A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on my personal blog and begged for encouragement. I asked my readers to tell me all the amazing things that they've accomplished. You know what? I wasn't disappointed. I am amazed, inspired by so many of the amazing things that women do every single day.
One comment from one of my readers planted itself firmly inside my brain. Weeks later, it still hasn't gone away. That reader said this:
I survived my husband's deployment of 15 months. I didn't always handle the pressure gracefully but my children lived to tell the tale. Now my husband is getting ready to deploy again in three months and I'm feeling a lot more prepared this time around.
Do you know why this comment has stayed with me? Because when it comes to being without my husband, I'm a big fat wimp. Mostly because I just love him so gosh dang much, I really hate not having him around. But also because he's my rock. He makes me better, stronger, less crazy, more normal. And... I don't like sleeping alone. (Unless it's 8 AM, the kids are watching cartoons and my husband is already at work. Then having my whole bed to myself is gloriously wonderful. Not that I would know or anything cause I would never do anything so irresponsible as stay in bed while my kids are watching cartoons and making themselves bowls of cereal in mixing bowls and tupperware containers.)
Right then. Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes. I don't like being away from my husband. One night last week, he had to work late. I expected him home around 7:30. When 7:30 came and went, and the clock rolled closer to 8, I wasn't worried. I knew he was with clients. It was reasonable to assume their meeting was running later than expected. Even still, a small flame of anxiety took residence in my belly. It wasn't worry... just a slight feeling of discontent that wasn't going to go away until I heard the sound of his truck pulling into the drive. It's the same feeling I get when my children are away from me. I'm not worried about them. I know they're fine. But really, I'm not one hundred percent fine until we are all together.
As I contemplated this feeling, and really rolled it around in my mind, I pondered what it must feel like to have that small flame in your belly for fifteen months. FIFTEEN! Do you know how long that is, people? That's an entire pregnancy, and then half way to a first birthday. That's saying goodbye to a kid about to finish the first grade, and coming home to a third grader. That's your newborn learning to walk, and talk and pick up his own cheerios. It's a lot.
So I'm thinking maybe I won't grumble anymore when I have to get four kids ready for church on Sunday mornings by myself because my husband is off to early meetings. Maybe I won't feel sorry for myself when he works late and I'm left to do bedtime and bath time alone. Maybe I'll grow up a little bit and realize that there are some incredibly amazing men and women all over this country, who in the name of service, in the name of freedom and protection of our God-given rights, deal with the anxiety of separation far more frequently than I do. They sacrifice in a big, big way. I'll remember that when I'm tucked in my nice comfortable bed with my husband sleeping comfortably beside me.
I know my Military Mom reader didn't make that comment to earn a pat on the back, though she most certainly deserves one. I imagine for her, what she deals with has simply become a part of life. But that doesn't make it any less awesome. So to her, and all the other military Moms and Dads out there...
You TOTALLY Rock.
MommyJ is an aspiring writer and stay at home Mom to four children (with number five on the way), including a vibrantly active set of 6 year old twins. She lives with her children and husband of ten years in a tiny town in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina - a place she considers the loveliest on earth. While she mourns the absence of any shopping options beyond Wal-Mart, she loves the presence of so many trees to help buffer the constant noisyness of her home. She hikes to enjoy time with her family, runs because her love for food requires it, writes to maintain her sanity and blogs as often as her crazy children and busy schedule allow on her personal blog, www.mommysnark.blogspot.com