I don’t often talk about the fact that I’m a military spouse. I don’t share the boat my husband is attached to or the fact that he deploys and leaves our side for long stretches at a time because, well, quite frankly, this is an online space and caution is appropriate.
But, there are times when it feels like I just need you – my community to understand aspects of my life and it’s time I share this one too because we’ve been at this military game for a while and while it’s an old hat in some respects, sometimes, I feel like I’m starting all over again.
Perhaps that’s because I’m viewing things like this for the first time.
When you’re a military spouse, you make a choice to be with someone who leaves you. You simultaneously feel pride, sadness and in some cases fear. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. No tour is the same. Just when you think you’ve got it down, your 7 year-old asks you why Daddy has to leave and why someone else couldn’t just do his job.
When you’re a military spouse, your heart breaks every time you see this scene play out and you have a hard time helping her make sense of it, even though you know one day, she’ll understand his purpose.
Her Daddy chose this life you see. He chose to serve his country and it’s the one thing he’s always wanted to do. It hasn’t always been roses and let me tell you we’ve had some serious bumps along the way where we’ve wanted to pack our proverbial military bags – but he loves his country and he wants to serve. He fights tooth and nail to do his job well in spite of challenges that he has faced at various places along the way.
When you’re a military spouse you have to choose positivity or be enveloped in your negativity. I’ve seen it happen and it’s such an unfortunate place to be and it can sap the energy out of a command. This is something that frustrates me to no end.
When you’re a military spouse, you learn to be both mom and dad as needed. You learn to pay the bills, change the oil in the car and ensure that the entire household is in order without a co-partner in the deal. You learn to handle an emergency on the fly and even make a move across country on your own. You live on loaner furniture, on an island… alone… with your 5 year-old and infant twins, and roll with it (most of the time).
When you’re a military spouse, you worry, a lot. You worry about your spouse and how they are doing emotionally and if they are taking care of themselves. You worry about your children and if they will be ok through the prolonged separations they will endure through the career your spouse has chosen. You worry about your safety when these separations come around because shoot, you’re alone after all. You worry so much, you just have to remember the above, that you have chosen positivity and that all will be ok.
When you’re a military spouse you find yourself reasoning away the sadness of deployment with thoughts like, I will just tackle all those little projects I’ve been meaning to get to now because you know that you’ll be up until the wee hours of the morning anyway. There’s just something about that empty side of the bed that makes it hard to go to sleep until you are too exhausted to fight it anymore. You make plans for little excursions and outings to help the time pass and that helps too. It’s the little things.
When you’re a military spouse, you are faced with a community that will treat you like family if you let them in to be that support for you. They will carry you through the biggest challenges when you are far from family and it is a remarkable experience and one that not many are privileged to enjoy unless they are a part of this unique group.
When you choose to be a military spouse, you choose the good with the sad and the sometimes difficult. You choose to watch your spouse walk away from you with their duffel strapped to their back as they wave, locking their eyes with yours and blowing that last kiss as your kids cry out their name tearfully from the car because somehow, they just know, in their little years, that this time, it’s going to be a while.
When you’re a military spouse, you give your spouse to your country because you know that someone has to and while they serve, you have your moments of sadness and the heavy – because they are allowed, and they are warranted... but then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on until those months and weeks pass until they return to fill their side of the bed again.
Have something from your life to Share? Link up each week with sharon and I from Mom of 6 for #ShareYourLife