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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How Do You Do It? (My Life as a Military Wife)

Perhaps one of my most frequently heard comments is, "I don't know how you do it.  I couldn't be a military wife/submariner's wife."  So, how do I do it?  I'm not sure I know.  But I usually answer, "It's not for everyone, but I just won't except the alternative."  And that's the truth.

But I will try to put a few notes out there for everyone...just in case something might speak to someone else.  So, here goes...

Let me start by saying that some days Scott and I think of his job like it's any other.  In many families, military and civilian, somebody goes to work and somebody stays home.  The worker bee may be gone long hours, may miss meals, might even travel for work.  And the one who stays home is often left shouldering the roles of both parents, living a single married life for a time.  Sometimes we don't feel all that different.

But those days are not these days. 

For the past month or so Scott's been carrying a ton of stress from work and there's little I can do about it.   Not only that but there's little time together to try to do anything to alleviate his stress anyway.  But what I can do, I do. 

  • I feed him.  He's not home for most meals, but the ones he is here for I make sure are things he loves.  I also bake to give him something sweet to lose himself in when he comes through our door. 
  • I adjust our schedule to his, when possible.  When he was working nights we schooled at a different time of day so that we were all downstairs, out of ear shot, when he was going to sleep and we weren't busy when he was getting up and free for five minutes.  And now that he's working at least 16 hours a day, I am almost always up when he gets home.  That means I frequently nap when Tyler does, but there's nothing wrong with that.
  • I listen.  I don't know everything he's dealing with.  I don't understand everything he tells me.  But I give him room to talk to me.
  • I talk to him.  I try to share stories of the kids.  I let him know what we're doing.  I don't pretend that we're not still going about our lives. 
  • I touch him.  I give him massages.  I kiss him.  I try to take some of that stress and provide a little relaxation.
  • I give him a break.  I don't call and ask when he's going to be home.  I don't get upset that he's not home for dinner, or bed time.  I don't complain that he doesn't have time for us. 
  • I love him. 
So, that's how I support Scott.  It also needs to be noted that he supports me in all the same ways, except the cooking and baking...I don't think he even knows where to find everything to whip up anything more than a PB&J.  That's neither here nor there, though.  He loves me and that's clear.  He makes sure it's clear to me.  Just last night he told me how much he appreciates me and all that I do.  I know that but it sure is absolutely wonderful to hear.  He also makes it clear to others, which is such a lovely pat on the back. 

Lastly, we give ourselves permission to feel all the emotions that go with the deployment cycle and we don't blame each other for them.  (Here's another link with a little more detail.)

You might be wondering if it's that simple.  Probably not, but maybe yes.  After all, neither of us have energy for drama, complication, or added stress.  And our default is simple:  just keep kissing.

1 comment:

Domestic Diva said...

I really loved this entry, especially the part where you wrote that you don't have "the energy for drama or complication, your default is simple: Just keep kissing" That is just how Josh and I see it too. Why waste a single moment together fretting about circumstances we have no control over, or getting upset about them. Instead we just live it together, and love each other through it. Thank you for posting this, it was beautiful to read about a marriage that works under stress!