It’s been almost two years since my husband enlisted in the army. W
I was moving my kids to a completely different area. I was also leaving behind my mom, sister and so many other close relatives and friends. Was I a little freaked out? Yes! Did I show it? Of course not, I did what moms do and kept my sh*t together (or at least pretended to) either way they’re the same thing in my book.
So here are a few things I’ve learned in my first year as a stay at home mom and military wife…
Get used to saying bye
The first time Jason had to leave was soon after enlistment. He left in May while I was pregnant and didn’t come until December. By then Preston was 3 months old so obviously, he missed the birth of our son. That was pretty shitty but my family was with me so at least I wasn’t alone.
Plans can change fast
Here we are at our first duty station, the holidays are right around the corner and I’m super stoked for us all to be together on Thanksgiving. I was planning this big meal which is a big deal for me because we’re usually spending Thanksgiving with family so I never do the cooking. Then out of nowhere boom, he has to go on assignment and won’t be back until mid-December.
On a brighter note shopping got a little more exciting (didn’t think that was possible). I’m all like, oh hello boots 10% off you say? don’t mind if I do! It might not seem like much but 10% here, 15 there, even 20 in some places can really add up.
Insurance is great
Seriously, we have a little accident-prone gymnast in our home. She’s always trying new things and always getting hurt. So trust me when I say I’m well acquainted with the emergency room and doctor’s office here on post.
Of course the uniform! I’ve never really had a thing for men in uniform BUT seeing hubby all dressed in camo I gotta say it does something to me lol. That’s for another post I’m not goin’ there with y’all today! All jokes aside when he puts on the uniform I feel so proud. I really respect and admire him for all that he does.
Protect it like it’s your baby! Not only is it your insurance card but if you live on post it’s your “ticket” home. There is nothing like trying to go home making it all the way to the gates only to realize you forgot to bring it. It’s a real hassle to get another one.
Honestly, I think the most important thing I’ve learned so far is to cherish the time I have with my family. Even more so than before, because I don’t know when he’ll have to leave again. I don’t know how long he’ll be gone. And I don’t know what kind of danger he’ll be in. It’s fucking terrifying and I think about it at some point every day, even when he’s home!
All in all, I think the best advice I can give any new military wife or husband is to try and build a support system outside of your family. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in caring for everyone else we forget about ourselves. We need friendships with other adults, especially ones who can relate to what you’re going through.