We recently had our first heavy snowfall of the season. We woke up to a winter wonderland of fresh, white powdery snow. I took the opportunity to go for a walk with my camera and was able to take some great photos. The morning was quiet with few cars on the road and only an occasional sound of children laughing in the distance. It was a very peaceful, enjoyable walk. I'm sure the experience would have been much different if I had been met by one of those huge snow removal trucks.
When I got home it was time to warm up with hot cocoa. I checked Facebook on my mobile phone and noticed lots of my friends were posting about their snow activities. Some were playing in the snow with their kids, some were out shoveling the snow to get to birthday parties and to work, and others were calling housing maintenance to find out when they were arriving to shovel the snow.
It seems to me when our spouses are deployed or far from home on an extended TDY/TAD, it can kick-start us into a frenzy of activity, doing things we might not otherwise have to think about. It can remind us just how independent and creative we can be. After all, there was a time when we were single. When we handled the car maintenance, the lawn mowing, and minor household repairs - changing burnt our light bulbs counts rights?! Trouble is when our spouses are home, we get used to not having to do these things and when they are gone it is another painful reminder we are a one-woman (or man) show. This is also were we might pout and frankly have our own pity party mad at the world for us having "to it all". The good news is - there is hope!
We don't have to know everything about changing the oil to starting the snow blower. We just have to, like my son's 2nd grade teacher would say, "put on our thinking cap." We can have our 5 min or 5 hour "feel sorry for ourselves" moment and then it is time to carry on with the business of day and not let ourselves get stuck in negative thoughts and commiserate with negative people.
I know we can't plan ahead for every emergency, but thinking about who you will call to do to certain things while your spouse is away can save you lots of time, worry and anxiety.
Who You Gonna Call?
Here are some household chores that could require outside help:
- Snow removal
- Plumbing / Air Conditioning / Heating
- Lawn Care
- Car Maintenance
- House cleaning
For all of these chores you can:
- Get a recommendation from friends or nearby neighbors who have lived in the area for a longer period of time. Poll your friends on Facebook for their recommendation.
- If you own your own home, your home warranty will cover things like Heating, A/C and Plumbing (check your policy for specifics).
- Find out who the qualified teenagers are on your block available for snow removal, babysitting, yard work, etc.
- Websites like Angieslist.com are filled with reviews on service providers to help you make an informed decision when hiring someone to perform your repairs/need service.
Remember it is normal to feel overwhelmed when faced with having to do just one more thing you weren't prepared to handle. The good news is, we are all in this together and it is okay to ask for help and reach out to friends and family.
We get stronger with every step we take in this crazy, amazing military life.
How have you solved a problem on the home front that usually your spouse would handle?