"I am going crazy."
Those were the words of my desperate military spouse friend as she surveyed the chaos that is her home during deployment. With three kids between two and 8-years-old and a full time job, her life mostly moves from crises to crises. Bliss is a 10 minute solo grocery trip.
And yet she still has time to listen to me complain seek counsel for my problems. She still holds the center of her home. She still gets care packages shipped on time.
When I look at her I see someone who deserves recognition. And I bet you know someone just like her.
So how can I show her my appreciation? "Thank you for your service" seems silly when it's someone who is doing the same thing I am. As we celebrate the annual November Military Family Appreciation Month here are a few ideas of ways to show our thanks for fellow military families who leave us in awe:
1. Volunteer your time. What this woman needs is something more than grocery shopping without the kids. What she needs is time alone in a spa. I may not be able to make her husband come home, but I can have her tribe over for a play date while she takes a break.
2. Share their passion. Some of the most amazing military spouses I know spend gobs of time volunteering with organizations or programs they think are important. Spend some time volunteering next to them as a way of showing that you care, too.
3. Leave an anonymous care package at the door. Ding-dong-ditch is extra fun when you can leave something amazing behind. Hit up TJ-Maxx and buy some supplies for the perfect bath (salts, scrubs, bubbles …) or put together a movie night in a basket complete with fun flick, popcorn and snacky movie candy. Does your friend live far away? Try one of these ideas instead.
4. Listen. Take the time to find out what she (or he!) needs. Maybe the lawn looks great but caring for it is just about the last straw. Maybe the fur babies need some extra love while he is at work. Maybe all she needs is someone to talk to about what is really going on. Just listen.
What are ways you show fellow military families that you appreciate them?
This article originally appeared in Spousebuzz -- visit Spousebuzz for the latest news and advice about military family life.