Sure, it sounds like a Hallmark holiday (which I am generally against) but I'd have to forfeit my commissary privileges if I couldn't get behind Military Spouse Appreciation Day. But because this the military we're talking about here, let's make it an acronym -- MSAD.
I don't think the only way to celebrate MSAD is with a big insta-worthy bouquet of flowers that you gently (or not so gently) pressured your partner to send. MSAD falls on the Friday before Mother's Day, already a crazy time for the partners of most military spouses. It seems to me that this is the perfect time to make Leslie Knope proud with a milspouse take on Galentine's Day.
Here are some quick, cheap and easy ways to celebrate your milspouse girlfriends on May 11:
My love language is Hallmark cards (not to be confused with "Hallmark holidays"), I absolutely love getting mail and ye olde handwritten cards and notes. As a full-fledged card snob I used to shop at Papyrus, a specialty stationary store. There is nothing like spending $7 on a folded piece of cardstock that you're going to give away. I felt like Oprah "you get a card, you get a card!"
My husband didn't understand it, but what can I say, the cards were that good! However recently Target has upped their card game and they now carry Papyrus cards (yes!). I am also a huge fan of the Paper Rebel line. Just another reason for a Target run.
Cup of Coffee
This is a bit cliché because coffee is pimped out everywhere. But, bonus, coffee knows no gender. It's great for the gals and the milspouse fellas. Warm drinks are synonymous with comfort for good reason. Are we sure Facebook, not Starbucks, owns Instagram? Every third photo on there is an artfully positioned cup of coffee with an open book and small vibrant cluster of flowers. A few years ago I cut back on coffee since I was crazy addicted so now I really look forward to each cup. It brings warmth and energy; I suggest you bring it to some of your best girls.
Time alone. Is there anything the milspouse mom of little ones wants more? This is probably the best gift you can give to your friends. Offering to watch their kids also increases the chance that they'll offer to watch yours, isn't it nice how that works? Encourage your friend to do something for herself with the time, it can be very tempting to go to the grocery store, but the quiet bathtub is where sanity is restored. Added bonus, her kids occupying your kids is a win for you!
Girls' (or Guys') Night In
Second only to child care, which is what they really want, his is an especially good one for milspouses with deployed partners. When it's hard to get out of the house (or let's be honest once you hit your mid-30s) girls night in becomes even more fun than GNO. Pick a house, put the kids to sleep, queue up The Crown (ideal in the lead up to the Royal Wedding), make some popcorn and wine, Olivia Pope style and put your feet on coffee table.
Nights like this are when base housing is money, it's wonderful to know you can have a glass or two of red and walk home, but more importantly it's hard to feel alone when you're literally surrounded by a community of people who get it.
These are the people who will drop off Pedilyte and bleach wipes when there is so much puke that you don't know where to start. They will track down a friend of a friend in Bahrain or Germany or Japan so you'll know someone when you land. They'll tell you the name of the best ob/gyn and share the number of their babysitter.
These are your people, and you are theirs.
Don't wait for someone else to celebrate you on Friday, Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Get this party started by celebrating the awesome spouses all around you.
As Leslie Knope said of Galentine's Day: "Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas."