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Let's Make This The Year of the Military Mom

Photograph by Getty Images

As spouses and mothers, we far too easily let the needs of our family come first. As members of the military community, we give and give; tirelessly supporting those along side us. While the challenges often faced in our community aren’t dwindling any time soon, instead of letting our lives and goals and intentions pass us by, let’s go out and make big things happen.

RELATED: Military Mom Discrimination

It could be that 2014 is the year that you are transitioning from a stay-at-home parent to a working one, or would like to transition that job into a career. Finding, maintaining and growing careers as military spouses is incredibly difficult—between PCS moves, family responsibilities and the challenging job market, positions that fit the bill are few and far between. One way to get ahead is to reach out to your local family groups and MWR centers for specific information for your area on available opportunities. If you are interested in volunteering, many organizations are in need of additional support and your time.

If you are interested in going back to school or learning new skills, there are also plenty of programs that provide educational and financial support to military spouses. The National Military Family Association provides a scholarship and promotes many spouses and families who are pursuing non-traditional means for further personal development. Military.com also has a significant compilation of resources for spouses and other family members seeking education benefits. The National Resource Directory has a fairly in-depth listing of resources available to the military and their families. A simple Google search will provide plenty of links directing users to scholarships, resources, special programs and more. Sites like Skillshare, Udemy and Coursera offer free or low-cost courses to help train you in a type of skill or learn new information.

The most important thing to do is just get started

Maybe you are interested in developing a business or a career that can move and adapt with you. You could look into starting your own business or working on a freelance basis using skills you already have. Every industry uses contractors of some type, so if your background is in math/science or design/communication, there are probably opportunities in your area. Reach out to local organizations and businesses to inquire about available opportunities.

Your goals could be less ambition based and more personal in nature. Whether it is getting fit or finding more personal time to cultivate your own passions, there are other moms and military spouses that likely share your passion and would be great cheerleaders, supporters and resources. Groups like Stroller Strong (and similar ones around the country) and organizations like the YMCA or other fitness centers often offer special mommy & me workouts and child care options to help busy moms work fitness into their daily routines.

RELATED: How to Be Working Military Parents

The Internet is an (often overwhelming) resource for information. If you are looking to make big strides in 2014, starting with a simple Internet search can take you a long way in collecting the information and resources to make your dreams for this year happen. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour and brainstorm what opportunities you’d like to create for yourself and then do a little research. The most important thing to do is just get started—you’ll be amazed at the momentum you can build. Let’s take this year to do big things; big things for ourselves so that we can be better members of our communities and our families.

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