Friday, April 25, 2014

Sponsored: Top 5 Ways to Show Appreciation to Military Spouses + iPad Giveaway

I received compensation from AT&T in exchange for posting and hosting this giveaway. All opinions are my own.

In the United States, Military Spouse Appreciation Day is celebrated on the Friday before Mother's Day. This year, Military Spouse Appreciation Day falls on May 9. Although as spouses, we may not have the toughest job in the military, it is nice to have one day out of the year where our support and sacrifices are recognized.

In honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, here are a few ideas on how you can show appreciation for military spouses.

Top 5 ways to show appreciation to military spouses1. Reach out: Most military spouses know how difficult it can be to make friends and meet people at a new duty station. Have a new neighbor? Go say hello and introduce yourself. Try striking up a conversation with a mom sitting solo at the park. Introduce yourself to the new faces at your unit events.

2. Lend a hand: There are countless ways to show appreciation through acts of kindness, no matter how small. Bringing the trash cans back from the curb, mowing the yard, helping out with car issues, watching children for a few hours. When the service member is away, the spouse often times has to adopt roles that they were previously not familiar with. While this is usually a tremendous learning opportunity, sometimes it becomes a burden. Especially when Murphy's Law of Deployment won't cut you a break.

3. Food is good: When Hubster is gone, the girls and I practically live off of cereal and spaghetti and meatballs, with a bag of popcorn tossed in for special occasions. For some reason, I lack the motivation to cook when it's just the kids and I. A simple pre-cooked or frozen meal can go a long way in showing appreciation. It frees up a bit of kitchen time and ensures that no one is turning into a Froot Loop. These meals are also great for a spouse who may have just had a baby or has been sick.

4. Wine is better: Or coffee. Some solo adult conversation and beverages of choice are always a nice way to unwind. Because so many military spouses also take on the role of stay at home mom, time away from the kiddies (and sometimes, even the hubs) can be necessary to stay level headed in this hectic lifestyle.

5. Words of encouragement: A simple "thank you" goes a long way. I've never felt the need to be thanked for being a military spouse. The military is what my husband does and I'm just along for the ride. Our service members are the ones who deserve all the thanks for literally sacrificing their lives for our country. However, if someone feels the need to acknowledge that I'm many miles away from loved ones often times raising children on my own, I'll take it and it's very much appreciated. "I'm here if you need anything," is another good one.

What other ways can you think of to show appreciation to military spouses? Tag @att and #milspouse to share your ideas on Twitter! You can also click here to see how AT&T is supporting our troops and their families.

As a way to show appreciation, AT&T has sponsored a fantastic giveaway (pictured) which includes an iPad mini, iPad cover, t-shirt, and hat!  Enter via Rafflecopter below!

Military Spouse Appreciation Day - iPad Giveaway
Contest is open to all U.S. residents, military spouse or not. Entry period will run from 12:01 am EST Friday, April 25 until 11:59 pm EST Wednesday, May 7. The winner will be announced on the blog on May 8. Entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love, Alex

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73 comments:

  1. Love your list! I think just being there to listen when another spouse needs it goes a long way.

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  2. I think it's important to have some one to talk to ~ who won't judge ... just listen

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  3. Love this list! Especially number 4.

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  4. What a great list!! Meals and adult convos where you can just vent are key.

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  5. Good List! And a awesome giveaway!

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  6. I don't personally know any military spouses, but I agree with everything on my list and I would do whatever I could for a military spouse! :)

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  7. Even though it's backfired on us, meeting neighbors is a good idea.

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  8. I was a brat. Not sure I could be a spouse. You ladies amaze me with how much you van handle. If anyone is at Campbell give me a shout! I'm close and would love to lend a neighborly hand :)

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  9. Love this post! I'm not a mil spouse, but these are great ideas and military spouses should definitely be appreciated. It's hard to be away from the one you love, especially when you're living in a new place and he's off risking his life for his country (or hers). And of course I'm here if you need anything, even though it's just in blogland :) I'm glad that you made a point to recognize that the bigger sacrifice is being made by the service members, too!

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  10. I never turned down an offer for a friend to watch the kids while I grocery shopped when Steve was deployed. :)

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  11. Every time Military Spouse Appreciation Day comes around there are always friends on Facebook who show their appreciation. A simple thank you makes my day!

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  12. I think just offering time for adult interaction is nice! Even if you don't leave the house! After awhile, talking to little ones can get a little old!

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  13. I just had to say goodbye this morning, and I think I'm going to need to rest. So that's my advice- be kind to yourself when they're gone.

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  14. Offering to babysit so they can run errands, nap,special nights out or whatever. They need a break.

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  15. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! :-)

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  16. Don't just ask them when a good time to babysit is..just take their kids and let the spouse enjoy their time :)

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  17. I think it's good to help them with the kids every once in a while so they go get a pedi, massage or even just grocery shopping by themselves so they can get a little break from them while the husband is away. I have a friend who is a military spouse.

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  18. Being there is the best thing you can do - just be a good friend and lend support and a shoulder for them and also try to help out if possible with simple things like watching the children for a few hours once a week.

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  19. Give them random surprises and just be there for them.

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  20. I love your list! Support and spending time together is so important. I have so much respect for military spouses.

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  21. Offering to watch the children every so often so that she can have an afternoon to rest, read, relax, run errands, etc.. can be really helpful as is asking if you can do anything to make things a bit easier. Support and understanding are the key.

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  22. I would make a beauty basket and gift it to them.
    Leidy R - rafflecopter form

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  23. I help out by babysitting, doing errands, cleaning, anything to help lighten stress and the daily burdens.

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  24. I always offer to babysit so they can get out of the house when they need to and invite them over often.

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  25. I think its good to just be 'in touch' with them often - check in and see how they are holding up. Pray for them! Remember the kids too. Invite them over and spend time with them.

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  26. Real friendship is awesome! :-)
    Joanna G- Rafflecopter

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  27. Offer to cook them a meal for any family members left behind.

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  28. Simply being there - even if just on facebook chat - is especially important for us guard/reserve spouses who may live far away from any duty station.

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  29. Just being there is so important especially for us guard/reserve spouses -- even if it's just over FB chat!

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  30. My best friend is a military spouse. I often show my appreciation for her by taking her for a spa day, sending her flowers, watching her kids, and letting her know I am here for her through anything she needs.

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  31. being a listening ear, making dinner for the, cleaning they're home.

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  32. By taking them meals, sending them care packages, or just being there to listen!

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  33. Treat them to dinner and a movie, babysit the kids, be a shoulder to lean on

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  34. Volunteer for a day of yard work.

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  35. Care packages are always helpful and cheerful.

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  36. Lending them your time! Whether it be to help out with childcare, errands, or just to listen and be a companion!

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  37. a gift basket would be a great way to show appreciation

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  38. My tip would be to make time to be a good listener and a shoulder to lean on.

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  39. I think a nice fun basket with lots of food and necessity items including gift cards to a nice restaurant.
    tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  40. My girlfriend is military wife and she holds everything down in the household. We show her appreciation by always supporting her, being by her side, helping out her child and having girls night as much as possible.

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  41. You can show appreciation with cards and care packages and with words.. voicing your support and appreciation in person can really positively affect someone.

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  42. my husband always walks up to them and shakes their hands.. says "thanks for your service"

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  43. Babysit so they can go out:) Also pet sitting can be helpful too!

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  44. I always try to help my fellow spouses. Whether its babysitting or giving them a ride. I no ly ask that they help out others in return.

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  45. Take time to help others, whether babysitting or giving them a ride. I only ask that you would do the same for someone else.

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  46. Offer to babysit, cook dinner and bring a box of truffles to share. :)

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  47. I would like to send pictures and cut our place to keep our memories!

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  48. My best friend is a military spouse! I love to babysit for them to give them a much needed night out, kid-free!

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  49. I would show appreciation by telling them how much I appreciate them. Don’t assume that someone knows how much you care about them and love them, TELL them, they will really value your words.

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  50. You can show support and appreciation by asking to watch the kids once a week to give her time to herself or to run errands without the hassle of small kids or prepare a meal or two just to make things easier.

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  51. My girlfriend is military wife and she holds everything down in the household. We show her appreciation by always being there for her no matter what. To help out around the house, take care of her child or just having a good old girls night out

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  52. Just listening to the daily struggles can be a big support system.

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  53. A simple 'thank you' goes a LONG way.

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  54. Show appreciation by taking the kids and letting the spouse have a day on their own whether it is taking a nap or going out and pampering themselves. Be there to listen if their spouse is deployed it isnt easy.

    ellen beck on rafflecopter

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  55. Send them gift or food and ask them anything we can help whenever they need :)

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  56. I always try to do something fun for fellow/former mil spouses on their birthday. One of my neighbors' husband was recently deployed so on her birthday I surprised her with flowers.

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  57. I love this, and the truth is as a mil spouse so often we do this for each other. When one of us is struggling, the other is there to help. Thanks for your list. <3

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  58. I would offer to babysit or run some errands!

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  59. I'd show them appreciation by offering to lend a hand anytime needed, or just an ear to listen!

    nathansmommy619(At)Aol(dot)com

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  60. #1 is the hardest for me, having to move so much. I would love if my neighbors were more friendly.

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  61. Giving them a date night by babysitting!

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  62. Being there to listen and help out, encourage!

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  63. Be there to listen, help out, encourage!

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  64. I love this list. Care packages or offering help for whatever they need!

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  65. I loved when hubby deployed that there were a group of wives that checked in with each other every couple of days. We even got together and waited with each other waiting for our soldiers' buses to arrive for homecoming. It's not always easy being a National Guard wife. Especially when your hubby's unit is 5 hours away from home!

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  66. Cook them a nice dinner.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  67. I give care packages to my friends whose husbands or wives are in the military! :)

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  68. I love #5. It helps especially since I've been far away from T for a while. I'd take my friend's kids and send her to a spa day!! Much needed girl/ alone mommy time!

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  69. I think offering babysitting services or playdates with kids could help with stress

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  70. I think reaching out is the most important way to support one another!

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