It’s been one of those weeks, folks, where complaint after compliant leaves my lips and my heart feels weakened by the hardships of this life. People have attempted to inflate my ego for the countless hours I have (and am) surviving without my spouse. Although appreciated, their kind words fail to encompass the multitude of unique circumstances I endure as a military spouse.
In short, I feel misunderstood and oversimplified.
I do not want to be the whiny spouse with a constant list of grievances. I’m not looking for recognition in this life I chose, but I’m hoping some of you out there can relate to my experiences.
(And let’s be real, writing this list was cathartic and a great therapy session!)
I know I can’t be alone in this …
- Artillery [booms] at 10 p.m., 2 a.m., you name it. Waking us up, our kids up, our dogs up…
- Being “invited” to attend a “mandatory” 15 minute reception, cocktail attire, while 9 months pregnant. Try finding an appropriate, affordable dress that fits. I dare you.
- Spending your own money on flowers for yourself, “gifted” to you by the unit, that you don’t get to pick out. “Aww, thank you…. you really shouldn’t have…”
- Family “fun” days.
- Finding a sitter for date night – err, I mean, Hail and Farewells.
- Relearning where everything is in the grocery store after every PCS. The worst. Is it weird to ask the cashier for a map?
- Sugar, spice, and everything liquid must be restocked after a PCS.
- Getting your monthly the one week your husband is not in the field …
- Being jolted awake at 5 a.m. by your spouse’s PT alarm. He snoozes three times and continues sleeping, while I’m still wide-eyed from the first fog horn.
- Your spouse glued to his or her phone for work on nights and weekends when the government does not pay/reimburse for said phone.
- Maxing out your credit cards for an international PCS and not being reimbursed for 6+ months … I can’t believe I live in Europe where I can’t even afford to use the public restroom…
- Receiving a very long list of very specific, needed supplies within a 12 hour (or less) turnaround time. There goes $500. Easy.
- Spouse on a Friday night, “I’m packing up, be home soon!” You start calculating your spouse’s potential arrival based on the past timelines of the word “soon.” You fall asleep on the couch before finishing said calculation.
- How many job interviews have you had? A dozen in the last two years? Sounds about right!
- An evening alone means no-late night ice cream or wine delivery services/pick-ups! Better make sure you stock up on all the possible cravings before the kids go to bed!
All joking aside, I truly love this life. I do. Even the hard stuff. I feel guilty when I complain because without these hardships I would not be the woman I am today. I would not know you. I never would have seen the world the way I have.
In case you need the reminder too, my friend, you are brave beyond measure, give out much grace, have ingenuous creativity, withhold crazy amounts of patience, and love wholly. Your strength runs deep even when you feel broken and weakened by the hardships of this life.
Let’s all take a second to laugh, sulk, cry, and then move on to this beautiful adventurous life. Because we have each other.
**Many thanks to all my sweet friends for helping me write this list!**