Murphy’s or Military Law?


This afternoon my husband left for the “undreth” time. This is a short stint, just two sleeps as we refer to it. After 17 years of being an AF Pilot’s wife you would think that I have become numb to these constant “trips” my husband takes. However, there is something about the active duty member leaving that spins the universe into thinking that the spouse needs one more thing to handle – alone. Remember Murphy’s Law?

“Murphy” seems to have an extra special love for the military. You see, there seems to be this underlying rule, or perhaps even a scorned ex-military spouse’s curse, that when your other half is away it is the perfect time for something (anything!) to go wrong! Yup, you know what I am talking about! Places that “have not had a winter storm in years” get over 3 ft of snow when your husband is deployed for two months and, despite a snow day or two, you still have to get out of your driveway because a classroom of students depends on you. Or, in the same town during the next dump of snow, you stay late to catch up not realizing you are the last one in the building and you’ve locked your keys in the car with your spare in your husband’s wallet a million miles away.

There have been hurricanes and tornado warnings, power outages, nightmare kid travel, sick children and a hacker impersonating my husband through google chat (no joke!). Refrigerators dying, sick children, washers screaming error codes, migraines, car batteries needing a jump, sick children, heaters and air-conditioners going out during extreme temperatures, losing access to bank accounts, and did I mention sick children? Or my absolute favorite: Smoke alarms going off in 10 ft high ceilings at 2 a.m. when you have no batteries, they will not stop until replacements are put in and your husband buried the ladder in the garage!

Canva Image

Although I have shed many tears, cursed into my pillow numerous times and spent hours venting to family and friends, I have finally learned to embrace these additional challenges for 3 reasons.

  1. Empowerment: Having to handle so many different and unexpected situations has led me to become more resilient and independent. Handymen, locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, home improvement store employees, neighbors and YouTube have taught me so many new skills that have actually ended up saving us time and money. No matter how complicated or simple a challenge is, I feel like the more I learn the easier the plan of attack becomes. I now face challenges with a different attitude and embrace the opportunity to learn something new.
  2. Service: Who knew I would be able to help a friend or complete stranger in need simply because I have gone through so many situations myself? It’s like a secret weapon or a badge of honor of sorts. Fixing something for a friend or sharing a tip or two with a stranger in need has brought me great satisfaction. I have been able to support others by teaching them the skills I have acquired or by fixing their problem myself. Sometimes even I am impressed!
  3. Pride: There is no greater feeling then fixing something and turning to my kids (especially my daughter) and saying, “Look what mom just did!” I feel accomplished, successful and ready to take on whatever comes next!
Canva Image

So, the next time your spouse is away and “it” hits the fan, take a breath, pull out your phone and cue YouTube. As for me, Military Law strikes again – I am off to find the steam sensor on my microwave oven.

Previous articleZoom In: The Best Deployment Advice I’ve Been Given
Next articleShip Day Heartbreak
Erin Stock
Erin grew up in Widefield, a small town just south of Colorado Springs, CO. Although she was surrounded by the military, she did not meet her husband, an Air Force Pilot, until they had both graduated from college. Erin has spent almost 20 years in education working as a classroom teacher, Literacy Specialist and Coach. Although Erin holds a MA in Educational Leadership and is also a National Board Certified Teacher, the best education Erin has ever received has been the gift of teaching across the nation. She credits the military with providing her the opportunity to learn more about education than she ever could have throughout her college years. Erin is a woman of faith and a mom to two young children. She is passionate about mental health support for spouses and also raises awareness regarding the dangers of Fentanyl. Erin and her family are currently serving their 7 th assignment in New Hampshire. She enjoys reading personal growth books and researching educational topics, but ends up spending the majority of her time playing with her kids, creating systems in her household, building a supportive community for spouses and dreaming of her forever home. She is also an occasional podcaster.