Military Wives: The Need to be Flexible and Forgiving

I am part of the 1%: I am a military wife. If you know anything about military life, then you know I am not part of that 1%, the wealthy. No one gets rich from being in the military.

Ok, maybe it’s a higher percentage, but I’m not so sure.

What does it look like, and feel like, to be a military wife, some have asked me, so I thought I’d take a moment to jot it down, while it’s fresh on my mind.

A military wife is often the invisible support of a military member, while being the least considered when arrangements are made for the military member to be sent somewhere far away. We are never asked if it’s a good time, are never included in the planning, do not get to call in sick from our supportive duties, and we are on a permanent volunteer basis as part of the support system that helps things remain operational, so we never get a raise or bonus. Our health is not a consideration, our careers are not a priority, and our owned homes and belongings are expendable. Our lives are often littered with a smattering of being both parents while our loved one is deployed or on a temporary assignment, and moving, sometimes at just a moment’s notice.

Arguments are often non-existent when our husband is about to be sent somewhere, or we argue more often than usual, as we struggle to balance fear of what could happen with the responsibility of holding down the fort, alone.

We manage household finances, everyday life, meals and children, expertly, and many times with minimal or no support or help.

We celebrate anniversaries, holidays and birthdays alone, over the phone/webcam, or late. We hug our children extra hard, kiss their boo-boo’s for 2, and comfort our children when they wake up in the middle of the night crying, because they miss their daddy.

We plan birthday parties and special events to take our kids’ minds off of their dad not being there, and we plan surprise homecoming parties or events to maximize the relief and excitement of our beloved American hero returning back home to us.

This lifestyle has tamed me and shaped me into a responsible, appreciative wife and mom, and even through the disappointments, cancelled plans, and struggles with making ends meet, I would not trade this life, right now, for anything.

I’ll check back in with you all after my retirement and our transition back into the civilian lifestyle. 😉

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