Monday, May 10, 2010

My Life as a Military Wife

Christina over at Married to a Sailor is having a contest for mil spouses, and I thought I'd join in because it involves 2 of my favorite things: writing and military spouses. Your mission if you choose to accept it: write a blog post about what being a military spouse means to you.  The contest closes tomorrow night, so go visit Christina and start writing!  Here's my entry...


My Life as a Military Wife

Being a military spouse means different things to different people. Some spouses love their lifestyle and the experiences the military has offered them. Some spouses hate it and count the days until their husband’s return to civilian life. Where do I stand? I’m somewhere in the middle. And my answer will vary from one day to the next.

I haven’t always been a military wife. My husband and I shared 2 years together before the military jumped into the mix and turned our simple marriage upside down. When my husband’s military career began, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and if he knew, he didn’t share that knowledge with me. But despite my cluelessness, I dove headfirst into this new adventure. At the time, my husband was ambivalent about his career path, and I desperately wanted to escape a city I despised. We were stuck, undecided. And then the military swooped in and started making the decisions for us.  That was fine by me.

Although nowadays I'm not always as enthusiastic about the major life decisions the military makes for us, we are still following the path it creates for us.  I married the military 8 years ago, and during that time, I have both loved it and hated it. Because of my second marriage, I’ve had the exceptional opportunity to live overseas, form lifelong friendships, and discover my inner strength. But I’ve also had to endure the challenges of single parenting, the postponement of my own career, and lengthy and sometimes unexpected separations from my husband. Over the years, I’ve often wondered if I’d do it all again, if I’d so willingly marry the military if I knew then what I know now.

So what does my role as a military spouse mean to me?

It means I’m perpetually trying to find a balance between 2 opposing forces. I have to be flexible yet prepared. Adventurous yet practical. Adaptable yet grounded.

It means I’m a mother, but I’m also a father.

It means I have to be the strength for my family, yet I have to learn how to ask for help.

It means I may not have a career until my husband’s is over.

It means I may never know where home is.

It means I sometimes celebrate holidays and milestones without the one person with whom I most want to celebrate.

It means I have to be supportive even when I don’t want to be.

It means that most people will never understand me or my life.

It means I’m married, yet I’m often alone.

It means my closest friends aren’t close at all, but scattered all over the world.

It means I am considered a Dependent, yet I am forced to be independent.

But most of all, it means that I am an indispensable part of my husband’s proud service to our country. And in some small way, that means I am proudly serving our country as well.

So knowing what I know now, would I do it all again? Absolutely. Without a doubt. In a heartbeat. Yes.

13 comments:

  1. You are seriously such a great writer! And you do a great job of explaining what it's like to people who have no idea. I never thought I'd find a mil spouse blog interesting, but somehow it is! Great post :)

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  2. This was great! Good luck in the contest! =)

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  3. Loved it! Great post! I love the part about being a dependant but being forced to be independant...so true. Good luck in the contest!

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  4. Great post! I may try to enter this one, if I can get my head out of yesterday's pity party. :)

    And your question at the end is one I've often posed to myself - I am not so sure I would CHOOSE this life if I had it to do over again. Of course, my feelings about this change when hubby is HOME vs deployed.

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  5. Hey! New follower here! I really like this post. Im a very new army wife and its interesting to see different wives perspectives on all this. Your welcome to check out my blog at jenn-baker.blogspot.com (aka mrs Army Wife) Hope you have a great day!
    Jen

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  6. Thanks for following my blog! I love yours! It is great to find support and encouragement through people who've been where you've been and can relate to your situation. I will continue to check back on your blog for new posts and updates!
    http://reflectionsofanavywife.blogspot.com/

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  7. It's nice to hear that you would do it all over again, especially since I have friends who have loved ones in the military.

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  8. This sounds like a winner to me. Despite the numerous ups and downs, I'm guessing life is never boring for you and your family. Your writing certainly hits home with anyone attached to the military.

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  9. This is fabulous! I wish I would have known, I'd have totally entered. I have ZERO time today. You, as always, have made me smile.

    ♥ Mrs. S.

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  10. Love your post! I agree and feel as if I can relate to everything you said (minus the whole being a mother and father thing.. but that could be soon.. eek! Shh! That's a secret! haha)

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  11. That is really an incredible piece of writing. Great job - you deserve to win the contest, and you deserve many thank you's from the civvys like me.

    Hats off to you!
    Swati

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