Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband is on his third deployment and I’m not the "Ooorah" spouse that I should be. I have too much to do and I am overwhelmed. I work, cook, clean and take care of my children. I’m the football and soccer mom, car pool driver, cheerleader for my husband and rescuer for my friends.
But I am tired and frustrated. So much so that I scream and yell constantly at my children. I am ashamed of myself and of who I have become. It doesn’t help that I’ve also gained 15 pounds in the past four months. I am a mess!
My screaming is out of control. My 4-year-old said, “You’re Mommy Monster.” I cried uncontrollably because my son was right. I’ve become a Mommy Monster and I don’t know how to change it.
Dear Mommy Monster,
Coping with deployments can be stressful because you have an increased responsibility and have taken on many other roles. Everyone is different and every deployment is different.
I learned that each deployment did not get better for me; it became increasingly difficult even as my sons grew older. As a result, I had to continually tweak and update my wellness plan that including family, friends, relaxation, exercise and spiritual support, too.
Reading your letter tells me that you are overwhelmed. Conversely, this is not the time to be overly critical of you. Maya Angelou said when we know better, we do better.
First, you must give yourself permission to stop and think, take a deep breath and exhale before you start screaming uncontrollably. Let it go.You don’t have to react to everything your children do. You have to ignore some of their behavior. Remember, your children are learning how to control their stress by watching you. Take a look at the other quick tips below:
Stay in touch and let me know what happens next.
Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.
Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.
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