Why didn't you tell me that your kindness would be my sanity? I remember going to my first “mandatory fun” unit event after my second child was born. My husband had just deployed. My 19-month old was a handful. And my newborn was just a month old.
Of course, flu season was in full effect. I was worried about taking my newborn around such a large group of people. I called my girlfriend and asked if she would bring her baby carrier for me to use so that people couldn’t sneeze, cough, or touch my son unless they really wanted to be up in my business.
When I arrived at the event, before I could find my friend to get my baby secure in my germ freeze zone, the Battalion Commander’s wife came up and grabbed my baby out of my arms. What am I supposed to say? She’s the boss’s wife, right?
After I overcame the vision of my baby being passed around like on that episode of “Bethanny Ever After” (tell me I’m not the only one who watches garbage TV), I relaxed and was able to keep an eye on my 19-month old while being able to engage in adult conversation.
Surprise, surprise-- my newborn was returned to me safe and sound and, as far as I could tell, in fine health.
After that, every unit event I attended was similar. The Commander's wife welcomed my son into her arms – and I was completely comfortable with that. Her kids were in elementary school and she loved babies. It got to the point before I went somewhere I would think, “I sure hope she is there!”
Having two kids less than two years of age is difficult, especially when their father was deployed. This particular spouse gave me a gift – a chance to meet new friends and talk and EAT. More importantly, this spouse simply gave me some relief.
I never asked her for help. She just took the initiative to help me. I chalked it up to an unspoken understanding between military spouses. If you ask her about it, I’m sure she would have no idea how much she helped me.
To her, she was just hanging out with an adorable (I am a little biased) baby boy for a while. If you ask me, I would say she gave me the best kind of gift any military spouse would want to receive - my sanity.
I will always remember this and try to help the next new military spouse mother out in a similar way. Sometimes, it is the help we give without being asked that can make the biggest impact.
I would love to hear your stories. In what ways has another military spouse helped you out?
Amanda Anderson is an active duty Army spouse and mom of 2 boys. She works for the National Military Family Association as the Content Manager, MyMilitaryLife.