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All I Need Is a MilSpouse Clone

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I gotta tell you guys: I am so grateful for my clone. Best. Purchase. Ever! You all should totally get one.

When my husband's unit had a family day last week, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on a workday, I let my clone do my work for me and I set off to go mingle with the other military families.

Because we all need those social connections, amiright? And what better time to make them than in the middle of the day during the work week?

The clone has already been such a game changer that I'm almost excited for my husband's next deployment.

Because of my clone, this week I will be able to attend all of the mandatory, back-to-school parent meetings at my three children's schools. And, since all of these meetings take place during the workday on the two days before school actually starts back, I'll be able to attend them all without missing my own work, pleading with my husband to miss his, spending two hours fruitlessly texting potential babysitters or negligently leaving my kids at home alone.

Which means that this year I'll actually know all that stuff that I've gotten side-eye for not knowing in previous years. Things like dress codes, attendance policies, drop off procedures and whether the school aims to be nut-free.

(It's not like I ever wanted to be the mom who kept sending PB&J in my preschooler's lunch when one of her classmates had a deathly allergy.)

And we have only three kids -- it's not like we're Duggars or something. And if we were, we'd probably be homeschooling and probably be averse to having clones anyway. Maybe I'm wrong, but Duggars don't seem like the cloning types. (Hey, maybe they homeschool because there's no way a parent could make it to parent meetings for all those kids?)

But three kids, in three different grades, attending three different schools mean six hours of during-the-workday parent meetings, all crammed into two days. Also? Two of those meetings stipulate "children not allowed." Don't know how I'd do it without my clone!

(Sure, it seems like it would make more sense for the schools to have those meetings on a Saturday. That would probably help lots of parents, considering that most American children live in families where both parents work. But what do I care? I've got a clone!)

Having my clone meant that when, like 75 percent of American mothers, I had to work all summer while the schools stayed locked up like haunted houses, my kids did something beside play iPads.

The clone worked with them on their reading and math skills so they wouldn't lose anything they'd learned the previous school year. She (he? it? I have no idea what sex the clone is -- and I don't care) even taught them some new fun skills, things I'd been meaning to get around to, like sewing and baking.

The clone meant that I never had to whisper-scream at my children when I was on an important phone call and that I never, ever had my laptop out poolside during their swim lessons instead of, you know, watching and cheering on their strokes. It meant that the kids and I never developed, much less became fluent in, an elaborate form of sign language communication in order for them to ask me questions while I was on a work call. Thanks, Clone!

Because of the clone, I didn't even consider spending an entire Florida summer sitting outside of my house all day so I could work, while relinquishing the glorious air conditioning to a house of iPad-playing children. Because that's what I think I might have had to do if I hadn't had my very own clone.

And the clone meant that if I had been one of those really unlucky moms (you know who you are because you are most American moms) whose daily commute involves more than just stepping outside into a tropical sauna where you get chewed on by ants all day long, my kids' summer wouldn't have been a complicated matrix of camps and babysitters. No wonder those moms stumble into back-to-school briefings looking like exhausted-but-grateful zombies.

And because of my clone, I don't even have to deal with the fact that the entire American elementary education system still functions off a premise that expired decades ago: the idea that at least one parent is on standby and able to drop everything he or she would otherwise be doing, even though the American economy reflects exactly the opposite.

Thank God for clones!

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Rebekah Sanderlin Military Parenting Family and Spouse Featured

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Contributor

Rebekah Sanderlin is an Army wife, a mother of three and a professional writer. Her work has been published numerous places, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, and in Self and Maxim magazines. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the Military Family Advisory Network and Blue Star Families.

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