In this episode, we will have Lauren Tamm, founder of The Military Wife and Mom loaded with rich information about how to be a military wife or spouse, and how to parent at the same time. If you want to know more on how to be a better first responder spouse and mom, and how to deal with our partner's deployment, check this out!
In this episode, we will have Lauren Tamm, founder of The Military Wife and Mom loaded with rich information about how to be a military wife or spouse, and how to parent at the same time. If you want to know more on how to be a better first responder spouse and mom, and how to deal with our partner's deployment, check this out!
In this episode, you will learn:
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Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of Enduring the Badge Podcast. I'm host Jerry Dean Lund, and I don't want you to miss an upcoming episode. So please hit that subscribe button. And while your phones are out, please do me a favor and give us a review on iTunes or Apple Podcasts. It says, Hey, this podcast has a great message and we should send it out to more people. So please take that 30 seconds to a minute to do that review. And just maybe by doing that, it will push this up into someone's podcast feed that really needs this message.
My very special guest today is Lauren Pam, she's the creator of a very, very cool website called The Military Wife and Mom loaded with rich information about how to be a military wife or spouse, and how to parent at the same time. There's so much great content on this website, you're going to want to go to it and pick up some information that's going to help you be a first responder spouse and get through those difficult times. She's spent so much time creating great content there. It's going to benefit you, I promise. Let's jump right into this episode with Lauren.
Hi, Lauren, how are you doing today?
Hey, I'm great. Thanks for having me.
I'm super excited to have you we got a great story to tell about being a military wife and mom. And then we're just talking about you also have a great website that we're going to talk about too, so people can get some great resources and advice and stuff from your website. So tell the audience a little bit about yourself.
Sure. So originally, my background is in critical care nursing. I spent about eight years doing that. I met my husband and later moved to be with him in North Carolina, or he was stationed at the time. And we married in 2012. And shortly after that, I became a mother. And I realized that it was just too demanding to stay working in a job like staff nursing, where you're working 12 hour shifts. And often every time you move, you're starting over and working a night shift. And parenting in combination with that it was just too much with deployments, schooling, lots of separation, things like that. And about six months of being a stay at home mom, I was restless and decided to start my website, The Military Wife and Mom. And now do that full time. And I have yet to return to the field of nursing. And it's been an interesting journey along the way. So that's basically the past 10 years of my life.
So how did you meet your work in the hospitals? How'd you meet your husband?
We're both from Wisconsin. And my college best friend married his childhood best friend. So we met at this wedding. And a small town. We interestingly, had met at this wedding he had come home on for the wedding, but then was coming home another month later on pre deployment leave. I saw him one more time. And it was just friendly at the time. And then he left for Iraq very shortly after that. And we wrote back and forth for seven months. And went through all the emotions that you're sort of dealing with of a bizarre long distance relationship. Well, this person is in another country fighting a war. And then he returned home and we've essentially been together ever since. So that's our origin story, if you want to call it that. Yeah.
Did you know this is like a regular type of writing? Are we emailing back and forth as much as possible?
Both both? Yeah. And internet connectivity was spotty at the time. So you know, we wrote letters back and forth as well. But it takes a long time to get information. And I think when you're in a new relationship, you're willing to take any communication you can get. So you're just sort of trying all the things right. Yeah.
So what was your favorite part of that was it just was did he write you back in or email you back? Which was your favorite part?
Well, none of it because none because he's gone. Yeah, the whole part of that was really hard. And it was foreshadowing just the beginning of separation for us. That looking back now on that time, and I think maybe a lot of first responder families can relate to this, that during times of separation, I think it helps us grow so much and I'm grateful for that time, but it was also a very painful time. Because when you are newly in love with somebody, I, you want to be with them and you want to spend time with them. But you also understand the passion and the dream to do something that's bigger than yourself and to have a life of service to. And those two are completely competing in different directions. Right, right. So I wouldn't say that I had a fondness of those times it but yet I look at it. And I say to myself, I get it. I get why we had to go through that. And after that I wrecked deployment, there was multiple Afghanistan deployments that followed those that were extremely difficult because of casualties and fatalities. That were very close, you know, to our home and our life. People we knew and so I can't say I look back on that and think that was fun.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. How did you both both handle those casualties of it, so many of them with being so close to you?
We treaded lightly. But being an ICU nurse myself, I I know that diving into the hard things is something that my husband and I both do well, and avoiding it only is like a Festering Wound that will never go away. And if you don't deal with it, it only gets worse. And it's going to come out in some way. Whether you like it or not, and it may not come out in a logical, reasonable conversation, it will come out in other ways that you don't even realize is tied to things that you've gone through together. So we talked about things like that a lot. When my husband lost his team member, he is an EOD tech in the Marine Corps and what they were working in two man teams at the time. And so that's about as close as you can get. Yeah, yeah. To a second chance at whatever was planned for our lives, Destiny, divine intervention, whatever you want to call it. And I'm going off on a tangent that insert it, no, go. Okay, here's great. Okay, so then this happened. And I was told by many other spouses at the time, that he would not talk to me about this, to resign, that this was going to be the way of things and to not have any expectations. And I did not accept that as an answer. And I just continued to leave an open door for communication all the time, and brought it up in a non confrontational way, acknowledging these things that happen, lots of validation and sort of talking about the taboo, the things that you're not supposed to bring up or discuss, and just left the door open, no pressure. And it didn't take long before he wanted to talk about it. Do we talk about it all the time now? Absolutely. But everything that has needed to be said about that has been said, and it is for those reasons that I think my husband has been able to cope so well with the stress. Knowing that we can discuss the hardest possible conversation that there is to discuss, and it's still going to turn out, things are still going to be okay between us.
Yeah. What do you think the result would have been if you didn't talk about it? If that would just like, if you both just kind of knew it was there but you really didn't say anything I know you've talked about it's gonna fester and come out another way. What ways would you see that you think coming out?
I think that we did see it in a lot of our dear friends with broken marriages, broken relationships. Lots of misunderstandings. It's difficult to empathize and be there and be supportive to why someone doesn't feel up to doing something on a given day. When you don't fully understand the story. Yeah. You cannot be sensitive to another person's experience if you cannot even be privy to that knowledge. It degrades your relationship over time. And that's what we saw, you know, many of the couples that were together During the time that the peak of Afghanistan Iraq deployments were happening for us are no longer together. And it's been hard to watch, you know, it's not an easy life. And it has to be a lot of deep intention dealing with hard stuff that no one really wants to deal with. It's the uncomfortable stuff.
Yeah, seven, a lot of a lot of hard conversations. And you probably don't get the opportunity to have those hard conversations a lot of time face to face, I would imagine.
Sure, in the past, maybe. And I don't think there's any harm in waiting to have a conversation. But surely, waiting forever, isn't reasonable. And there's a time and place of course, because when maybe other families listening to this, you know, when you are on the phone, at work on a deployment or out on a call, your coworkers are around you, and you aren't really comfortable, being vulnerable in those moments. And, you know, you have to have an awareness of that, too. It's like, no one's gonna want to air all their dirty laundry unless they feel they're in a safe environment.
Right, that makes that makes perfect sense. I mean, I think you do have to set yourself up to have that environment to have those harder conversations. But yes, I can totally agree. And I'm sure most first responders listening are saying the same thing. You're, you try to find that space to have that conversation. But you're really never alone. So you really don't want to go too deep into those conversations. Yeah. And with him being deployed so much, and being a part, I'm sure you had to make a lot of like hard decisions, I guess, kind of on your own sometimes.
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Sure. I mean, I basically instilled to the state run our household, in terms of all of our finances, all big decisions, but there's a lot of trust that's involved with that. And we've seen many times that trust backfire big time in relationships. And I'll give you a quick example. When my husband and I were dating, he was living with a buddy. And this buddy had a girlfriend living with him that he was engaged to. And the Buddy was deployed, my husband's awkwardly living with this woman who's there and then he deploys and while he is deployed in the buddy comes back. This woman had stolen his car stolen guns from the house sold them. Things like that, where we've seen service members have money stolen from them, where they were deployed, their house, you know, is rented out or sold like crazy stuff is happening. And because of that, there's this difficult balance, I think when a service members in a new relationship, because they've been warned. And even certain banks will only let the service member be the primary and etc, etc, things like that. I'm sure everybody listening is probably aware of all these things. But there's just a big trust in me having to handle this that's been built very slowly over time. And we have to be ready and available for him to leave at a moment's notice. You never know with, you know, the state of the world, something might happen and come up. And you want your family to be in a successful position to be able to handle those things without added stress of calling someone for a password or not having access to money or not understanding how to pay a specific bill, that, in our opinion, and our discussions over the years is just useless stress. And it's been so much easier for our family to know that. There's one person in the household handling this stuff, you know, we're both very transparent and have access to all of our accounts, obviously, and big decisions that are being made but when one person's managing it that isn't the one that's having to leave all the time. There's a sense of peace and trust and comfort. That can coming out so that the person who's leaving can really focus on what they need to do and not be worrying about all these little things that are truly and consequential in the grand scheme of life.
Yeah, those are those are little things that turn up to be big, distract distractions, when you're, I'm sure deployed or gone for extended period of time. Does the military have classes that they teach servicemen and women on kind of like how to prepare to leave? And, you know, just like you're saying, how to set up for a successful deployment? Do they have anything like that?
Yeah, they do that. They have family readiness groups, and things like that, that will help you prepare for deployment. They can give you information. What you do with that information is up to you.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think we're all in a lot of situations like that, where we get information, then we pick and choose what we get to do with it. But yeah, can turn out to be a little bit tough. What, what do you recommend for, like, a structured kind of setup for someone to have a successful deployment? I mean, you're talking about some transparency and, you know, kind of running the house, you know, a little bit, but is there some other things that you recommend that they may set up?
In terms of a product or service or?
Just kind of just having so they can be successful, whether deployed and stuff like that? Do you have any other recommendations, you know, not everybody has a spouse or somebody like that, that may be able to take care of their finances and things like that when they're gone.
Yeah, I think a lot of it is a personal choice with how you want to manage it. But we have, you know, spreadsheets, we have maintenance checklists of when things were done, when things need to be done. You know, my website, I had this deployment binder, it's just an example of something that anyone could have or use. And it goes through household maintenance and automatic maintenance, and things that you would want to have in order before you're separated from your spouse, like, do you have access to bank accounts and financial information? Do you have access to passwords that you might need? Do you know, when your homeowners insurance is due, it's really, these are very basic things that I think anyone can find on the internet, but it's more of understanding, you know, what aspects do we need help on communicating with? And what tool or checklist or planner or binder can we put together? So that it's all in one place? I could be hit by a bus tomorrow. So there's no. Yeah. I mean, do you have beneficiaries set up with your bank account and your retirement accounts? Is that how you want things to be set up? Do you have a living will on a power of attorney if you want a power of attorney? I mean, these are things that I'm sure many first responder families have had to sort of deal with and think about, too,
I think you said they had to deal with and think about, but I think most people think about them, and don't really go through the process of like dealing with them and getting that binder set up. I think that's such an awesome idea. Like anybody in the first responder world should have a binder setup like that, because you just don't know when something can happen.
Right? It makes. You know, another interesting thing that we've talked about that maybe other first responder families do is is death, you know, what will happen? That's a unique conversation that I don't think most couples are having that perhaps someone in this type of work would. And if you talk about death, I think everything else naturally shows up with the crap that you should get done. Um, but when you think about it, just when the emotions taken out of it, and you're dealing with a death, that is, you know, your spouse, what do you want to be dealing with, you know, finding passwords and checklists and dealing with probate and things, all that that happens, or do you just want to be able to grieve and handle that? Yeah, that's enough in and of itself without having to deal with the stress of what does this process look like for me? So I think that's a uncomfortable but reasonable starting point for, what do I need to have in place in case something would happen?
Yeah, I think a lot of times those things don't happen because it's such a uncomfortable talking point. And then I don't know, I feel like some people, if you talk about it, then it may happen. But it might happen at any point. So to get that stuff in order, I mean, for either one of your states or anybody that's involved in your family, you know, your kids, your, you know, depends on who your caretakers are going to be your beneficiaries in that type of stuff, you know, you could potentially being leaving a huge mess for somebody and like you said, not giving the opportunity for them to grieve, but just compounded, you know, the, the complication of of death.
And I don't know if first responder jobs provide these services, but the military does provide some very basic legal assistance, if you want to create things like a living well, and power of attorney, they do help you with that. So you're not paying a lawyer all the time. For these types of documents.
Yeah, every once a while, something will pop up. And we get the free opportunities to do that. But once again, with COVID, it's just like, seems like those type of opportunities to like famished. Hopefully they'll be coming back soon. You know, you've had a made a lot, you've made a lot of tough decisions throughout your, your marriage and stuff like that. And I kind of wanted to go back when you were writing those letters and communicating? Did you just kind of start building that bond of trust, and you know, just start being able to have maybe some of these harder conversations earlier in a relationship than maybe most people would?
Yes, on future deployments, I think, you know, the initial Iraq deployment, we had only been in the same room as each other to other times. So the question yet, what should I do if you die? Question too, because I think it was just more fun, and let's get to know each other. But it we built a lot of trust in that. We both showed up for each other consistently. And built a friendship of just, hey, I want to hear what you have to say, I want to hear about out how your day was I want to listen. And and that was reciprocal. And I think it's a great way to start a relationship because you spend the whole time actually getting to know each other on a level of, you know, just interests and personality, and what are you see your life going and having those kinds of conversations that come up naturally without it being you know, like, what's your bank account? That came later, you know, the tough stuff. But I still don't think even during most deployments, we really had hard conversations. Because like I said before, you're never alone. And sometimes during a separation, you're just trying to keep it together and dealing with hard stuff isn't. You know, you put up a lot of walls. Yeah, just get through it and survive. Because if you didn't, you know, it would maybe be too messy or not functional. And I don't even know what to call it. So, in that question that you're sort of asking, I really don't think we had that many tough conversations, you know, during deployment, and it was more just interested in being supportive and listening, hearing about basic everyday things.
Yeah. You talked about putting up walls to like trying to keep things going. And I know for me, sometimes if I put up walls, it's really hard to take them down when things change. Did you find yourself in that situation, maybe when he got home, you're trying to tear down those walls?
I think my biggest walls I put up were during our time in Okinawa, we had small children. He was gone a lot on ship, and then they'd be porting in places like Bali and Singapore in Hong Kong. I'm home with a toddler and an infant living in a small apartment building in a foreign country, you know, far away from family. And that was more difficult for me to transition out of than any other types of deployment that he did. That wasn't, you know, combat deployments, those were all training deployments, working with Australians and South Koreans, things like that. But for sure, I think it's difficult to take down walls and I can't say that I excelled at it in any level. Until we moved to California and left Okinawa and we got a little bit of a deployment break be it took me a long time to really open up again? It's just hard. Yeah, no, yeah, I can. It's survival not in that we never talked about anything or did anything but I looking back now, years later, you can see that I wasn't as emotionally available or as welcoming as I could have been when he returned home. And that was because I had worked so hard to turn it off so that I could be a parent and, you know, keep my chin up and stay positive, all the things that you're told to do. You know, like, you shouldn't be whining and complaining, while you have a service member who's deployed, you should be thankful and grateful, and you're not out there, you know, doing these crazy hard things. And it's, it's just hard on a different level. And again, points to this idea I had said earlier is that you cannot possibly be a supportive spouse without taking a moment to see the lens with which your spouse sees the world through. It's just hard in a different way. Yeah, I don't think you can really compare the two. I think you just have to be willing to empathize with your spouse, I understand that is difficult for them. Through their experience.
Yeah, I think it's one thing probably live in your life, you know, without having kids and being in the military, as a spouse. But yeah, being left him well left, I say, but being left in Okinawa, you know, that was probably really hard. But having two young children, like you said, and being in a foreign place, how did you handle that?
Well, you surround yourself with a lot of good people, a lot of strong friendships, every military family, that's there isn't the same situation. So they don't have access to their family either. And that's always been an advantage for us living in America, military community around it is we're all in this situation. So we make friends fast, because we know how to do those types of things. And, you know, try to spend time with a lot of other military families. And it's also this idea that you should not be waiting until the house was burning down to asking for help. You should be doing things like trying to get childcare sitter every now and then you should be being honest with friends or family members that you're talking to on the phone about if things are hard for you or not. Because there's no sense in carrying that around. It's not complaining when you just need to sort of share it. And then you can move on, because you feel heard and understood over that. And you can start moving forward, or learn from it or get better. But yeah, surrounding yourself with a lot of friends and and asking for help.
Yeah, it's hard to ask for help, I'm sure. Especially in a situation where you're in with, like you said, I'm making new friends trying to make them fast. And then I've got to try to ask for help. But I would imagine they probably would look like they're, that's probably something we'd love to do is to help you and stuff and to give back.
Well doesn't always have to be a friend to it could be a paid service. You know, for a while I had a cleaning company come to my house once a month just to help out and sort of get through it. It's you do what you need to do so that you can stay doing well.
Right, right? How are your kids handling? I know they were young. And as they've gotten older. However, they've been handling like these different transitions and moves and and been without their dad?
I think it all went really well. They were young at the time. And one thing you know, my husband, I always did well. We transition in and out of him leaving and coming back pretty easily in terms of kids. Which meant that we really dove into routines with our kids. And from the very beginning. And those routines for us never changed whether he was home or gone. And that helped make it easy. When he came back because he already knew the basic systems we were running. Yeah, that's the house and it wasn't all this change. And it wasn't a big change for the kids to have them sort of pop in at different moments. And then you have to sort of go with the flow with what the kids are willing to do. They aren't always going to want to do stuff with.
One parent over the other, and it's not personal, it's just the child choosing to connect or feel in control of their life over small little decisions every day. And it has nothing to do with trying to hurt your feelings. And I think going into it with that mindset that, you know, hey, my kid doesn't want me to put them to bed tonight, this is not personal and seeing it through that lens that there are so many, there's a gazillion other ways to connect with kids besides just this one thing I want to fixate on in this moment. And just because they don't want to give me a hug right now, doesn't mean that they don't love me or care about me, or that we can rebuild our relationship to be a little bit more close after we've been separated. And, you know, also having some intentionality while you're gone. You know, maybe it's drawing a picture, writing a letter or making a voice memo, or I don't know, all sorts of little ways that kids can feel connected to a parent even when they're not there.
Yeah, I like that. I think it's probably really easy for them to be just connected to their caretaker why they're gone. And if you're not getting those little messages, or like pictures, or whatever, I think that's seems to be like very, very hopeful. And kids seem to take those little small things and just like really love it, right. They know that they're being thought about.
Think maybe as, yeah, he hasn't been gone in a while the kids are a little bit older now. I think a separation now would be more difficult, especially for our son. But when they were younger, for us, it went okay. And I think every family is different kids are all unique, and some kids have an easy time. You know, I think we all recognize this as parents, some one particular child will be amazing at five and very difficult at seven, and the other kid will be the exact opposite. And they come from the same home with the same loving and caring parents, but the kids are just unique in that way. They all have different times when they're struggling, versus when they are, you know, in their happy place.
Yeah, that's, that's so true. Because they're like, Oh, the terrible twos and then this age and that age, I'm like, No, it's, it's different for everyone.
Every stage could be hard. You know, sometimes I hear if you think the toddler years are hard wait till they're 6. It's it's just it's I don't know that parenting is ever easy. That would be ridiculous. It's not meant to be easy. You just have different seasons of areas and that are difficult. You know, it's just difficult in a different way.
Yeah. Yeah. It's like summer difficult is different than school difficult. They're two different difficulties, like, Oh, can't wait for them to get out. And they're like, then two weeks later, apparently, like, can't wait for them to go back.
But being on the same page with the kids, I just think helps so much in terms of, I don't want to change a bunch of things during a deployment, and then have them come home to that, because it doesn't seem to me we're setting ourselves up for success to transition well, if there's a lot of changes going on. Not that you can avoid all change. But we try to stay consistent and do some of the same things in other areas.
When I'm gone, gone for two days to or more, you know, I hope the routines are at home or the same, you know, for when I'm gone to work, and when I'm home, because it's easier for me to fit into those routines and easy for the, you know, the kids to fit them and you're, right, it doesn't have to be long deployments, this could be just your daily routine. And just if we're bouncing them around, I feel like kids, you change them a little bit. And they're like, oh, that's the new routine. We're gonna push this, these new routines and you know, the way that we want them to be and not maybe so much easier for the person that's gone to, to come back in and fit in. On your website, you have a bunch of different resources that you've collected over time. Let's talk about like the inspiration of, you know, getting, getting to the point where you said you're a little bit, go a little bit stir crazy or bored or something like that. And then you decided to create this website.
The whole purpose of The Military Wife and Mom was really to be an authentic voice to the realities of parenting and military life and to share genuinely, you know, the difficult stuff during the time when I started that not many people were talking about it in terms of, you know, separation, hey, this is pretty hard and sharing with a vulnerability that other people are willing to stand behind or share. And you know, the weak moments, the moments where you don't feel great, where you don't love it and putting it sort of out there into the world. And I think that's one of the reasons that ended up taking off in the beginning was because people were feeling this way. Who wouldn't? I mean, that's yeah, it's preposterous to think that anyone would go through this life and say, Well, that was easy. So by not talking about it, I don't think we're really getting anywhere. And that was really the inspiration behind it. The Parenting side now is pretty separate, it's not really, you don't have to be military, right. And the majority of my readers are not military, on the parenting side, because they're just parents, mostly of younger kids looking for some easy practical things that they can do that might make their day a little bit easier. You know, they don't have time to read 600 pages, they want something that's quick, and that works. And then on the military side, you know, there's a lot of authentic stories. In the beginning, as I've gotten a little bit older, and we've been doing this for a while, I don't share as much of that, nor do I think our life is as hard as it used to be. So it's more informational things that people might read or like, but the most popular resource on my site is the deployment binder that I created a while ago, and it's free. And people seem to like that it's a good stepping stone for what you may need. During any separation. Really, it doesn't have to be a deployment, it could be, you know, like you said, a couple day work trip. Yeah, and having things in order or just a backup plan for what you may want to think about or consider. Should, you know, you just not have your spouse around for a while.
Right? I people you have to check out her she's She's being very modest. There's a lot of great stuff on our website, there's so much great content on there. That's taken years to create that that content. And and I do like that, you know, I dove down and some of the little short little reads it's nice, you know, it's not, like you said, I don't have time to pick up a 600 page book and read I probably do. I mean, we all have time that we say we don't but I mean, no, I actually don't.
But we just don't want to, which is totally reasonable as well.
Yeah, yeah. Quick, great reads that are resources. They're, they're awesome. They give you ideas, I think sometimes we look for maybe an article that's going to one thing is going to solve, you know, all of our problems, just just one article and stuff like that. You can take a lot of her great articles, and then start formulating things that work for you. Because everybody's just a little bit different.
Yeah, for sure.
What other you know, you have the deployment binder, what was another favorite part of your website that you created?
Well, ultimately, after leaving nursing, you know, I did go on to become a language of listening, certified parent coach. So I do teach a parenting method to mostly parents of toddlers and preschoolers. And it's been very popular over the years. And I think parents have enjoyed it. And it's been a fun resource to create and I have a course on it and stuff, but people can sort of find resources, you know, related to language of listening just by going to the parenting side of my site, and subscribing. Usually, I only share my course with subscribers. I don't, you know, put it out there in other times. So
Can we talk a little bit about that course? Well, I mean, what is it?
Yes, The Language of Listening is a three part parenting framework that you can use with any age or any developmental level. And it really just meets kids in the moment but it also teaches you how to hold your boundaries. Parenting without boundaries is will make you go insane. It's a little bit more complex than that just to highlight on this podcast but if you want to learn more about it, you can certainly check out any of my parenting articles and subscribe Language of Listening also has own website and you can go to languageoflistening.com to to learn more details about it.
Yeah. What other advice do you give want to give like military spouses or other first responders, you know, to maybe just improve their lives a little bit more?
Full loaded question. Yes, yeah, there's so many ways you could take that. It's never perfect, you know, and be willing to ride the difficult waves. I don't. I don't like saying that in the sense that, hey, set the bar low. Yeah, but that's not really my mindset. But this idea that a lot of things that we want to do in life are sometimes just shoulds. And they're not, it's because Oh, we got to hurry up and get this house and have all these things and has to be this certain way. And, you know, being the first responder spouse, I think it can be a powerless position, sometimes if the job is so demanding, and, and the first responders gone all the time, or just the hours are very long, and just staying flexible, and knowing that a lot of things in life are shoulds. And they're just sort of made up roles. And I've sort of looked at things through that perspective. And it's like, well, actually, I don't have to do this right now. It's actually really not important at all. And focusing on growing myself as a person, over the years, I've never done learning, that's for sure. I look back on myself, even in my 20s. And it's like, gosh, you know, I've grown so much since then. And I'm in my late 30s now, and I doubt that I'll stop learning anything, and I'm sure I'll be a much better spouse in 10 years than I am today.
Yeah. I mean, we have to continue learning to basically write out those waves, I feel like, you know, there's a lot of ups and downs, in my whole goal and learning, you know, to be a better person is, you know, to help others, but also to help myself, not, you know, get stuck down in those bottoms of those waves and be able to, when there's that type of stuff happening, you know, to just hurry up and bounce back up a little, little bit. And I also like, you know, yeah, the shoulds, that we should do this, we should do this. And it's so much easier just to, like, get caught up in that and just keep doing and keep doing instead of like, you know, taking the time to relax and do the things that we really need to do you feel like often we maybe are too much into social media and that creates, that creates that thing that we should be doing, like we should be taking this picture should be like, Oh, no, no, we shouldn't. We don't have to, we don't have to. Yeah, I think that's very freeing in a lot of ways of, of just yourself, like taking some of that weight off your shoulders, when you can say that.
Sure, or just in times of separation, I've said, you know, I look, I make a not to do list. Here's all the things I'm not going to do. Because I'm seeing that it only adds chaos and stress and resentment in my life, because I don't have a spouse here to sort of divide and conquer with at the moment. And so to make our entire family more successful, we're just going to make this not to do list and, and hold that near and dear.
Yeah, yeah, I could see where that could definitely come in, in helpful. Another podcast guest she did make a list like that of what basically what she's not going to do, and then what she is going to do and what she's, you know, which was a good list of, like, if I start feeling a little bit down or missing them or doing these things, I'm going to do these things. Because if these are the things that I really like to do, and bring me joy, instead of maybe just doing something that's just gonna I could sit on my phone and be you know, just do mind numbing things that's not gonna. Do you feel like a lot of people these days are just want to do the mind numbing things and not do the other things they probably should be doing?
I think getting more clear on what brings you joy. I don't know anybody who really thinks about it. And says, Man, Facebook really brings me a lot of joy. How much time or you know, whatever. Yeah, social media app you're into. And we both have, you know, the screentime monitors on our phone and get a report to see how many hours a day are we wasting, not doing something that truly brings us joy? Yeah, yeah. And like you said, We all say we don't have enough time but the numbers don't lie, you know, I'm on my phone for two hours a day. Yeah, that's a lot of time I could be doing something else that I really enjoy.
Right? And the five minutes here, the 10 minutes here, anytime you think you'd like, open up your social media, you most generally spend more time on it, then you want to spend on.
That's right, just five minutes. Yeah, that's 20 minutes later.
Right? I'm just gonna check my notifications. And then Yep, this is just,
And then we're triggered and resentful that nothing is getting done around the house or out and about in your life, and you're behind. And it's a very, very difficult cycle for anybody to step out of, because it is very addicting, you know, and compelling to this infinite scroll. And, yeah, it requires a lot of intention to sort of step away from that and stop inviting it into your daily life.
Yeah, and I think, you know, we know that social media, it's an algorithm, you know, to suck you in, there's, you know, there's a purpose and a point, they want you to be on there, because they want to sell you things. And I think, you know, if you're in a state of maybe missing somebody, or feeling a little depressed, or whatever, you're, it's much easier to I feel like get sucked in there. Because that algorithm knows that it knows what you're seeing and knows what you want to see what you're pausing on pictures, you know, and stuff like that. It knows,
Oh, for sure. And you don't want to be looking at every, you know, a bunch of pictures of all these families going and doing outings together when, yeah, just drive it a little bit more in there. And it's not healthy, you know, for us to stay in those mindsets, and you had to really guard that time, and protect it to you know, what is bringing me closer to the mindset that I need to be at, in order to manage the stress, and to feel good about how things are going.
Yeah, and maybe those two hours that we spent on our phone, doing this mind numbing stuff, we could have spent time with our spouses or kids, you know, improving their lives, you know, by having that connection with them instead of being connected to our phones. Yeah. It's, it's a, it's a hard cycle, to break and then,
Yep, guilty over here.
And especially if you have a business or doing things like this, it just, it's, you feel like, a lot of times for me, I'm like, I'm never doing enough, you know, that I should be doing this, I should be doing that. Because, you know, I want to make a bigger impact or, you know, get the podcasts out there, you know, in more places, and it's a perpetual cycle. And then I just have to also be like, Okay, I'm doing enough, it's things don't grow every night, you know, that this takes time to create momentum. And so I find myself trying to steer, you know, away from social media in a lot of ways, but just be there for the functional needed to be and then and then be done. Absolutely. Easier said than done. Yes. Lauren, before I let you go, where else could people find you?
That's awesome. Everybody listening, please go check out our website. There's so much great information there that we'll find to help improve your lives. I really appreciate you being on today, Lauren.
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Yeah, thank you so much. Please check out my very own apparel in Fire and Fuel Apparel. There you will find a wide array of apparel honoring first responders that can be shipped worldwide. Please give me a follow on Instagram too.
Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to rate and review the show wherever you access your podcasts. If you know someone that would be great on the show, please get a hold of our hosts Jerry Dean Lund through the Instagram handles @jerryfireandfuel, or @enduringthebadgepodcast. Also by visiting the show's website, enduringthebadgepodcast.com for additional methods of contact and up to date information regarding show. Remember the views and opinions expressed during the show, soiely represent those of our hosts and the current episodes guests.
This podcast is part of the Everyday Heroes Podcast Network, the network for first responders and those who support them.
Founder, The Military Wife and Mom
Lauren Tamm is a military spouse, former VA critical care nurse, mom of two and founder of The Military Wife and Mom where she writes on practical parenting and the ups and downs of military life. Her work has been featured in popular military publications such as Military Families Magazine, Military Spouse Magazine, Legacy Magazine and more.