Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: How Does She: Being a Military Wife

Monday, September 3, 2012

How Does She: Being a Military Wife

I guess this post is more of a How Did She, since we have been out of the military for about 4 years now. Although we may not be in the military anymore, I definitely learned quite a bit that I want to share. I know a few of my lovely readers have husbands who serve in the military. I am thankful for your husbands service and for your sacrifice. I am sure you will be able to relate to this post. Being a military wife is hard. You go long lengths of time, never seeing your spouse. Your children suffer because daddy is gone and you are all they have. Military wives have an amazing strength.

First off I guess I should share a little back story of how we ended up in the military. My hubby and I met in 2002. I had just graduated  from high school in June and met my hubby in November. He had just gotten back from New Zealand, where he served a two year mission for our church. He was home two weeks and then was set up on a blind date. Yep you guessed it. I was that blind date.


I remember instantly being in love with that man. No jokes folks. Not only was he ridiculously good looking, but he made me laugh. He made me feel like the most important person in the room. I had never had that before. Yes we were young, but we feel in love. 1 year later we got married.


Yes my hair is brown. I am sometimes a brunette:)

Now I remember he had briefly mentioned the military before we got married, but I shot it down with a BIG FAT "HECK NO". I had no desire to have my hubby in the military. It scared me to all heck. Our faith is a huge part of who we are. I worried he would lose it being in the military. We didn't really talk about it again. Flash forward 7 months later. I was 6 months pregnant with my son. Yes I know we went all in from the get go. Having a family has always been super important to us.


Hubby started talking about the military again. He wasn't sure which branch, but kept feeling like it was something he should do. Oh man was this lady's heart worried. He made me come down to the recruiters office. He wanted to talk about all the options that go along with being in the military. He was so much. My hubby told me we should pray about it. I thought he meant when we got home. Oh no! Homeboy asked the recruiter if we could use his office to pray. I know right! We did and boy did I hate the answer I got. I know he was right. I knew that joining the military and starting this new journey for our family was exactly what our Heavenly Father wanted us to do. It scared me more than I had ever thought I could be. I knew my hubby would be gone and I was a newlywed. I had dreams of us being 60 and saying we had never spent a night apart. Fat chance now right?


Well we made it. He went through boot camp and AIT training. I had our son, while hubby trained in Georgia. I honestly thought I couldn't do it alone, but somehow I manged. I know that God watched out for us. I learned from the get go that being a military wife meant I literally had to learn to suck it up. Whining and complaining was not an option. My family couldn't understand what I was going through. They didn't know what it meant to miss your spouse that much. The only one who came close was my mother-in-law. She had been a military wife herself. It was hard, but we did it. My hubby came home from training and we moved to Washington.


I can remember the day we left in our Silver Daewoo. I had never lived out of state. In my whole 19 years, I had only lived in 2 houses. It was scary. I hugged my mother and waved to my dad, as we pulled out of the drive. Little did I know I was going to become the strongest I had ever been.

Now for all you military wives out there. I am sure you can relate to the goodbyes you have to endure with each transfer. Making a home and then having to pack it all up again. As a military wife, you learn that the military didn't issue the soldier a family. They primarily care about that soldier. As a military wife, it is not your job to complain to your hubby, but to encourage. To encourage them to serve and serve well. We made our home in Washington. We were there for 6 months. I remember that because I was scared, knowing he would be deployed to Iraq. I prayed every night for us just to have a little time. I wanted my son to actually know his father before he had to ship out. After 6 months my hubby came home and told me he was being deployed. Have you ever heard a heart shatter? Well mine did that night. We had a few months and then I came back to Vegas to live with family, while he went to that desert that many of us military wives have heard so much about.

I became a single parent. I did it all. The grocery shopping, full time child care, laundry, cleaning, late night wake ups with my son. It was hard. I did have some help, but nothing that could replace my hubby. I think this is when I learned something about myself. I was stronger than I ever thought I was possible. I knew I could do it. My Bubba and I did everything together and we still do.


After Hubby was home and such, we had my daughter. Hubby was getting ready to get out of the military. We were making plans. Big ones I tell you. Hubby wanted to be a cop. Jobs were available here in Vegas and we were beyond excited. I think I talked to my Mom and Sisterinalws everyday about the "plan". Then that dreadful word stop loss. Anyone know what that means? Well Stop loss means that the military can prevent you from getting out of the military and make you get deployed with your unit. That is exactly what happened to us. Now we were facing another deployment. I couldn't believe it. Now I was going to have two children to take care and be on my own. Oh and the cherry on top, my hubby had to go back to that desert I had come to hate so much.

I honestly look at that next year as the worst year ever. Honestly. I can not joke about this one. I lived with family and it was ridiculously hard. I love my family to pieces, but it was still hard. I cried to my hubby every single night. I was one of the lucky few who got to talk with my hubby, since he specialized in communications. When I think back, I have no clue why he even wanted to call me every night. I seriously was a slobbering mess. I literally couldn't handle it. The finances were too much (I mentioned that here remember?),. Everything was too much. I literally felt like God must have some sense of humor because I couldn't handle it at all. My four year old son was angry. I was too. His dad had to leave and he didn't know why. He acted out and all I could do was love him. I knew exactly how he felt. I felt abandoned too, even though I knew deep down hubby had no control. I finally went down to the military base and just sat and talked to a counselor. She was the sweetest lady ever. I told her everything. I told her how scared I was and how my son was angry. She just sat there and listened. She was a military wife herself and understood everything I was going through. She had been there before. At that point in my life, that is what I needed. I just wanted someone to understand. Someone to understand how hard it is to be the one left behind. How hard it is to worry every day that your husband may not come home. That day, after I vented all my inner fears and secrets to this stranger, something came over me. Strength I never knew I had. I knew everything would be alright. My faith in God grew. I knew he had faith in me to overcome this trial, he was putting my family through. I just had to have faith too.

The military taught me to stand on my own two feet. It taught me to believe in myself and have faith in my hubby. He is the most amazing man I know. He sacrifices everyday for my family. That year that he was stop loss, changed our family. He got out of the military, after his deployment, to find our nation in one of the biggest economic depressions ever. Jobs were scarce. His dream job was no where to be found. The police departments had no money to hire.

It was hard, but I knew that anything was better than us being apart. He knew that too. Yes he could have stayed in the military, but for us being together was far more important. It is hard being a military wife. I did it for 5 years. I know there are many who do this every day, every year. Their husbands go career. You women are so brave and are the women I looked up to, when I got down and didn't know how I could get through. You all have so much strength and I am thankful for the service your husbands provide.

After getting out of the military, hubby went back to school. A benefit of being a soldier is a free college education. He goes to school and we get basic housing, which gives us our $14,000 to live off for the year. Things are tight. We struggle, but I would never change it. I would never change us. Being in the military has taught me never to take my hubby for granted or the time we get together. We have been apart and it royally sucks. We cherish ever moment we have together.


One year after hubby was out of the military, I remember him coming home and asking me a question. He wanted to know if I knew now how our life would be, would I have still married him. I jokingly said "You mean if I knew I would be an ex-military wife and poor?" He laughed and said "yes, would you still have married me?". My answer is the same now, then, and as it was on November 29, 2003. "Yes!". We may not be rich, but I get to be married to my best friend. He is an amazing father and husband. I honestly can not imagine my life without that man of mine. I am thankful I met that green eyed man on a blind date. My life forever changed, but it changed for all the right reasons. I am thankful for all those military wives and spouses alike. You are the unsung heroes, behind the scenes of those amazing soldiers. You keep the lights on, while they are away. Thank you for all you do, everyday and night. You officially rock, if you didn't know it already. If you are struggling, remember it only gets better.

I don't want to forget my time as a military wife. It strengthened me to become the woman I am today. I have learned to stand on my own feet and know that I have more power than I ever thought I could have. I am a Mom, Wife, and Woman. I am thankful for that gift I get each day.

If you know a military wife, seriously give them a hug or a sweet smile.  It will mean the world to them.

Thank you lovelies for always reading and letting me share whatever is going on in this heart of mine. Thank you and enjoy this Labor Day. Remember those who have fallen and those who strive and live today.

God Bless you all and this 
amazing country we get to live in.

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