I am not the type of person that can sit back and twiddle my thumbs when there is a job to be done. I guess that is one of the reasons why I suit the military spouse lifestyle so much. It seems to me that every single time he goes out, the house, car and every appliance with their 7 year warranty that has just expired has all of a sudden either stops working, breaks or falls apart. It never fails. Now I am pretty handy when it comes to the toolbox. I know the difference between flat head screwdrivers and a phillip head screwdriver. I was fortunate enough to have a father that taught me that painting and fixing things isn't just a skill set for boys.
From the time I could remember, my father was always including me with home repair projects. Whether it was teaching me at an early age to hammer a nail in correctly or to never overload your paint brush when you are painting. Even to this day, he still teaches me how to do things. And because of that my "Woe is Me" mentality goes down a notch. I don't have to worry if the toilet explodes or if there is a hole in the wall, thanks to a certain over zealous four year old.
I fear that girls and young women aren't learning how to get things done or even know their way around a hardware store. For us military wives, (sorry military husbands, but most of you know terms like PVC, particle board, and what a caulking gun does and could do home repairs because you are most likely taught..), unless we had some one teach us, we are kinda left out in the dark, literally, when something happens to the house and our spouse has been deployed. We can either hire someone(which is expensive) to come fix it or throw ourselves at the mercy of neighbours to come help you figure something out. So what are we supposed to do? Educate ourselves!
If it is one thing I have learned in the 12 years of marriage, where most of it was spent not having a spouse around, is to learn how to do simple things. Like using a drill correctly. Or knowing what kind of paint goes on the outside of the house as oppose to the inside of the house. Besides picking my father's brain every single time something falls off the ceiling, I have discovered YouTube has a vast amount of DIY videos. Stemming from how to replace your toilet wax ring to how to find your GFI sockets in your house( those are important to know, in case half your house doesn't have power!). Type in whatever project you doing, and yeah there will be a video with step by step instructions on how to do it. Another good resource is the Men and Women who work in our hardware stores. These people are awesome. I can't tell you how many times I have walked in and asked, "Hey, I am currently trying to fix X, Y and Z, where can I find the materials I need." and 9 times out of 10 they will be happy to help you as they would like to see you back for your next project.
So gone are those days when we used to live in the house falling apart around us as we wait till the spouse comes home or paying out too much money for an overpriced contractor. We, the Wives need to show that we can get stuff done when the men are away. They don't need to worry that they will be coming home to rubble. So take charge, you can get your hands a little dirty( I just ruined a perfectly good manicure putting up a bay window :) ), and being able to say... " I got this!"
I thought I might include what every Military Wife should have in their tool box:
Hammer, one big and one small
Screwdrivers with interchangeable bits
Box cutter and a craft knife
a small scraper
Long nosed Pliers
An adjustable wrench
An Allen wrench
a yard ruler and tape measure
Nail and Screw Packs
A staple gun
A tub of Polyfill (the type that turn colour when it dries.)
This isn't just for us military wives..but for anyone that would benefit from it. Everyone should have some sort of basic tool box. Of course there will be projects that will require help and if you think the project is too big for you to do by yourself, Please ask for help or contact someone who can. The last thing I would want to happen is someone trying to re do their roof and say.. " Well that crazy lady who writes over at Spouse, Kids and Special Needs..said I could do it!!!" Always, always use common sense and safety is always first!!