Resilience​ in Military Spouses

I don’t believe in today’s time and age it would be a difficult task explaining to someone that military service and the necessity of resiliency go hand and hand. However, I would venture to say perhaps a forsaken aspect of military service is the spouse and family left behind during military deployments. Yes, I absolutely appreciate what every active duty and reserve servicemember, veterans and retirees endure while deployed defending our countries rights and liberties. I’m speaking towards the evolution of our society through the course of time and the notion that a military family’s schematics have changed in makeup over the last few years. With that change, the necessity for spouses and family members to evolve as well have been streamlined and somewhat overshadowed. With that said, I’ll disclose where my viewpoint on this subject lies. I’m the spouse of an active duty Navy Chief. We have five beautiful daughters together (2 (twins) still in the house), and even in our current situation, he is stationed 2 thousand miles away from me, while I’m essentially performing his duties here as head of the household. This isn’t our first rodeo regarding separation, planning and dealing with separation and trials and tribulations associated with said separations. After 19 years of separation (16 for me), you build a rhythm and with enough pre-empted planning the difficulties tied to military deployments for families and spouses left behind seem manageable. I question rather they are manageable due to the tenure of service, the number of deployments endured, or the tenacious resiliency that is naturally built through years of service.

The makeup of typical military families years passed was a husband/father who served, a mother/wife who remained in place at home and mounds of warm and fuzzy feelings. The mother didn’t work, the kids cried themselves to sleep at night missing Dad, the families never seemed to have money issues, the family dog was tremendously well behaved, the toilet worked just fine, there were no snakes in the front yard while the mother took out the trash, tire pressures on the family vehicle remained a constant 35 PSI etc… The reality of today: I’m a fulltime school board employee, I’m in the middle of my dissertation for my doctorate, my dog is hell on earth, I’ve seen two snakes in my front yard, my kids participate in cross country, two different dance teams, soccer, track, piano, and band, I’m the chaperone and again, my husband is 2,000 miles away. One of the major differences I notice between the two scenarios, is the kids crying at night. If my children cry at night because they miss their Dad (I’m sure they do), I don’t see or hear anything about it, this is resiliency. I do not cower behind my what some could consider a tumultuous situation and use as an excuse to quit working and focus on my studies (or vice versa) as my husband has constantly urged. Stay tuned for Part 2…

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25 thoughts on “Resilience​ in Military Spouses

  1. I’m married to a MSGT in the Air Force. This is my life in a nutshell right now. People don’t understand what comes with it and feel like we should just bounce back and go on like it’s normal. They don’t understand why we can’t do certain things or don’t want to — we are exhausted. They think our need for a minimum of a two to three weeks notice for outings is ridiculous when in reality, that’s tame…I would prefer a month’s notice for planning purposes. This piece right here is real life and I look forward to part 2!

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  2. This lifestyle resembles that of my friend who is married to her spouse in the military. Juggling and balancing the house and her kids and everything on their plate and hers. It’s not easy and I commend military spouses. You need an award! I’m not sure if I could handle it. As much as you are superwoman, be kind to yourself and take care of yourself too.

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    1. Thank you! It’s definitely a challenging job. But I’m thankful I was chosen to do it. I picked up a few hobbies in the last few weeks (blogging as one) to help me stay sane.

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  3. My uncle was active duty, and now his son has followed in his footsteps. It is hard on military families to have a life that to outsiders seems very unstable, but military families adapt to it. When people think of single parenthood, they don’t think about military mothers/fathers who have had to take the reins while their spouse is gone. Thank you for being transparent about a life that many of us civilians don’t know anything about.

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  4. My husband is active duty. While he has not been deployed, we have experienced points of separation. I remember one of the most difficult decisions was completing my Masters, moving to where he was stationed, and not being able to find a job. We eventually decided that I could’ve back to our hometown to pursue my career. It was so difficult in the moment, but we did what was best for us.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. The important factor is you “did what was best” for you all. Everyone’s journey will differ. That’s what makes the military communities so strong. We learn from one another.

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  5. My ex is in the Navy right now active. We always said in the past before we parted ways (not due to his military service or involvement) that we would be just like your family but of course I always thought about that separation for extended amounts of time like you’ve spoke of here. I’m not sure how you do it but I salute you for holding down your man while he’s away defending our country. Not every woman can stay solid with a man active in the military. It takes a strong one and good one to do so faithfully and consistently.

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    1. It definitely a task. that many will never understand. Many would ask…how do I?…sometimes I just don’t have a choice. To be honest, sometimes I don’t know how I do it. But i know without a doubt, it’s His grace and mercy that keeps me. Thanks for your comment.

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  6. I am also a military spouse and I can relate. Although my husband hasn’t deployed yet, we were apart from each other for a couple months and he was in a different country. It was the worst feeling because I was pregnant to our first child we didn’t know if he’d make it on time for the birth.

    Thank you for sharing your story and letting us in on how it’s like to be a military spouse.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your situation is still substantial although your husband hasn’t deployed. Even while my husband wasn’t deployed, there were still stressors….constant change of work schedule, extended work hours, etc. Thanks for sharing. Well wishes to you all during your military tenure.

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    1. Although everyone will have their definition of what resiliency looks like, I think resiliency is a common trait, and everyone poses it. I believe some of the foundations of resiliency is accepting the “what is,” healthy relationships, making realistic goals, and self-love. To answer your question, I learned to ‘use’ my resiliency traits throughout obstacles in my life. We all have it in us, we just need to “use” it.

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  8. I love this read, thank you so much for sharing. I loved how you outlined the differences between possible perception vs. reality. I look forward to reading part 2

    Liked by 1 person

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