Tag Archive: military children


To be honest, I’m having trouble deciding on where to start writing this entry. Up until a few weeks ago, I had never really put conscious thought into what it means to be a ‘military spouse’. I just was.

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“Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day”. Really? Like is this a national holiday? Because it should be. If we aren’t on a base and completely surrounded by the military 150% of the time, we’d never know we were appreciated. And that is because no one, but ourselves, knows our battles. Each one is different, and yet we all share a few common denominators.

There is the obvious description of what people think we are, we spend a lot of time alone. We worry. We stress. But then there are things that aren’t so obvious, we often times find ourselves operating as single parents. We fight alone on the home front (or so it seems sometimes). We have no identity when it comes to the military and the benefits given. We are always identified as a ‘dependent’ crushing our individuality and in some cases, not all, creating chauvinistic a-holes in the men who we ‘depend’ on. (more on this in another blog)

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Have you ever put thought into what that word means?

de·pend
dəˈpend/
verb
  1. 1.
    be controlled or determined by.
    “differences in earnings depended on a wide variety of factors”
    synonyms: be contingent on, be conditional on, be dependent on, hinge on, hang on, rest on, rely on;

    be decided by
    “her career depends on a good reference”

    (source https://www.google.com/search?q=Dictionary)

    When you describe us like this….it does something to our psyche.

    Psyche-Dissociative-Disorder

    (Image from: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2015/04/06/psychological-warfare-and-the-fragmentation-of-the-psyche/)

    As a military spouse, the “service” that we are thanked for goes far beyond the obvious.

    My husband recently returned from an 8 month deployment to an area of the world that I’m not privee to. Doing a job, I have no idea about, and comes home with residual ‘interference’ that I can’t help him with. Do you understand how frustrating that is?

    opsec2

    As a model, my job requires me to travel. Often times for days at a time. I am a Canadian citizen and my entire family resides in a foreign country. Not realizing it at the time, I purposely made my agents life difficult because I didn’t want to take a 2nd parent away from our 2 boys. I had an excuse for everything!

    It’s hard enough for children to live without a parent on a good day, but what if that parent was in harms way? My kids don’t need verification that my husband is in danger, all they need to do is see the news, and then put 2 and 2 together.

    Now, if I pursue my career while my husband is fighting for our lives and his on deployment….how will my kids function?

    Sure, my Mom can come and take care of them. Friends have volunteered as well to help, but what can they say when it’s time for bed and our youngest is crying because he misses his daddy? It’s not fair for him that I leave, and I’m lucky that I have the choice. But the sacrifices go so much deeper than just sharing my husband with the rest of the country.

    Often times, military spouses don’t have the liberty to be the ‘stay at home mom’ everyone thinks we are. The military pay isn’t phenomenal. Over the last 5 years our income has been threatened by government shut downs. So what are we to do when we live in a home that requires rent or a mortgage, need to put food on the table and pay other life supporting bills when our primary source of income could be snatched away from us as a moments notice (hello deployment)?

    We have no choice but to find a job. And often, those jobs are low income producing or a ‘work from home business’ because we can’t commit to a long term position because in 2-5 years we’ll likely be moving.

    Now I’m sure a lot of people out there might be reading this and be like, “oh suck it up lady, you get free medical & dental coverage”. Have you ever been to a naval medical facility? Did you know that the military doctors cannot be sued for negligence? Let that instill confidence in you next time you require a serious surgery.  Is it better than no medical? Yes, but most recently we lost our dentist because our dental insurance now pays so low that it doesn’t even cover the biggest discount the practice offers and it’s just not economical for the dentist to treat us anymore. So now we need to search for a new dentist, who will take our insurance or ‘suck it up’ and pay out of pocket.

    Let’s also talk about the fact that while our spouse is away, they cannot disclose to us what is going on. Therefore we are left to wonder and speculate and worry. Do you know how many times I had to pray myself to sleep just so I my mind wouldn’t wander into the unknown world of what my husband was doing overseas?  How many times I had to smile and tell my boys that Daddy was ok for the 3rd week in a row of not hearing from him and trying my hardest not to cry while doing it?

    My son became ill while my husband was gone, not seriously but still required a few days off of school & a doctors visit. But I wouldn’t dare tell my husband about it because the last thing I want to do is create a distraction for him that could not only put his life in danger but the men and women around him. For 8 months our relationship became very superficial. Is that selfish? Maybe, but if anything ever happened over there because my husband wasn’t 100% focused on the mission, I couldn’t live with myself.

    There is an unspoken attitude amongst us veteran spouses, we just deal with it. No sense in complaining or bitching about it because we know, nothing is going to change.

    When someone thanks ME for my service, often times I shrug it off and smile. Give the polite ‘thank you’. Afterall, I’m just doing what any normal Mom would do right?  I’m just taking care of my family….But behind our big white smile and little giggle, just know, that we are each fighting a battle that we can’t talk about, often times have no answer for and couldn’t even if we wanted to and wouldn’t anyway because the number 1 lesson we’ve been taught as supportive spouses is ‘OPSEC’.

    I am proud to be a military spouse, and I want to use my voice and my visibility to help those men and women holding down the homefront to have a voice and know that they aren’t alone and to raise awareness about what really goes on back home.

    16f9612da7a71005ff4a63a7c859a78b--military-spouse-quotes-military-girlfriend

     

    Be sure to follow and subscribe to my blog, as my next topic will be on the; “now he’s back, dysfunctional trials and tribulations of the reunited military couple. ”

     

     

     

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We recently just passed the 180 day mark of my husbands deployment, and looking at a possible 120 more days to go.  Last year my husband had already returned by this point, now we are looking at almost 2 deployments all wrapped into one.

Many of you who follow this blog series are currently in or have been in this same position and as perfectly supportive as we want to be, eventually carrying the life and sanity of your family solely on your shoulders starts to get to you….

For months and months I have shared our lives with my husband.  Creating a special blog solely  for him so he can access our lives and events here, see tons of photos at one time and be able to print them off at his will.  I’ve sent care packages, products that he’s requested and I have written book long emails to keep him informed of all that life has brought us or taken from us during these past 6+ months…

It wasn’t until this weekend that I realized how depleted I am.  Just  a brief run down of what is going on in my life right now:

-Just started a new position as a national career advisor

-Coach Jr. Farm Volleyball 3 nights a week

-Work full time as a model

-Wake up everyday as a Mom with 2 kids and all that that entails

-Jr. Farm baseball 3 nights a week

-Mom moving in with us for 6 months and prepping the house for that (laying down new floors, organizing rooms etc.)

Ok, so that is a very GENERAL scenario.

This past weekend was an especially busy time for me.  Saturday was occupado with a 2hr baseball game with our oldest son, then home to prep for a wedding I was attending that evening.  Needed to arrange food for the kids and babysitter, organize the bed time routine, put out pj’s, get the kids bathed etc. all before I left.

Then I was at the wedding, which was the most beautiful, ornate and lavish affair I’ve ever attended.  That says a lot considering all that I’ve accomplished and done in my life so far…I was out with 2 of my good friends and really enjoying myself.  My babysitters Mom said to relax and enjoy and that coming home a bit later was no problem.  Phew considering I’d already been at the wedding for 3 hrs and we weren’t even at the main course yet…

All during dinner I was emailing photos of the different courses to my husband so he could share in the event with me and see just how gorgeous everything was.  This is what I do, make sure he is a part of everyday here.

On Sunday morning with eyes half open I began my assault on my house to make sure everything was set up for our premier showing of the full KikaPaprika Fall Collection.  Cleaned bathrooms, living rooms, set out all the information, laid out the clothing, ran to the grocery store, made appetizers, put out beverages, etc.

The party started at 2pm and the last guest left at 930p.  The whole day I did not have time to sit down and get on the computer.

While vacuuming I missed a call from my husband who had said that email and phones were back online and that it’s very busy.  He’d catch up later that evening.

I was bummed of course but kept moving forward.  I still had things to get done.

During the last few hours of my party I started to receive messages from my husband “Hello?” and that’s all.  Or “Psst…still nothing?”

Honestly, it got to the point where I just ignored them.  Say what you will but let me explain:

Here is the difference, when I don’t hear from my husband for days, maybe even a week, I don’t stress, I don’t send emails 3 times a day to him saying “Hey, why haven’t you written?” .  I understand that he is working, and for whatever reason he is unable to communicate with me, I know when he is able he will write. He doesn’t need the added stress of me nagging him when he is trying to keep lives safe.

Last night, after not hearing from him all day, I received one email from him and all it said was “Hello?”

This just set me off!  I was so annoyed.  I decided to not write back.  Until finally I went to bed and simply wrote “Good Night, I love you.”  End of email.

He didn’t like that much.  I couldn’t take it anymore though.  Why is it my responsibility only to carry the world on my shoulders?  When do I get someone to ask me “How was your day?”  and when someone does, I’m so dumbfounded that I have no idea what to say because I’m not used to hearing it!

I know that he is at sea, with no lifeline to the our world but through me, however I am a living, breathing human being too, and I need support and communication and motivation just like he does.  I need a verbal hug.  I need a virtual pat on the back.  I need that hug and compassion and what not that comes from someone caring about my feelings too.  I am just as alone as he is.

I simply responded, and I am paraphrasing here folks “You get what you give” and then I said I would write more in the morning.

I am motivated and inspired to write when my feelings get to the point where if I don’t let them out I will internally combust, which I tend to do anyways…but I’ve learned through sharing my life challenges with you that you sometimes need to know you aren’t alone.

I appreciate you being there to read my words to let me know I am not alone either.

God Bless and stay strong.

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