on the page, right? Or there's tons of journals that that give you prompts if you're like, I don't know what to say. I really. Taking a blank piece of paper and just diarrhea of the mouth, but it's on paper.

[00:14:42] Like everything, all the things. I'm so tired. I didn't sleep good last night. Sophia came in the room at six o'clock in the morning and woke me up. And I'm stressed about all the things that I have to do today. That's what I do. I just like literally what is on my mind. Like, just write, like, just go, just write.

[00:14:56] So I've been very intentional about making that happen in the morning. I get up 30 minutes before I have to get my girls up for school to make that happen. because I need to have a quiet house. , I want to make sure that I'm not gonna be interrupted. So I do it early in the morning.

[00:15:12] And then the other thing that I'm doing this week is I'm making sure I'm getting outside to walk. So I love walking my dogs. I like being outside. I have not been doing that because it's been cold as hell and snowing. And the rain, the weather is here, is ridiculous. I put on my super thick coat and my hat and I'm like, we're walking and we're going and we're gonna do it.

[00:15:30] Mental health walk, literally like it's a thing now, right? Have you seen the , the posts and things about that mental health walk, get outside, get some fresh air. So there's that. And then the other one for me too. So walking is exercise, but I love to work out, right? I mean, that is, it's my passion.

[00:15:47] I've been a strength and conditioning coach for years. I'm certified. So many different things , but exercise for me is a stress release, huge stress release. So I make sure that I prioritize that. And then the other thing that I do for myself too and that I am trying to be better at, cuz it's really hard for me when I have a list, there's so many things that I want to do.

[00:16:09] And so I feel like so many things on my list is I I try to give myself time. I love to read. I love romance novels. I am not afraid to say it. I love it. I love it. I've got a Kindle Unlimited subscription and I read the heck out of them and I, and it makes me very happy and it's like an escape for me.

[00:16:32] So I am trying to say, okay, I've got 45 minutes before I've gotta go get the girls from school. I could do. , X, Y, and Z around the house. But you know what? I'm gonna sit on the couch in a quiet house and I'm gonna read for 45 minutes and I'm gonna give myself that time. And I don't do that enough for myself because I always feel like, oh, I gotta do this and I gotta do this.

[00:16:52] And I got, and that there is a lot of stuff that can always be done, but giving yourself that time to have a, have a freaking break, right, is important. Is really important. And then, and then really think about, you know, your big pain points that you're having at the time. So for me cleaning the house, I freaking hate it.

[00:17:15] And I try really hard to make it like, okay, on the 15th of every month, I'm gonna like do a deep clean of the house, ba all the things, right? And then life just happened this last time and it's been like two weeks of slowly, oh, I'm gonna do this, and then I'm gonna do this, and I'm gonna do that and I hate it.

[00:17:31] So, can you afford. To hire someone to come and do it for you, because it's what, like a hundred to $200 a time? Is that, how much is that gonna relieve of the mental stress that you have worth every freaking penny, right? So just something to think about and then, . One of the other big stressors for us right now is Savannah and her emotions.

[00:17:56] So I emailed the girls' school, has a psychologist. I emailed her yesterday and I asked for help. I said, this is what's happening at home. I don't really, I've given her lots of tools. I have tons of tools, right? I've, we've sh I've shared 'em before in the the whole brain child episode that we did last April and.

[00:18:16] I have, you know, I have a lot of tools for her, but she still is really struggling. Can you help me? So I reached out to her and asked for help. And then I'm also, I talked about this before, when we were having a really hard time with the girls and I said I was gonna get them, one of the daddy dolls.

[00:18:32] And I, I haven't done it, I forgot about it. And he wasn't on travel, and I don't think about it again until he is gone. And I'm like, dang it, I need to do that. But then he comes home and I'm like, no, I don't need to. Then he is gone again. I'm like, oh, I. So it's on my list now to make that happen. So just look at what can you do, right?

[00:18:51] What are, what are some things that make you feel good? What are some things that, and, and then just make those a priority before all the other stuff. And just give yourself a freaking break, right? Give yourself a freaking break. It is okay. It's okay to not, it's okay to not be okay, right? It's okay to not be okay.

[00:19:12] And. and it's okay to ask for help, and it's okay to admit that we're at our peak, we're we're tapped out and we're done, and that we need help. It is okay to say that, and it is okay to talk about it. All right? Okay. I love you guys. We'll talk to you soon.