I am a military wife. I send my husband off to work everyday, just like you do. My husband just wears a uniform. I take my husband to the airport for trips away from home, just like you do. I face the very real possibility of sending my husband to war zone, I'm not sure that you do. I have to rip my family's roots out every 3 - 4 years to go someplace new either stateside or overseas, I'm not sure you do. Am I better than you? No. However, I will have to say I probably have a little more variety in my life than you. :)
Many people do not understand the military life - the moving, the deployments, the lousy pay, the bad hours. Many people do not understand why a woman or man chooses to marry into that lifestyle. Many people do not understand why we would choose to stay in that lifestyle. Why do we stay in a life that makes us leave our extended family? Why do we stay in a life that has us make friends only to tell them goodbye? Why do we stay in a life where our kids ask us if daddy is ever coming home? Why do we stay in a life that may take the life of the one we love best?
The truth is: I don't know. Some would say military spouses are stronger than the average spouse, but there is no way to validate that. Some would say we do it for love, but I know first hand that love does not make a deployment easier - it makes it harder! Some would say that we are special made for this life, and maybe we are. Maybe we were made with a mindset that allows us the flexibility and positive thinking it takes to be a successful military spouse.
I sit here writing this while I am thinking about my friend who is leaving this morning. I'm watch my husband get ready for work, knowing he has been up since 3 am to get ready for the day. I stare at his Blackberry with a unique hatred since it has the ability nothing else has to take my husband from me at a moments notice. Through all of this, I wonder what makes us as military spouses survive and even thrive.
We are a unique species, a varient of the spouse. My kids are pretty sure that I have super powers...after all I can be mom and dad. My friends think I'm some kind of saint for my level of patience and endurance. My parents think I'm a step above because I can do all this on my own with threee kids.
However, I'm not Supermom (oh, that hurts to say!). I get tired and plop my kids in front of the TV for peace and quiet. I'm not a saint. I can't tell you how often I have railed at God for the situations I find myself in. I'm not a step above. I'm simply doing the best I can.
I am proud of my husband and his service. I am proud to serve my husband in his service to our nation! Our life is one that not many people lead and few seem to understand. So when you meet a military spouse (if you are not one) please don't say "I don't know how you do it!". Just ask us how we are doing. Ask us if we need any help. You know, things you would do for nonmilitary spouses. If you are a military spouse please don't look a a young spouse and think "she's too weak for this, she won't make it." Ask her how she's doing and if she needs any help. In the end, we are all human, no matter what our spouse's job, and we all need each other.
Enjoy the day!