Monday, June 3, 2013

A look into what our world means...

        I am a military spouse. I have three jobs: support my active duty spouse with everything I have, protect and train my children so they understand they are safe and loved regardless of circumstances, and hold onto my faith and who I am without the support that most women need in life. I know that doesn't sound too different than most women's mantras out there but here's the kicker...We do it without the help most people rely on. So here's the deal, I'll let you in on the inside scoop of how some military wives feel if you promise to use it to understand the ones you know instead of using it against us.
I love my husband, I love what he does, and I support what he does for a living. But like any relationship there are going to be areas we disagree on, things that drive us nuts, and frankly
things that make us wanna scream...but at no point do I have the right to blame his job for any of that. He made a decision to be a soldier but I made a decision to be a soldier's wife when I married him. I didn't just get to marry a great man, I married a lifestyle and a way of thinking. But to be honest, his job dictates everything for us. The way we raise our kids, our priority on family nights, the financial situation, the fact that we are the only people we know who have an extensive will before the age of all stems from the military. I personally wouldn't change it for anything. Not until you face the idea of losing a family member to deployment do you actually cherish them and their annoying little habits like eating doritos in bed! To throw a military man's job back at him is the ultimate insult. If you are a new wife...Don't do it! If you are the friend of one...Don't plant the seeds! We believe in what we do, what we stand for, and what we fight for. Even when fighting with each other those core beliefs don't change. So I support him with everything I have.
Vets Parade 2011

My son is my world. My husband and I decided that family was always first so every night we are there to say goodnight to our son and every morning we are there to wake him up. We have been there for every first, every smile, giggle, Dr's appointment, holiday, family night, you name it just
to make sure that our son understands that even though military life
Halloween 2012: Rogue Pirate and SuperDog!

is uncertain one thing is not: He will always be loved. He will always have us. He will always be able to depend on family. Here's the kicker though. We do it on our own. Our son sees his grandparents if he's lucky twice a year. He's only met a handful of his other relatives more than once and the idea of cousins is so foreign to him right now it would be comical if it wasn't so sad. His best friend is his pitbull puppy and he never goes anywhere without his Monkey blanket. If you are in uniform you are ok in his book but otherwise he steers clear because he doesn't know what to make of you. Seeing relatives isn't a reunion it's an introduction, every time. Pictures of people make sense to him but a 3-D version throws him for a loop. Date nights don't happen because we would miss bedtime and while other parents get the luxury of having grandma and grandpa down the street to help out...military don't. There is no break from our children unless we have friends we trust or a rare event that has babysitting. Our family bond is so strong because of the time together and yet it makes even me wonder if it would be healthier for everyone to have a break now and again. But that takes parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins around pitching in. Our break is when we play tag between parents and don't have to get up every time the kid cries at night because he feels he is missing something cool. 

MiMi and Monkey Thanksgiving 2012
 My son is my world by choice because of our lifestyle and because he deserves a sense of security like every other child out there. But I'm a military spouse. I don't get to be just momma and friend and disciplinarian. I'm also aunt and grandma and cousin because he doesn't have that everyday.
We don't just learn about shapes and colors and numbers each day, we learn everyday about our    relatives and what they like and who they are from their pictures so he understands that at the end of the day he is not some little floating iceberg all by himself in the middle of nowhere. He has a family outside of our unit and he is loved even if it is by people he doesn't remember or even know. The one thing I find that annoys so many of us is the line "you've done so well with your child". I know that civilians feel that is a compliment but to's a reminder that yes, "we" have done well. Without the help that so many others get on such a regular basis. I know when my son is
Grandpa and Monkey 2011

older my husband and I will officially be able to take credit for the amazing young man he turns out to be solely because our son isn't being raised by a village like we would like. He's being raised by us.

My faith is important to me. I go to church to lean into my beliefs and get some encouragement but moving every few years leads to very shallow relationships in a church since you are never there very long. In fact no matter where I am I find myself with very few friends and after awhile the ability and desire to make new ones seems to diminish. I find myself wandering through life with a lot of acquaintances and no real connection to anyone outside my family. I make phone calls to the ones I miss and hope we can squeeze in just enough time to play catch up between the craziness of life and if I am lucky it's enough to tide me over. I fight getting up everyday because I am homesick for a home that probably doesn't exist anymore and I throw myself into things that in the long run don't matter but for now give me something to focus on so I don't have to focus on how lonely I am trapped in a town I barely know with yet another new culture to learn. And the real kicker...I still get judged because I don't fit in with them. But I am a military spouse and my husband and son come first. I don't want my husband to ever think he is the reason I am unhappy so I push my feelings aside and put on a smile. I want my son to have a mom not a anti-depressant pill taking robot so I push down how I feel and I do what is best for my son. That's my job. To do what is best
for my family.
Christmas 2011 Papa and Monkey

For my Boys. So regardless of how I feel I get up in the morning and square off with my day and take it one step at a time with my head held high because I am a Military Spouse. I support a Soldier who defends our freedoms and train an amazing little man to be the best Man he can be and I do it without the help and support that most women have daily. I do it without my mom down the street or my sisters around the block. I do it with only my husband by my side and a few phone calls a month from friends. 

 We are stronger than most. We are tougher than most. We also hurt like you, cry silently, and know how to smile and nod because any noise period would give away our true feelings on a matter. We can pack a house in a day and disappear and yet our biggest fear isn't fading away and no one noticing. It's whether we did alright by our husbands and children. Did we show them enough support and love? Did we hug them enough? Do they feel secure enough? We are our own breed of women but at the end of the day when you try to put yourself in our shoes, and you will, remember just one thing...We do this voluntarily because we believe in this. We don't want your pity, just your prayers. And if you can spare a hug that would be great too because with all we give sometimes we could use a refill :).

          With Much Love,
Jules & My Boys

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