Why I think being a military spouse has made me more laid back- or not

When people imagine life in the home of a military family, they probably think of order, whistles, bed making quarter tests, etc. My house is anything but… Well, it’s a little like that, but I’ll explain that later.

I realized, early on, that I had to relax, when it comes to running the household, or I’d go crazy. With four boys to care for, on my own, high expectations for housekeeping are a recipe for disaster. If I expected everything to be in order all the time, I’d go crazy. I would love for the clutter to disappear, and there are days when it does drive me crazy, but I’ve learned to keep those days to a minimum.

I used to want the kids to stay inside after dinner, wanting them to be ready for bed early, but they are older and I realize that playing outside is more of a need than a want.

I used to really dislike playdoh.  I mean, the kids had fun with it, but it leaves tiny dried balls of color all over the table and floor and vacuuming is just ONE MORE THING to do.  But, I realize that not only is vacuuming not a big deal, or time suck- as long as I have the cordless in the kitchen, the value of something that keeps a preschooler happy for 30+ minutes is invaluable!  So what if it makes a little mess?

It’s the same with other crafts.  I used to think, ‘I have to get all the supplies out, put paper down, supervise, clean up, etc.’  Now I let the boys get the supplies, out, prepare the area and clean up.  Of course I have to step in to help sometimes and add to the clean up, but I realize that it’s not a big deal.

After Dinner Craft Time

I am a stickler for some things, though.  Some of my friends make fun of me b/c I do fit the stereotype of rigid expectations of rule following.  When I want to make sure the boys are listening, I call, from wherever I am, “Line Up!”

Within a minute, all four boys are standing before me, arms at their sides, eyes on me, waiting for instructions.  It looks a little crazy to an outsider, but it works and I will not stop doing it.

I’ve thought about using a bosun’s wistle, but haven’t made that leap… yet.  I do own one.  And, I think it would work…

The point is, in my opinion, if I let go of high expectations for things that really don’t matter and make room for the things that do matter, things go more smoothly in our house.  I don’t let go of keeping order and having rules, but no one will remember the clutter or mess, they will remember the fun!


About Commander in Chief At home

Erin is a military spouse and, sometimes temporarily single mom to 4 boys. She's a parenting coach, writer, teacher, special needs (Autism) mom, and much more.
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One Response to Why I think being a military spouse has made me more laid back- or not

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