Being a military spouse means you are resilient and ready to tackle any challenge. It means that you are often left to manage a household on your own and that you need skills for troubleshooting any scenario that may come your way. What it doesn’t mean is that you have to do it all alone. There are services and communities of people that can help you through the toughest of scenarios. It is especially important to access these resources when your spouse is away.
When to Ask: PCSing Alone
How to Do It: Making a move as a military family has a variety of different challenges attached to it. You have to be organized and knowledgeable of the process. If you’re not well versed in the process and you are without the help of your service member, then contact your Family support services office to help you navigate the complex process of making that move as stress-free as possible.
When to Ask: Medical Emergency
How to Do it: Start with notifying your command after you have handled the initial stages of the emergency. “If there is a medical emergency, particularly while the sailor is deployed the most important thing to remember is to keep the command “in the know.” … This is important … so that the sailor doesn’t receive “rumors” about emergencies in their families,” Katrina Piehl, Navy Wife and Ombudsmen PCU Minnesota.
Your command is there for support, utilize that support and they will provide you with the resources needed to get through the emergency scenario.
When to Ask: Long-term Single Parent Duty
How to Do It: There is truth to the saying, “it takes a village” to raise our children. So what do you do when you are going it alone for an extended period of time due to a spouse’s deployment? You have to ask for help from your village. That might be your family or your military family or a combination of the two. It also might mean looking into a babysitter. Your base MWR or local church may host a parent’s night out or you can look into sites like Sittercity.com who have special rates for military families and provide a comprehensive screening process for finding safe and reliable childcare.
When to Ask: Emotional Stress
How to Do It: Life is complicated. Military life only adds to the ebb and flow nature of life. When it becomes overwhelming it’s time to ask for guidance. All branches of service have family support programs with free, confidential counseling to those struggling with the many ups and downs that life can bring. Access these free resources through your branch of service to assist with and cope with any emotional stress that your family may be encountering. For a longer term plan, speak to your PCM (Primary Care Manager) so you can be referred for additional services.
When to Ask: Financial Hardship
How to Do it: If you find yourself in a financial emergency, your branch of service may have a program that can help. When speaking with Katrina Piehl, Navy Wife and Ombudsmen for PCU Minnesota she had this to say, “For families that are having financial struggles there are several different services available. Fleet and Family Service Centers offer counseling for financial planning thru their financial educator. Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society (NMCRS) also provides educational and emergency financial assistance. They can help with everything from interest free loans to deal with emergency needs to money management services.”