Today, Michelle Obama was on Oprah to encourage us all to support, not only the men and women in the armed forces but also their families.

One point that she made that really resonated with me was that a lot of the women (and men) who are left behind when their family members are deployed typically don’t let anyone know that they need help. She encouraged all of us to do what we can, no matter how little, to lend a helping hand to these men and women. The suggestions that she made were little things like offering to take a Mom for a manicure and pedicure or inviting her to a ladies night! To this list, I would like to add offering free baby sitting or free house cleaning. Although I do not have any experience with being left at home while my spouse is deployed, I can say that when I have had support from the phenomenal women in my life through babysitting and help with house cleaning, those were some of the best gifts that I ever received.

As of today, I encourage you to pledge to say “yes” when asked if you need help instead of saying that you can manage when the truth is that you actually need the help. I am also encouraging you to pledge to offer help when you’re in the position to give it. For so long black women have been described as “strong” and there is nothing wrong with being strong. I do, however, believe that it takes more courage to say yes, and risk being vulnerable, than to say no to the help that we need.

Michelle Obama was on Oprah to implore us to do what we can to help the men and women of the armed forces and their families and I applaud that effort. The men and women that are often left behind when their family members are deployed are often left in the role of a single parent which can be extremely challenging and at times even overwhelming.  I encourage you do what you can, not only for the families of our service men and women, but for all mothers (and fathers) who walk through the journey of parenting alone. Let’s all learn to say yes, not only when we’re being asked for help, but also when we’re offered a helping hand.

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  1. Vivien says:

    Wonderful post. Amazing.

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