I’m so thankful for my friend, Nicole, for sharing her feelings and thoughts about being a military wife. I honestly couldn’t imagine. I have a hard time when my husband is gone for 5 days for work. But I know that as we desire to do good, we are strengthened to meet the challenges of life.
“Throughout my life I thought I was pretty independent. I had been living on my own for several years to include 18 months in Santiago Chile. But it wasn’t until I had spent a few years as a military wife that I realized how much more independent that I could, and needed to, become.
I have been married for 18 years, 17 of which we have been in the military. Being a military spouse, I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of doing. During our time in the military we have experienced multiple and lengthy deployments. For those who are unaware, deployments may very upon which service of the military your spouse may serve. Deployments can range anywhere from 3-4 months up to 18 months, depending on the needs of those services. My husband has served two 12 months, one 15 month and one six month deployment. These deployments Do Not include the necessary training and field exercises that he had to participate in order to be prepared for said deployments.
There are several difficulties that arise when acting as a semi single mom. One major difficulty was raising our four kids, two of which I had while he was overseas. One of the kids didn’t meet his dad until he was eight months old. It wasn’t until he was nearly six that he finally believed his uncle wasn’t his real dad.
As mentioned earlier he has missed births, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, family weddings and so much more. In addition to the waves of deployments and training, we have also experienced multiple moves from state to state. Uprooting my children to join my husband wherever he was being transferred. We have just finished our 11th military move.
One of the most difficult things, especially for the kids, is leaving friends behind and starting all over. It doesn’t help that my husband has several crazy ideas whenever we move. This time we moved from a gorgeous 4200 square foot home on nearly an acre in
CO to a 40 foot fifth wheel in AL. I have to admit, it saves money, but it might cost me my sanity. We moved in the summer, which means – no school! He at least gets to go to work.
Although moving has been difficult, we have gotten to raise our children in so many places where they have experienced life all over the country. We have lived in Alabama, Georgia, Alaska,Washington, Utah and Colorado.
Our favorite so far has to be Alaska, especially in the winter. Between the aurora borealis, wild life, ice sculptures and living thirty minutes from the North Pole (to include Santa’s workshop with real reindeer you can feed), it was an experience beyond anything a normal job would provide.
Despite the trails, the time apart, and the stresses of semi-single life, we truly are thankful for my husband’s military career. They have financially taken care of us through out his time in and the benefits are well worth the heartache. With children who have to constantly see specialty care, have labs done, take medications, or have ER or Hospital stays it has been a tremendous blessing. (See last week’s post Allergies? What Allergies?)
Where it has been amazing finding my independence, it isn’t all good though. One of the major issues that we face is when my husband returns from the long term training or deployment is his re-integration back into the family. When he returns he tries to live the same with the family as he did when he left. Unfortunately both the kids and I had grown beyond that stage. At times it took months for us to adjust to being back together. One of the kids favorite sayings was “you’re not in charge, Mommy is!”. At least they got that right!
We are truly blessed to have such a diverse career that has created such an amazing learning environment for all of us. Life is never dull. I never know how to plan very far ahead, and we are constantly waiting to find out what is coming next.”
If you know a military spouse who is home alone, take some time this week and show them some love! I am so grateful for those who serve in our country to keep us safe and help the rest of the world too. We live in a blessed country where so many sacrifice so much for us. That was one of the reasons for my daughter and I to do a service project in June for Military friends. You can read that post here- Honoring A Hero. Have a great Wednesday!
Life is Good. Share the Good.