By Guest Blogger Meka Harrell, author of the blog Hanging with the Harrells

On this day, I can’t help but think about my husband. Currently we are halfway through his deployment. He left the states with 3 kids and a pregnant wife, come November he will be able to meet the new kid on the block, baby Axel. When my husband left for deployment my role completely transformed to single Momma trying to make it work.

Working full time, raising 3 little ones while pregnant with our fourth, battling Rheumatoid Arthritis, all while trying to be a supportive wife has been one heck of a ride. The only way I’m staying above water is by having an amazing tribe! Here’s what I’m thankful for:

My Husband
Even though he’s currently thousands of miles away he has truly been my number 1 fan! He never judges me when I send his care packages late, eat out too much because I’m exhausted and don’t feel like cooking or if forget to pay a bill exactly “on time” speaking of which I just realized I need to make a car payment today! His daily motivation to be the best husband and father to our children keeps me in awe.  With the help of technology and iPhones we are able to Facetime daily. He’s currently 7 hours ahead of us which gives us the ability to chat early mornings and late afternoons so that the kids are able to interact with him. Aside from all of the above he checks in just to make sure I’m “good” which means everything to me.

Supportive In Laws
I have to give major love to my MIL, she has been here since day one.  She would drive down weekly from Garner to help me with the kids from Wednesday- Friday. Cleaning, chauffeuring, occasional cooking and just plain loving on our children.  For these reason I am forever grateful for her support, prayers and dedication to our family. Now that the kids are on summer break she’s coming biweekly to help or the kids with the exception of baby Axel head to Raleigh and get to have fun at “Nana Camp”.  And of course Nana Camp has been a blast so far. I’m so blessed to have a MIL, that retired as an educator.  This helps out tremendously when trying to make sure the kids are being challenged and learning over the summer. I also want to thank my father in-law for sharing his amazing wife with us, and for checking in and helping anytime we have issues at home.  He’s a retired firefighter and an amazing Papa to our babies.

Military Support Groups
I can’t tell you enough how much of an impact these groups have made with our family, this deployment and my pregnancy. The Veterans group at my job has mailed care packages to my husband, brought food over to the house several times after baby was born, purchased diapers and always checked in to make sure our spirits were lifted.  The Soldiers Angels group hosts virtual baby showers for families and I absolutely love the fact that they include gifts for siblings.  We have been blessed with several angels by sending birthday cards to the kids, pj’s, summer clothes, items off my baby shower registry and so much more.  These groups truly make positive impacts on military families and I am beyond grateful for their acts of service. Click to read this past TMoM post: How the Triad Can Support Military Veterans.”

If there’s one thing I learned about this deployment, it’s that it truly takes a village. While I am often called a “supermom” or told I make it “look easy” none of what I do could happen without my village cheering me on.

Happy Patriot Day!