You’ve probably seen Army Wives or read a book depicting the adventures of military life, but if you’ve been in the military for longer than a minute, you know that they only tell part of the story. They show the romantic and glamorous side, sprinkled with a little bit of heartache. And a true military spouse knows that they leave out much of the hard truth.
They leave out the gut wrenching sobs that finally escape once the kids go to sleep the day he leaves for deployment. They don’t talk about the anxious worry that your soldier will return home and things will be different. They never discuss the times when we just want to throw our hands up and say “I’m Done”. And we all know they never share the fact that things like yoga/sweat pants and ball caps/hair accessories become wardrobe staples when they are off on a mission. Heck you know that they would never buy into the idea that showers become optional if you know you won’t be seen! (Yeah I said it!)
That’s the real stuff that this life demands. As military spouses we wear a lot of different hats, and have to make the shift at a moment’s notice. We are often
- House Manager
- Cleaning Crew
- Equipment Manager
This life isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a courage and strength. It takes planning and flexibility. And most of all it takes a whole lot of patience. Sure our spouses “help” with the kids, the house, the planning, but the reality is that the mission must come first.
And what does that REALLY mean in regard to military life? It means we are tired!
It means that we are the one who get up in the middle of the night, juggle the budget, decide what to make for dinner and deal with the principal when little Johnny decides he doesn’t want to go to school any more. We are the one who keeps the family going, the holidays joyful (even when we have one less plate at our table) and the days as normal as possible. And we are the one who comforts our children, our soldiers, our battle buddies and our extended families when the fear becomes reality.
The role that we have as a military spouse is significant. We are the backbone, the compass and all those other sayings that mean we are responsible for more than our fair share. We motivate, inspire and support our service member so they can do their job. We take care of the home front so they can do their job. We are the foundation upon which the military is built. Being a military spouse is about being a rare breed. Like a champion thoroughbred or a well trained soldier we must keep our physical and mental health at peak performance so we are prepared for any upcoming mission.
And you wonder why we are tired…..
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur 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