5 Ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation Day {and an iPad Mini Giveaway!}

5 Ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation Day {and an iPad Mini Giveaway!}

April 23, 2014

5 Ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation Day {and an iPad Mini Giveaway!}

As a military spouse with a husband who’s been in war, I know that my job is not nearly as difficult as his is. Even now, Sam is in the desert for 5-6 weeks living in tents and eating out of packages (MRE’s) while I’m at home.

However, it warms my heart to know that other people think of us spouses as well. I remember getting a gift basket when Sam was in Iraq filled with treats and cards. It made me feel a little less lonely and isolated, as can happen so often when our other half is gone.

I forgotten all about Military Spouse Appreciation day until AT&T reached out to ask if I’d be willing to write on it (and host the giveaway below!). I know many of us aren’t sure what a military spouse might want/need either on this day or a time of deployment/hardship, so I’m giving you 5 ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation Day based on my own experience and other spouses I’ve met through the years.

  1. Post a “thinking of you!” on their Facebook wall. It’s simple but meaningful – and if you’re up to it, throw in one of those Starbucks or Barnes and Noble cards that Facebook offers.
  2. Offer to watch the kids for the afternoon. In a time when most parents without their spouse home don’t get a break, it’s great to have those few hours to get things done or simply lay on the couch and revel in the silence.
  3. Ask how you can pray for their family and spouse. It means so much to know friends are praying for my husband and family’s well being when we are all apart.
  4. Head to lunch. Some times getting out of the house is a welcome break in the monotony of the days when no one comes home in the evening to change up the routine.
  5. Help sort and pack. Many times after the spouse returns home, the family is scheduled to leave soon after. Having some of the basic stuff done and house cleaned is a tremendous help.

Don’t forget that many men are military spouses too! Often their wives leave for extended periods of time and they’re home holding down the fort as well.

Now for the giveaway! Ready to win an AT&T gift basket with an iPad Mini? They are the best of both worlds – like a bigger iPhone and a not so clunky iPad.

Easy entry with Rafflecopter and open worldwide! Additional rules and conditions are below the entries.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

190 Comments

  • Loredana Battista

    May 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    who won?

  • Stephanie Nicolay

    May 1, 2014 at 3:52 am

    I would add doing a freezer meal workshop with a group of ladies. 10 -15 meals prepped and ready to cook. Takes a lot of stress away not worrying about that

  • Vanessa Howard

    May 1, 2014 at 3:34 am

    I would add making a meal for the family. My husband recently got back from deployment and some days when were sick and ladies brought us meals it is what kept me going!

  • Aurora Scott

    May 1, 2014 at 3:17 am

    No. I would of prayers and lunch

  • Life As The Artist

    April 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    This is way too cool that you were asked to do this!

  • Katy Pearson Stephens

    May 1, 2014 at 3:08 am

    I have been a military spouse for 8.5 years now. What I have loved the most was when girlfriends would just come by for no real reason other than to say hi. Pick up the phone and call. Sometimes just chatting for 30mins is enough to soothe my heart for awhile. Drop off a Starbucks/Smoothie/fav drink or dessert….just because. 🙂

  • Candi Best

    May 1, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Not a military spouse but I know quite a few. This is helpful, thanks.

  • Jessica Marcotte

    May 1, 2014 at 3:01 am

    I have several family members in the military, your ideas are great things I could/can do for them.

  • Becky Nixon

    April 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I’m not a military spouse but have many friends who are. Care packages, offering nights out, play dates all are things I think could help.

  • Amanda MCkee

    April 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I was a military spouse for the past 6 years and have recently rejoined the civilian world =) I make sure to mail friends overseas (where we were stationed) random packages full of their favorite things, including lots of dollar bin randomness and familar candy and gum!

  • Kara

    April 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    My love language is gifts, so naturally, I love to send care packages

  • valerielarson2013

    April 30, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    i am a military spouse. we have 3ish weeks left of a 5 month deployment. something i really liked is a friend had us over for a playdate last week. the best part of it for me was she had rules in her house and stuck with them. it was nice to not be the only “bad guy” for just a couple hours. we have had multiple visitors during this deployment and everyone seems to want to let the kids get away with everything. it makes my life harder…

  • Melissa Bonacci May

    May 1, 2014 at 2:46 am

    I'm a military spouse and I would just love something simple to show that people care a card, a meal, someone to clean my house or watch my kids it doesn't have to be outrageously over the top

  • Becky B

    April 30, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I know more parents w/children in the military than I do spouses. I just make sure to thank them, and let them talk about their kids as much as they want!

  • Kimberly

    April 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    what great ideas diana!

  • tammy shelton

    April 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I don’t have much experience with friends or family in the military but if I did I would think that to always be open to whatever their needs are. maybe if it’s even just to listen.

  • kellie rose wilson

    April 30, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Daughter and granddaughter of the military..not married myself.

  • Sonya Morris

    April 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I know a quite a few military spouses! Spend time with them and have a good time.

  • Thomas Murphy

    April 30, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    My sister is a military spouse. I just try to always be there for her and take her out for some fun when I can.

  • Sents Saver

    April 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I’m not a military spouse but my cousin is! they love to write letters to eachother!!

  • Boris Gorozhankin

    April 30, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Woah! Good luck to everyone!

  • Amanda Sakovitz

    April 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I’m not a military spouse but I would say to have a fun girls day would be a nice treat.

  • Rachel C

    April 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I would purchase gift cards to the couples habituated places and randomly give them to the wife so they have places to go when they are all back together! This way it’s a treat and they don’t have to pay!

    1. Rachel C

      April 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

      *favorite places.

  • jay

    April 30, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I’m not one either, but I really enjoy this blog

  • Haya Alzaki

    April 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    i'm not a military spouse but …. having or just knowing that there are people beside you is really great

  • Lhexine

    April 30, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I’m not a military spouse, but hanging out would be great!

  • Erika W.

    April 30, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I was a military wife for 3 years before my husband got out. These are all great ideas. I still have family members who are military wives and friends. Remembering birthdays is always a nice thing. I had a neighbor whose husband was recently deployed and I took her a bouquet of flowers on her birthday. She was so surprised and it not only made her happy but her husband and family were glad to know someone nearby was thinking of her and watching out for her while her husband was gone.

  • Hazel Victoria

    April 30, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Im not a military spouse but how about pampering together with the family! 🙂

  • lparsons15

    April 29, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Not a military spouse, but I know several and have many in my family. These are great ideas.

  • ellen casper

    April 29, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    My niece is an officer in the Navy – her husband is home with the kids. I treat him to an afternoon of golf every now and then.

  • Brittany

    April 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I’m not a military spouse, my grandma was. Plus, I live in El Paso near Ft. Bliss, TX and I from being around so many amazing mil spouses because of my business, I know that support is something that is always needed. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  • ellen casper

    April 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    My niece is a military spouse. I watch her kids once a week for a little break for her to do whatever she wants to with some free time

  • Angie Lee

    April 29, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    walk the dogs or offer to cook a meal together.

  • Gab Skyline Señires

    April 29, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I have an aunt who's a military spouse. 🙂

  • Leidy

    April 29, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I have a friend who is a military spouse. One way to show your support is by sharing encouraging words with them

  • trisha

    April 29, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I know one

  • Anna Wójcik

    April 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Sorry, I don't actually know anyone in the military.

  • Irene

    April 29, 2014 at 4:28 am

    I’ve known a Turkish military spouse. She was a teacher with two children. Well you can always drop in for tea and have some chit chat since there are so many things in her mind and you can keep her mind off by talking about daily stuff, like womanhood. It really helps.

  • kishan

    April 29, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Looking Forward To this giveaway 🙂

  • Jessica

    April 29, 2014 at 12:40 am

    I am not, but I am friends with one. I know that one of the things she appreciates most is when we have a day together, just relaxing and enjoying each others company by going out to eat, shopping, etc.

  • Gothicrise

    April 28, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    don’t know one

  • sara rai

    April 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    I’m not a military spouse nor do I know one. I would lend a hand doing chores around the house.

  • donna46

    April 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Love this

  • Ashley Tucker

    April 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I have a friend that is a military spouse. These are good ideas!

  • Rita Leonard

    April 28, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I am not a military spouse but I would imagine that the key in any long distance relationship is good communication

  • Tempestt

    April 28, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have so much respect for you and other military spouses.

  • Animesh Bajracharya

    April 28, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Great giveaway

  • Steve Weber

    April 28, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Im not a military spouse, but my heart goes out to all of them around the world.

  • Jaime Tucker

    April 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I am not a military spouse but no many. How about a spa day or even some at home pampering for guys or gals!

  • James Semaj

    April 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Keep a circle of close friends for support.

  • Flayest Ameur

    April 28, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I'm not , but I believe the strength of human comes from family we should be closer and care about each other and visit each other and be closer and share love

  • Rajan

    April 28, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Not related to military. But salute to our military for everything they do.

  • Sveta Lukashevych

    April 28, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Well i'm not a military spouse… but i guess the main idea for any spouses is to support each other and talk… Little magic trick which always works in any realations 🙂

  • Jens Ken Lundstrom

    April 28, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Thank you for this awesome post and the lovely giveaway!
    My mother is a military spouse and the best thing she could have is her family and her friends she could trust them for their help and advices.

  • Lucian Cornea

    April 28, 2014 at 1:10 am

    I am not, and I don’t personally know anyone that is.

  • Meylinda

    April 28, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Thanks for the giveaway

  • Herman S

    April 28, 2014 at 12:10 am

    There is no military service in my country

  • Bint-e Ismail

    April 28, 2014 at 6:00 am

    great

  • Ionut Baciu

    April 28, 2014 at 5:12 am

    don't know one

  • Mariaelena

    April 27, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I have a friend who is and I think it’s a good idea to help them out with kids every once in a while so they can go out and treat themselves to something nice like a pedi, massage, or even just grocery shopping by themselves so they can get a little break from the kids while the husbands are gone.

  • Orlando Aparri Jr

    April 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    No i’m not

  • corrine

    April 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    im not one but maybe a gift basket of thing they need

  • Eric Aparri

    April 27, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    No i’m not and i don’t know anyone.

  • sohamolina1969

    April 27, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I am not one and don’;t know one.

  • Ellie W

    April 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I’m not a military spouse but have several family members that are serving and have served. Your idea for babysitting was one that was always appreciated. I have done it for my family.

  • Jaff

    April 27, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Great giveaway. Thanks! More power to ya and hang in there!

  • Lisa Anderson

    April 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I’m not a military spouse, nor do I know any, but these are great ideas for any parent in a similar situation. 🙂

  • beewbedard

    April 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I am not one but your suggestions sound great

  • Ghassan Alsaleh

    April 27, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I’m not a military spouse

  • Stephanie

    April 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I’m not a military spouse, but my SIL is. I know she really appreciates help with her kids.

  • Cathy French

    April 27, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I'm a military brat, dad was career air force

  • Melanie Soudani

    April 27, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    I'm not a military spouse but my husband is currently in another country. We call each other when we can..and of course skype and send each other small gifts cards and letters often

  • Laura Kathleen

    April 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I am not, but I have friends in the military and some cousins in it. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  • rusthawk

    April 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Cook dinner for the family and being it over, along with a movie and dessert.

  • Judy Thomas

    April 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I am not a military spouse.I would drop off a small luxury hamper with things that everyone enjoys like gormet food and bubble bath.

  • Renata Sbr

    April 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I’m not a military spouse, and here in my country (Brazil) the reality is pretty different. It’s not usual to see the army on action, and despite living in a city with a huge army base, and is easier to find bureaucratic employees for the army than soldiers. But your ideas for supporting the families are really good!

  • karins28

    April 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    well, everyone in my country has to serve in the army for a few years, and my brother is currently in the army.

  • Lisa Brown

    April 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I know of one military family and we try to send food, help with errands when we can to lighten their load and cheer the family up 🙂

  • Veronika Vasileva

    April 27, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    PERFECT!!!!

  • Trillina Palemi

    April 27, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    my brother is a military

  • Trillina Palemi

    April 27, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    my father is a military

  • Ria Alemina

    April 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I'm not a military spouse

  • Rosa Pi

    April 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    This is Great!!!

  • Christine

    April 27, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I’m an army spouse, and had no idea there was even an appreciation day!! Thanks for the heads up 🙂

  • Elinor Semira

    April 27, 2014 at 7:31 am

    No, I’m not a military spouse but i knew some friends who are military wives. And I think it’s a very difficult job and communication should be always open. Need to know how to use viber or skype to catch up with your loved ones.

  • cogitoergosumisaval

    April 27, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I am not but suggest write letters!!! 🙂
    thanks for chance!
    fingers crossed

  • Dubravka Bjelobrk

    April 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Love this!!

  • gmmabcn

    April 27, 2014 at 4:47 am

    I am not a millitary spouse and don’t know anyone.I think that sending flowers or writting a letter, emailing, or tweeting can help.

    xx

  • Loredana Battista

    April 27, 2014 at 10:44 am

    This is Great!!!

  • Alfonso Gonzalez

    April 27, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Nice Price!!

  • Viviana Zimbone

    April 27, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I think that writing letters can help 😉

  • lucija91

    April 27, 2014 at 3:07 am

    I am not a millitary spouse and don’t know anyone. I can offer you to send flowers

  • David

    April 27, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Nice!

  • Kasia Wianecka

    April 27, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Im not a military spouse but understand the feeling in many regards.
    An unexpected knock on the door to keep you company… Makes a lot difference

  • Birdiebee

    April 27, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I am an ex-wife of a former military spouse. My husband went through a lot after being in the war zone and truly never recovered; he also had PTSD which he would not get help for.

  • Amer Hasanovic

    April 27, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Nice..

  • Alexia Misso

    April 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I’m not a military spouse and I do not know one but I’m truly thankful for all military spouse for your service,

  • Sara W

    April 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    I am not a military spouse. I would love to cook a meal for a military family and let them relax.

  • Oksana

    April 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    My husband is a military spouse.))

  • Lisa

    April 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    My high school best friend is a military best friend. When her husband was deployed, she liked to keep busy so I just tried to invite her to as many fun outings as I could

  • Nicole Dziedzic (@lil_lady_dz)

    April 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    My best friend is a military spouse. She is so dedicated, honest, patient, and always shines through anything gracefully. She has two kids and is a wonderful mom and wife. Glad to have a day to honor them!

  • Kim Ruth Philo

    April 26, 2014 at 3:56 am

    I am not a military spouse but know many who are. We love having them over so they have 'family' around and do not feel so alone.

  • Tracy

    April 25, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    As you are my friend who’s a motary spouse, I’d say just bring there for you, a sounding board etc. is something to add.

  • Kimberleigh Smith Sherrell

    April 26, 2014 at 2:54 am

    I'm not a military wife and have really only known one military wife, and I think what she missed the most was the adult interaction in the evenings…we'd sometimes have dinner together or just let our kids play together so we could talk. She always knew I prayed for her husband to come home safely!

  • Michelle T Hill

    April 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Collect donations any way you can and send them off. Every care package helps

  • Jenna Bechtel Heckart

    April 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I just learned about this holiday. And this is a great way to show appreciation to all of the military spouses. Men and Women!

  • Abigail

    April 25, 2014 at 12:09 am

    I’m not a military wife so I have no tips to add. I am very grateful for your husband’s service and all the sacrifices you all make to help make us all safer. Thank you.

  • Paul N Patricia Carrier

    April 25, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Cook a military spouse a meal. Call them up and let them know you are thinking of them. Give them a journal and bible scripture. Hugs and a thank you is the best gift of all.

  • Jennifer Eber

    April 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    I'm not a military spouse, but I know with kids, sometimes it's less stressful if someone brings food and stays to visit rather than me leave the house. That would help me to feel less lonely. I suggest the same for military spouses. 🙂

  • Erika

    April 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I am a military spouse, and I definitely agree that helping with kids can be invaluable some days.

  • Karri

    April 24, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks for the reminder and thank you for sacrificing for us. Being without husband/father is hard. Let alone for extended periods of time.

  • Katrina Ingalls Hix

    April 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I love the ideas. Especially the offering to watch the kids one! Few things are quite so stressful as being a full-time single parent 24/7, especially as a stay at home mom!!! lol – and I'd totally love to get that iPad mini 😉

  • Karri Bergren

    April 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing this reminder!

  • Jessica

    April 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    This reminds me of all of the lovely things people would do for my mom while my dad was in the Army.

  • amandahoyt

    April 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

    what a great giveaway! would love to win to gift to a deserving family 🙂

  • Cookie

    April 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

    That’s really thoughtful what you put out there.. Love it

  • Linda

    April 24, 2014 at 11:14 am

    A day of rest and relaxation is a great gift to give a military wife – offer to babysit/watch the kids and let her have a day just for her.

  • Ashley

    April 24, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Thank you for the suggestions. Sometimes it is hard to know what would be most appreciated by military spouses when you are not one yourself. 🙂

  • Kathryn

    April 24, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Love reading your blog. So honest and true. I admire all your strength and bravery in the face of so many set backs

  • Kelsey

    April 24, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Great ideas! For anyone that you wanted to give a bigger gift to a spa day would be nice.. or even just a manicure or pedicure.. something to make them feel extra special and pretty!

  • Nikki

    April 24, 2014 at 6:31 am

    We’re a military family, too. Being away from home and family/friends is hard when our spouses are away. I love your suggestion of just offering to come over and chat. I try to stay as busy with possible, and with 2 preschoolers and a baby on the way, it’s definitely not hard to do that…but sometimes it’s nice to have a noter adult around. PCSing is tough because you have to make new friends and get settled in pretty quickly before your hubby leaves again (at least that’s been my experience), so be friendly if you see a military family moving into your neighborhood. Ask how you can help. And just be there to pray for them and offer support. A little goes a long way.

  • Nikki Hernandorena

    April 24, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Yes! All of your suggestions are very much appreciated.

  • Chantal

    April 24, 2014 at 4:43 am

    I am a milspouse!! I’d say being there for friends, invite them out to do stuff, or offer to come over and hang out!

  • Margaret in MN

    April 24, 2014 at 3:45 am

    THANK YOU for putting this on my radar. I have several nieces in the military and you can bet I’ll be more appreciative. ♥

  • Marie

    April 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I like your ideas. I’m a military friend so I send cookies to the deployed person and the spouse. My next plan is mix CDs for both the spouse and deployed person (although probably different) as my friend who got one during her first deployment still raves about how much she liked it.

  • Diane Keller Wyatt

    April 24, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Great ideas~ and a wonderful giveaway! Thanks!

  • caroline h.

    April 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    As a military wife, I can agree that these are all great suggestions. I would also add mailing cards to the spouse to the list of ways to lift their spirits. No matter ones age, everyone loves getting mail! Another good suggestions is to ask the spouse for the address of their husband or wife who is deployed so you can send them a care package. Knowing your friends are sending a package to your deployed spouse not only makes you feel good, but can take the pressure off when you yourself don’t have time to send a package every month.

  • Annet M

    April 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I know so few military families, with the exception of a good friend who is a chaplain in the Australian military and for his only overseas posting thus far, was sent to Baghdad. Thanks for reminding how we can help!

  • Carla Garcia

    April 24, 2014 at 2:15 am

    When my cousins husband was deployed I sent her a bunch of magazine subscriptions for celebrity/entertainment/guilty pleasure magazines. To give her something to read and occupy her mind.

  • Jessica ayers

    April 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I am a military spouse..just taking the time to pick up the phone and call them always helps!

  • Alexis Hilgert

    April 24, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Back in the early 2000s I was a young/new military spouse And Active Duty myself. I still remember how well taken care of the women who were "just wives" were. They got wellness visits, gift baskets, guys from our squadron would mow their lawn…and then there was me. No one checked on me or helped me from his squadron, or mine and it sucked. So I guess I'd say, don't forget about dual military…just because a woman may be in too, doesn't mean she's dealing with it any better. And offer to mow the lawn. What I would have given not to have had to do it just once during that time! Lol

  • Anonymous

    April 23, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    It is so important that we support our troops! They provide the freedoms of everyday living so that we ourselves do not have too. But it is also important to remember that those military servants are also fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, wives, mothers, daughters etc. They have a family who is waiting every second for them to come home and do the mundane things together, that we often take for granted (ie: dinner, grocery shopping laundry). I will be praying for you that these next weeks fly by and you will have your love home again. God Bless!

  • Keli

    April 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I can’t think of another idea but these are great ones. Thank you!

  • Alissa

    April 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Drop by with coffee!

  • Elle

    April 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    The best thing a friend can do for a military wife is just be a friend which means being there physically and emotionally and lending an ear to their hopes, dreams, problems and thoughts.

  • Lisette Tanaka

    April 23, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Just a simple acknowledgement would be enough for me. I don't expect gifts or handouts. It's nice to know others know about this day, not just us who are living it.

  • flatstolofts

    April 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Great (& easy) ideas that I’m sure would make a big difference!

  • Amanda

    April 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Military wife of almost 12 years here. My husband deploys every single year for a large chunk of the year, so I am quite familiar with the process. I tend to go full hermit when he’s gone; it’s just too easy to stay home with the kid(s). So my friends and I (our husbands all go at the same time) make it a priority to force each other out of the house at least once a week. Park, lunch, movies, bowling, etc. You get the idea.

    Also, inevitably someone’s kid will start behaving like a rabid dog. Just listen to them vent about him/her/them. No judgement; we’ve all been there.

    Oh, and smack everyone who says, “I don’t know how you do it.” 🙂

  • Rebekah

    April 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    My husband was in the military for 10 years & was deployed to Afghanistan for a period of time. The constant distraction from friends was amazing, whether it be a lunch date, shopping, just stopping by for a visit. We have kids now, but at that time we did not. For mom’s or dad’s with a deployed spouse, I would definitely think a few hours of a friend watching the kids would be perfect.

  • Tiffany Marston

    April 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I am not a military wife but I grew up a military kid…my dad was in the Navy for 20 years and I don’t remember what my mom did other than take care of us. We always had family and friends around. I remember my Aunt lived with us one time while my Dad was out tot sea. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate the sacrifice and service you all put in. Thank you!!!

  • Abbie

    April 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I’m not, but I have friends who are. Offering to watch the kiddos so mom can have a break, play dates and get togethers are always appreciated.

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As…the Wife

    April 23, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Deployment wasn’t too big of a deal for me because I was able to keep myself busy but now that we have kids TDYs and MOS schools are the bane of my existence. I definitely agree that inviting a military spouse and their family out for an activity or just over to your house for a meal is a huge gesture and will make their day.

  • Amanda Stepro Snow

    April 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I'm a military spouse, as well and I think while my husband was gone I'd most appreciate a meal or two! It's hard to be a single parent all day and get a healthy dinner on the table.

  • sb

    April 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

    What a great idea. I often think of those in the military but very rarely those left behind. I’d like to add on top of helping with larger chores, hiring someone to do those things and/or hiring a babysitter so you can enjoy some time with your friend!

  • Autumn

    April 23, 2014 at 11:36 am

    What great ideas and all of them are simple to do at hardly any expense! Thanks for sharing.

  • Heather

    April 23, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I can’t imagine how difficult being a military spouse is…especially when your spouse is away for training or deployed and you’re not able to talk to them daily.

  • Jennifer Gessner

    April 23, 2014 at 11:06 am

    What a thoughtful post! I am not a military spouse, but am beyond thankful for those who serve AND the military spouses who sacrifice so much while their loved ones are away. Thank you for the tips…I will put them to good use! And…on a side note (I’ve never commented before), you are my hero. You are the strongest woman I have ever seen!

  • Kim Rahn

    April 23, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I have been attempting to send out at least 3-5 cards a week to friend/family. Just little notes to say hi or that I’m praying for someone. This idea would work for military moms too! A little something to say hi. Everyone loves happy mail!

  • clbills

    April 23, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I have lots of friends who would really appreciate this article- will be sharing

  • Lindsey

    April 23, 2014 at 10:08 am

    While I don’t have many military families near me, I would make cookies and bring them by just to say hello. Little acts of kindness go a long way.

  • Annie Brinson

    April 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    My husband hasn't deployed during our relationship yet but I'm glad for the ideas for other military spouses!

  • Sam

    April 23, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I was an Army spouse but now the hubby and I have switched places and I wear the combat boots. I used to love when people would swing by randomly with dinner precooked for me. Some days you’re just in survival mode – now a days you can even create freezer meals for military families so they don’t have to stress about dinner.

  • empenn

    April 23, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Those are all great ideas. It helps so much to know that someone is thinking of you.

  • Sarah Michelle Kelly

    April 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I'm a military spouse and I think these are some great ideas. When my hubby was deployed it always helped to have my awesome friends by my side. They helped me through one of the most trying times in my life and I will always love them for that!

  • Martha Addison Walker

    April 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Great Idea to offer babysitting services. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Lauren

    April 23, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I was a military spouse and I would have loved someone to help tidy up the house before my husband came home. I was always so overwhelmed getting everything ready and “perfect” for his return, an extra hand would have been a huge help.

  • jessicaisbaking

    April 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I don’t know too many but I think it is always nice to help out by stopping by with dinner for the family.

  • Cari

    April 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I don’t know many military families, but these are great ideas! I’m going to remember these for the future.

  • Julie

    April 23, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I am not a military spouse, but know some living in my community. Thanks for the ideas of how to show the appreciation!

  • Tina T

    April 23, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I’m a Army wife. The most effective ways I have shown appreciation is just by being there for my fellow military spouse wives. Having someone to talk to is so important. Helping them stay focused and reminding them that this is only for a season, it shall pass. Praying with them and having small group meetings is great too! We homeschool and I like to invite their children over as well to participate in play dates and our “field trips” as well. Being a lonely spouse while your better half is away fighting a war is grounds for depression if you have no one to talk to. Especially when family is far away! I think starting a blog is a great idea too! Helps you release thoughts and emotions and gives the opportunity for the public to offer you some well needed support. And how fun it would be for your spouse to read all if your thoughts and everyday experiences while they were away 🙂 Thank you and your family for your service!

  • Abby Rawlinson

    April 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I really love this. I'm a new military wife. Luckily he hasn't been deployed yet but I look to all of the great examples of strong army wives

  • Jesenia Voyles

    April 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I am a military spouse and always have ppl ask what they can do for us. I usually tell them just be there. Listen when I need an ear or just come over to hang out. My husband just got back from a 12 month deployment and it was amazing the support I felt from those who just listened when I needed to vent, cry or complain.

  • Jesenia Voyles

    April 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Great tips!

  • Jessica Gaff

    April 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    This is Great!!!

  • jlampe12

    April 23, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I actually don’t know many, but I love your idea of taking someone out to lunch. It’s nice to let friends know they’re remembered when it feels like everyone is busy living their own lives.

  • Rachel

    April 23, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I didn’t realize there was a day just for military spouses! They definitely deserve some help and recognition.

  • Christina

    April 23, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I think including them when they may not have family nearby is important. Even in little things like Sunday dinner. Something to let them know family doesn’t have to just be blood, it is what you make it.

  • MC Hataway

    April 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Love this!!

  • Emily M

    April 23, 2014 at 8:56 am

    All great ideas, I would also add allow them to vent their frustrations.

  • Meg

    April 23, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I think inviting over for holidays is an excellent suggestion. There are few times when I really feel like I miss my family a little too much, but it’s always on holidays. It’s nice to be included in someone else’s family holiday when you can’t be with your own.

  • Lisa Moragne Bartels

    April 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    These are great ideas! Also love the idea left in the comment about inviting them over on holidays.

  • paspoke

    April 23, 2014 at 8:39 am

    This is a neat post. My father is retired army, so my mother was a military spouse. She never reached out and thought she needed to bear it silently. She was incredibly lonely when my father was on TDY. To this day, she can pack up a house in less than a day with order that is amazing. I am happy to read about your experiences because it is a little insight into her former life.

    1. Angela

      April 23, 2014 at 8:43 am

      I meant to log out my husband. Oops. 🙂

  • Emily

    April 23, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Thank you for this post! I love hearing how to offer help from someone who has been there and is currently there. I have a cousin whose husband is in the military, and since she lives out of state, we like to send her and her kids packages with little gifts around the holidays to try and brighten rough days.

  • Antonia @ tinyJoys

    April 23, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I’m not a military spouse, but a military sister. My younger brother is in the Air Force. He really appreciates when he comes home and we take him into account: have his favorite foods stocked and ready, think of what he enjoys doing, etc. A lot of the time, we end up eating pizza and playing video games, but that’s something that he doesn’t just get to do on his own.

  • Liz @ ourbusybee(s)

    April 23, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Don’t sell yourself short. Being a military spouse is just as important as the jobs our husbands do. Keeping our families together and our kids well-adjusted is crucial! xo

  • Jenny Myers

    April 23, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Lots of respect to all you military spouses!! My husband is gone for one night this week, completely out of harms way and I’m going crazy without him!!

  • lonnapea

    April 23, 2014 at 8:20 am

    have a listening ear for them

  • Jackie

    April 23, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Love reading your blog.

  • Elizabeth V.

    April 23, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I am a militant spouse (and veteran) and I love your list, especially an afternoon of watching the kids so I can run errands or make appointments or take some time to myself. Another thing that is always a huge help to me is when someone helps me out by cutting the grass or shoveling snow bc it is hard to get these things done with two littles I need to keep an eye on!

  • Jessica M

    April 23, 2014 at 8:05 am

    What wonderful ideas you have. I can’t think of any more but thank you to your husband for his service!

  • Lori

    April 23, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I have two cousins in the army. These are great idea’s, Thanks!!!

  • Sidnie

    April 23, 2014 at 7:53 am

    For me, the best thing was when friend’s would just show up. When I’m stressed, I push people away and there were a friends who knew that and would show up anyway. We’d spend an hour or two doing the tasks I’d been ignoring and then we’d out the door for some fresh air and a playground.
    I needed people to just show up in my life during deployment.

    1. Sidnie

      April 23, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Oh, geez at all the typos.
      -friends*
      -a few* friends
      -we’d head* out

  • Ellen Lacey

    April 23, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    You are awesome!

  • Laura Savaloja

    April 23, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I am not, and I don’t personally know anyone that is. I would add the following: offer to help out with some of the bigger household chores like lawn mowing, snow shoveling, leaf raking, etc.

  • Taylor Allen

    April 23, 2014 at 7:21 am

    I’m not, but it seems like it would be very difficult on both sides of the table… I’m thankful for your husbands service.

  • Kendal Barriere

    April 23, 2014 at 7:08 am

    I am a military wife. I don’t have a lot of advice as we are just Army Reserve. But I do know that a great support system is crucial to getting through the hard times and when spouse is gone for an extended amount of time.

  • Mindy

    April 23, 2014 at 7:07 am

    My daughter is a military spouse and I would add the following: invite them over on Holidays because they are likely away from family and a gift card to a local eatery occasionally for a dinner out with the kids is always appreciated.

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