As I wait for my flight back to Missouri, I can’t help but laugh because the idea that I’m going “home” feels a bit like an oxymoron. Sure when we think about military life, we are told that home is where the heart is and while I am a grow where you are planted kind of gal today, in this moment, I call bullshit. Being far from family and friends makes my life as a military spouse hard.
For those looking for my normal positive spin, don’t worry my next military lifestyle post will have some great tidbit that comes from working through it all but for today, my struggle is real. And I’m struggling with the home is where your heart is concept, because frankly my heart is in 3 separate places right now. My heart is of course with my soldier, but it’s also with my son in Austin, and my daughter and her family in Lubbock – none of which feel like home. And that’s hard no matter how you cut it.
For me the absolute hardest part of being an army wife is the distance it puts between me, my children and my family in general. I hate that from our latest duty station, I am 3 flights away from my daughter and her family, almost 700 miles from my son and even farther from extended family. I long for days to just be with them all doing the little things.
This past weekend I went to see my daughter and her family, we had an absolute perfect visit, but as I sit here waiting to board my plane I find I’m angry. I’m frustrated that our military life makes it’s just a visit rather than being an active participant in their daily lives. I want to have sleepovers where I can get to wake up snuggled up next to my granddaughter because she snuck into my room during the wee hours of the morning. I want to take my son soup as he fights the nasty flu bug he picked up and I want to spend the day just hanging with my daughter enjoying each others company.
And most of all I want to do it more often than once every quarter, in between a TDY, or enroute to our next duty station. I want a home life that in this moment seems like a distant dream – one that let’s me be more than just a visitor.
Yes, my struggle is real because as I read this I’m faced with the fact that my ideal isn’t the reality that goes hand in hand with military life. Instead of participating, I’m left with Skype chats, phone calls and text messages – and sometimes that just isn’t enough.
On one hand I love this life and the opportunities and experiences that aren’t available anywhere else, on the other I long for the life I envisioned to have when my kids grew up. A life where I am able to participate in their lives without miles separating us knowing that an early morning snuggle or giggle fest over “daddy spiders” is only a short moment away.
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com