Being an Army wife is terrible sometimes! Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and support him in all he does to help improve and support our family. What I can not stand is the time apart.
We have been quite fortunate enough to have avoided the last few deployments. This time around missing the deployment means attending Army schooling courses, for months. This was something I knew was coming but was still not prepared completely. I don’t think anyone ever really can be.
The months preceding his departure we awaited his orders and specific travel dates. When the orders did arrive he received PCS, permanent change of station(read: move) but for only the seven months required for his training. So more of a temporary PCS. Yes please! Let us move our entire family, pack up the house, kids, animals, sell or rent the house AND find somewhere to live in Georgia. While there we will have a child graduate high school, and a new baby come along. GIVE. ME. A. BREAK! This was one of the most obscene and asinine things I have heard the military doing. In addition to the craziness, life as a National Guard service member is different than full-time active duty military personnel. To get an idea on the active duty side look at these articles here. Most National Guard service members do not live near a fully active duty base, making a lot of these services and benefits difficult to obtain. That’s a whole other conversation for another day.
Once the crazy orders came in, we started freaking out. AJ contacted the travel department and advised them of the upcoming baby. They allowed him to change over to temporary duty orders (TDY). This is similar to what happens when someone is deployed. The family does not attend with the soldier. Splitting his orders and classes up allows AJ to come home after the first class is finished October thru January. The second will start in the summer 2018 and he will be able to return when that class is finished as well.
Could the situation be worse? Abso-freaking-lutely! could it be better? Of course! I am accustomed to spending a few days a month separated from AJ. The kids have even grown use to daddy being “at work” some weekends. This time it has been slightly more difficult. Daddy isn’t here so it must be ok to break all the rules right? Then there are the constant projects or things breaking needing attention. These things never happen when he is home, only when he is gone. This must be the less well known, Newton’s Fourth Law of Physics. “If something can go wrong, break, or fall apart; it will happen when soldier leaves for extended period, not before.” ugh
Can I manage? Yes. Is it easy? No, but I probably make it look easier than it really is as well. I tend to be the type of person to buckle down and go with the flow. Trying to prepare for the arrival of a baby is difficult enough on its own, couple that with doing it alone…. ya!
Sometimes I need a break and without AJ or family in the area, I can’t get away. I don’t necessarily need a get away either. Sometimes I need a few hours alone at home to rest, get chores done or simply unwind.
In site of the bad, I know we are extremely blessed. AJ is state side, he is in a safe place and most of all we can communicate with him on a mostly daily basis. Many of these things are not available to others who deploy or even in generations prior. The situation could be a lot worse, and I know this. It helps me not take for granted what we have and remember how fortunate we truly are through the long months… weeks… days… ok sometimes hours.
At the end of the day, all the kids are safe, tucked into their warm beds, we have a plan; he will be home for the birth of the baby; and this too shall pass. All in all I knew what I was getting into when I married AJ. He was already in the military and being separated is always on the table.
For a little bit more humor I found a few more comics relating to military spouse life for you. Enjoy!