Words of Wisdom – Losing Control and Gaining Pride
A couple weeks ago, I was so happy to see that Nicole had e-mailed me asking me to be a guest blogger on this awesome blog of hers. She asked me to write up some words of wisdom about being a military wife and mom. It was perfect timing because Jesse is about to reenlist for six more years tomorrow. This type of commitment has had us both weighing in on sacrifice and what it means to be in the military and whether our family has what it takes for him to make a career out of it.
I met Jesse my senior year of college about five and a half years ago. Jesse was and still is a C-17 loadmaster in the United States Air Force. It’s a really excited job that is considered “air crew”. It means that he travels all over the world and gets to be a part of exciting and crucial missions. His missions vary and include:
Humanitarian relief (like air dropping supplies to natural disaster victims)
Transporting vehicles, supplies, and people to war zones
Missile air drop testing
Deep Freeze (transporting people and supplies between New Zealand and Antarctica)
He does really cool things! But, along with that comes a lot of time away from our family and in many cases on very short notice. He is usually away from home 200+ days every year. This time away comes in the form of four month deployments every year and missions that have a varying duration of five to thirty days at a time.
I remember crying over the fact that Jesse would miss a company Christmas party, our anniversary or a birthday. I both smile and laugh at that new military wife that I once was. It has gotten so much better since I stopped fighting it. It is what it is and as soon as you let go of control, you will be so much happier. Yes, it still is difficult and a little frustrating to not be able to plan things in advance or know what next week or even the next day will entail. But there is no sense in getting angry or hurt because there is no stopping the military. There is a bigger agenda for the men that support our country than whether their wives will have to cancel their scheduled girl’s night out. If they say go, then they must go. It doesn’t matter if your brother is getting married the day after they are set to deploy or if your son’s birthday is during the time of the next mission, whatever comes up in the military world is going to trump any plans you may have. And you have to accept it and embrace the time that you do have together.
The second part of staying happy being a military family is finding extreme pride in what being a military family means. I wish I had this pride from the very beginning, but that would not be the truth. I have developed this pride and gratitude over the years and after seeing what my husband sacrifices and what others who serve give to be able to do so. I used to pity myself when he deployed and would play the poor me card. Now, I can honestly say that I am so honored to be able to serve this country by serving and supporting my husband and family while he is away serving our country. That change in mindset has made all the difference in how I feel in my role of being both a military wife and mother.
Those are the biggest words of wisdom I can give to those who are thinking of joining the military community, are new to it, or those who are struggling with the obstacles that being a military family puts in our way. Relax and find pride in what you are doing because there are so many people that are so appreciative of what you are doing, including myself.