Military moms are a special breed. We move a lot. We find new houses, new schools, new churches, new grocery stores, new playgroups, new friends. We find and start new jobs. We uproot. We settle down. And then we do all of it again. Some of us do this every year. Others are lucky enough to hang around one place for a couple of years. We are active duty, reserves, full time, part time, work outside the home, work from home, stay at home moms, etc.
Military moms do it all. The one common link in all of this is that we are really good at starting over.
So here we are, on the verge of starting over with a new year. A new year is a perfect time to start over and try new things. Out with the old and in with the new. The military mom should have that on her coffee cup, right?
Let’s talk about a new start for you. Some will make a list of resolutions for 2019. By definition, a resolution is when a person sets out to improve her life by changing some sort of undesirable behavior. It implies that there is bad that needs to be good.
In contrast, an intention is something that you aim for or plan to do. An intention doesn’t focus on what went wrong in 2018 but can recognize the challenges you overcame. By setting intentions, you are putting the power in your hands to make positive changes in your life.
Do you see where I am going here? A resolution is somewhat reactive whereas an intention is more proactive. As I mentioned before, military spouses are excellent at starting over so you should excel in starting the new year with some proactive goal setting as well.
You may already have ideas on goals for 2019 but I challenge you to add these five intentions specific to the military mom to your list.
Say hello to that mom sitting alone.
Maybe she is new and would like to meet new friends. Remember what it was like when you showed up to the playground for the first time after a PCS?
You know how much it can suck to find a new group. Help her out.
In contrast, if you are that new mom, make it a goal to introduce yourself to one person each time you are out and it makes sense. (I’m not saying you have to walk up to random people at Target, but you never know. One of my favorite people from our last duty station was a random mom at Trader Joe’s. My mom was actually the one who went up to her, but I am going to take credit for it anyway!)
Be a perpetual tourist in your own town.
Chances are, you won’t be there long so don’t waste time. We have lived in many different cities, areas of the United States, and countries. I love to search for the popular and the uncommon. I can’t tell you the number of times we visited a place, attended a festival, or dined out at a restaurant and my local friends had never heard of it. Don’t waste time. See what your local area has to offer!
Text three people every day.
Say hello, check in, share a picture, plan to meet up, whatever. Stay connected with those who are far away and keep connected with those close to you. This not only will brighten someone else’s day but is good for you as well. This is especially true for those of you who live far from good friends and family.
We PCS’d far away from everyone we love, and I can spend entire days without interacting with adults other than my husband. Texting helps. Use technology to your advantage!
Keep a gratitude journal.
Before you write this one off as a lot of work, hear me out. Find a tiny notebook and write down three things each day that were positive. Then look back at it at the end of each month and smile.
Some days will be monumental while you will have days where it seems like nothing is going right. However, even the worst days have a silver lining.
I promise that if you set an intention to do this daily, you will start to look for the good in every day.
Be kind to yourself.
This is important as you are a key person in your household.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, other things start to slip. Give yourself some grace. I am willing to bet that you are typically juggling at least six balls at a time. Take a deep breath when things get hard and remember that no mom is perfect (no matter what social media tries to tell you). In addition to being a little easier on yourself, practice self-care. Find time for yourself each day. Sure, this could be five minutes alone in the bathroom with your coffee on most days,, but that is a start.