Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Army Wives' Deployment Truth, Plain and Simple

New military spouses (I'm really addressing wives here), someday, probably sooner than you hope, you're going to have to deal with the ins and outs of a deployment.  Scary stuff, morbidity, and t.v. schlock aside, know this:  you get to deal with everything while your husband is gone.  



Mortgage/rent.  Insurance.  Crank calls.  Allergies.  Flooding.  Fires.  Bills.  Drama-filled neighbors/friends/fellow spouses... injuries, flat tires, sports practice, home appliance failures, work, teen angst...  tornadoes, growth spurts, car accidents, pet injuries, check ups, phone solicitors, cancellations, midnight vomit fests, power outages, record snowfalls, snakes and mice.  Parent-teacher conferences, birthday parties, grocery shopping and vehicle maintenance, you get to do it all.

As supportive as your FRG might be, you're still going to have to handle these things without anyone holding your hand, and without sobbing your eyes out on social networking sites or over the phone to your already worried and stressed out soldier.

You're not just stronger and more capable than you know, you're stronger and more capable than you want to be, and that's the real kicker, isn't it?  

Ask for help when you need it, but give it the ol' college try on your own first.  Help others, but don't coddle anyone, and don't insist on being babied yourself.  You're a soldier too now, so suck it up and do a good job.  It might not always be fun, and it certainly won't be easy, but you and your spouse signed up for this, and now you get to deliver.  

Have a good cry when the kids are asleep (blame it on a chick-flick if you like), set your boundaries, make your schedule, and let others know you're going to stick to them.  You're not going to make everyone happy, though some of them might accuse you of slacking- some might even gossip or try to lay a guilt trip on you.  The "coping skills" that they've chosen not only for themselves but insist upon inflicting upon others don't have to be yours.

Don't cave.  Do right by your children, do right by your spouse, do right by yourself.  If you must lean on someone occasionally, choose someone reliable, discreet, calm, with a great sense of humor.  Don't compete, don't parade, don't gloat, don't whine.

Endure.  Make good decisions.  Love your husband.  Respect yourself and others.  

You'll get through this.


... and another personal suggestion?

Get a good mouser:

(Dear Daughter caught the uninvited visitor in the plasticware after Anni-Cat was done playing with the little furball.  Just another day down in our own family's deployment adventure!)

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. I should link this to a few people I know. Heck, a whole chat-site I frequent could benefit from this.
    Way to go Kitty!!!! And DD!!!


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