From Melissa


I’m a 20-something military spouse with a 3 yo son.  My husband is gone 6-8 months out of the year.  There seems to be so much I don’t have, so much I haven’t done, so much I’m unprepared for. We are being reassigned soon (for the second time this year) and I’ll be moving alone with kid and dog in tow. I’m so incredibly overwhelmed that I lose sleep, cry in the grocery store when I’m not sure I can afford anything beyond our week’s food.

Here are some of her questions:

  • My son is three and approaching time to go to school, do I homeschool to keep him safe?
  • Do I buy food or gear this week?
  • Do I store this in my car or house?
  • How much of this do I need?
  • What do I do for my distant family?

I’m usually quite level headed and being a Personal Trainer I consider myself “battle ready” (physically) but the lists, the lack of supplies, the risk of so many things going under, I’m terrified. Please help. Where do I start and how do I feel comforted by my one BOB so far?


:  It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by life in general when you’re a mom.  Keeping track of doctor appointments, haircuts, what’s for dinner, band-aids, which kid is where…there’s no other word for it other than OVERWHELMING.  Add to that the need to prepare and the scary scenarios that are out there…well, it’s a wonder psychologists aren’t loaded up with preppers as their patients!

Here’s my answer to Melissa.

1.       The worst thing you can do is panic.  Your son will pick up on your fear and it will begin to affect him.  If you’re a woman of faith, now is the time to set aside time each day for prayer and listening to God.  You set the tone for the household, so determine to be at peace whether it’s through prayer, journaling, talking with a trusted friend, whatever.

2.       Understand that all of us go through times of fear.  Even though I say, “Don’t panic!”, also know that it’s a natural reaction.

3.       It sounds like you’re already on your way with my next suggestion, and that is, “Educate yourself.”  First comes awareness, then education, and then action.

4.       Finally, in answer to your specific questions:

a.       Yes, if at all possible, homeschool your son.  It will give you tons of mobility and flexibility.  Your school day will be shorter, allowing, eventually, for him to take advantage of extracurricular classes and learn practical skills.  Plus, there’s nothing like homeschooling for strengthening family ties, which will be one of the most important things when times get tough.

b.      Food or gear?  Probably food.  With rising prices, peanut and beef shortages looming, there’s no better time than RIGHT NOW to stock up.  “Gear” can be picked up at garage and estate sales, on Craigslist, and even Freecycle, but food cannot.  Short term goal: one month supply, minimum.

c.       Pack an emergency kit that would allow you to survive if you were miles from home.  I have a free download on my blog called The Everyday Emergency Kit.  Print it out and use it to create your own customized kit.  As far as food goes, definitely store it at home, in the coolest spot in the house.  Store it under beds, in closets, in empty drawers, behind books in bookshelves, etc.

d.      For your distant family…that’s a big topic!  If they aren’t aware of our precarious future, try sending them a copy of ‘One Second After’ or suggesting they watch the series ‘Jericho’ on Netflix.  Ask them leading questions like, “Do you worry about the country getting into another war?  Are you optimistic about the direction of our country?  Why or why not?”  You may be surprised that they are prepping and wondering how to talk to YOU about it!  Remember that prepping is a hot topic on cable TV shows, so it’s likely they’ve heard about it and may even be visiting TheSurvivalMom blog themselves!  Remember: AWARENESS.  THEN education.  THEN action.

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