Wednesday, August 17, 2011

life as a military wife

As most of you already know, I'm a military wife. It's not something I talk about often on this blog. Well, I guess I haven't really talked about much of anything on this blog lately other than my day-to-day life with Elliot. Although *I* find every tiny little thing he does exciting and adorable... it probably gets a little boring for all of you. From now on, I'm going to make an effort to post about other things in addition to my life as a SAHM, because there is more to me (and my life) than that!
So, first up? My life as a military wife.
Here are the best and worst things about being a military wife:

The good:
1. Being a stay at home mama. A huge number of military wives are stay at home moms. Thanks to the benefits, such as great healthcare, we are able to do this. I feel so blessed to be able to stay at home with my son, to get to watch him grow and help mold him into a little person. Not everyone has this opportunity.
2. Sense of Security. I don't have to worry about my husband losing his job, even in this unsteady economy. We always have a roof over our heads, clothes on our back, and food on the table, and I don't take that for granted. In addition, I fall asleep easily knowing that I am safe- my soldier can protect me, and I feel safe in his strong arms.
3. Friends and community. Even though we've never lived on base, there have been military families surrounding us everywhere we've lived. It's been so easy to make lasting friendships, friends to lean on in the tough times. Other military wives understand how tough deployments are, they actually know what you're talking about when you talk in acronymns... they just get it.
4. Pride. I feel proud of my husband every single day. He is brave. He serves our country, he helps to keep us free, he risks his lives to save others. Everytime I see him in his uniform, I smile. I love my soldier.
5. The opportunity to travel. We move every two years. To some of you, that may sound horrible, but I actually enjoy it. Every move is an opportunity to start fresh and experience a different place and (often) culture. It's hard to fall into a rut when you are constantly moving!

The bad:
1. Deployments. Nothing is harder than having your husband gone for a whole year (or more). He's across the world in a war zone. In the meanwhile, you're all by yourself, holding down the fort on your own. Communicating can be difficult, and it's easy to get yourself all worked up over nothing. I tend to change the channel when anything about the war in Iraq or Afghanistan comes on the news. The hardest part though, isn't really the worrying or loneliness- it's being a single parent while he's gone. It's not just a year of MY life that he's missing every time he deploys, but a year of Elliot's, too. A lot changes in a year- particularly when kids are young. It makes me sad to think about how many of Elliot's "firsts" Aaron missed while he was gone, and how many more he will miss in the coming years. It's tough, but that's just military life. You learn to cope. And you know the saying, "distance makes the heart grow fonder"? Well, that couldn't be more true!
2. War changes people. My husband spent 15 months in Iraq {as infantry}, where he was shot, stabbed, and blown up a few times. He did and saw terrible things, things that I prefer not to talk about. He struggled with PTSD and memory loss for awhile, but is doing better now. He's not the same person that he was before he left for war, though, and probably never will be.
3. Long hours. The army isn't a 9 to 5 job. It's basically 24/7, and with each promotion comes more responsibility. Aaron works long days, and often gets called in in the evenings and on weekends. He leaves for work every day at 5:30am and doesn't usually come home until about 5pm. When he walks through the door, I'm usually ready to get out of the house, and all he wants to do is stay in and relax. This is where compromise comes into play.
4. Lack of control. Decisions are made by supervisors and are always out of your control. Paperwork takes forever to be processed, and things often aren't finalized until it's almost too late. For people like me, who literally LOVE planning and making lists, it makes life kind of frustrating, but you learn to let go. Things always work out in the end.

So there you have it. I could probably go on and on, so if you have any specific questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me and I'll be sure to get back to you... maybe I'll even do a follow-up post.

Military life isn't perfect, but it's perfect for me.
I love being a military wife!


  1. Bless ya, i'd be a terrible military wife although I may be better at it now I've got Joshy to keep me busy and laughing. BTW I deffo don't get bored of your posts about Elliot as he is just too cute!

  2. I can't imagine being strong enough to fight in a war, it really takes a special kind of person. To be able to see the things he saw and still come back and be a great dad and husband is really commendable. And not to mention it takes a really strong woman to be a military wife, you should be proud of yourself!

  3. I have often thought about how this would be (a few years go Tim considered going into the military) and I truly don't think I am strong enough for it. I give you and all other military families a TON of credit. My brother is in the military and that is hard enough. Oh and I love love love the last pic!!

  4. thanks so much for talking about this! i've been dating my army guy for 8 months now and he is probably gonna get deployed next year, so reading this made me know what to expect, since we plan to be together for a while.. :)

    your blog and son are adorable! you got yourself a new reader! =)

  5. awesome post! I have the greatest respect for military families!

  6. First, I love that second shot of your husband's legs and boots with Elliot!

    Second, my family thanks your family for your service! My bff was a military wife for a long time, her dh just left the military 3 years ago and I remember how hard it was on her when he was deployed and she was alone with the kids for so long.

  7. Thank you for this post! I grew up in a military family, was even born on base in Turkey. My little brother followed in my dad's footsteps and is now serving himself.
    I look forward to more posts from you about military life and all the adventures and dynamics it brings. :)

  8. So true :) I am also a military wife and I can definitely resonate with these! Thanks for sharing!


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