Friday, April 29, 2016
When Being A Military Family Gets Tough
I usually write upbeat posts about being in the military because for the most part, I love this life. I know my military kids will be stronger because of it. I know my kids will get to experience so many different things that other kids never will.
However, there are definitely a lot of sad aspects to being with someone in the military. Here are some things we've gone through that have squeezed my heart.
1. "Why does Clara get to have her daddy all the time?"
My daughter once asked this. She goes to school with kids who aren't part of military life and when she was really little, she didn't understand why some daddies were always around and why hers had to go away so much.
2. Sometimes the fights aren't nice.
I once said to Tom in a sarcastic way, "It sure is awesome raising these kids alone most of the time," when I found out he was deploying again. I apologized soon after, but sometimes this life can cause excess stress.
3. It's difficult to plan.
Every time we've planned a vacation, it always gets ruined by a deployment. Tom was supposed to be able to come to Disney World--he even got the go ahead that he'd be good to go so I booked tickets--and then he was told, oops, sorry, we need you to deploy.
4. You hear people bashing the military at times and it takes all your strength not to throw your shoe at them.
They don't get it. They'll never get it. I once heard a man ranting about how the military got a discount and he, as a plumber, did not. Well sorry dude, risk your life for your country and maybe you'll get a damn discount.
5. "Wait Daddy! Say goodbye! Are you leaving for a long time again?"
After Tom got back from being in Korea for a year, Natalie was afraid whenever he'd leave the house. She assumed he'd be gone for months and months. Watching your little girl chase her daddy out to the driveway and attach herself to his leg? It stings.
6. PCSing can be heartbreaking, especially if you have friends.
I hate saying goodbye to great people. But at the same time, I know I can stay in contact with them via Facebook. It is sad when your kids cry and say, "But what if I can't make new friends at the new base?" However, each time my kids have been able to meet new people fairly quickly. Well. My daughter can. She talks to everyone. My son has autism so he's quiet.
7. Getting used to a whole new base is tricky.
..especially if you get lost easily, as I do. See, when you're at a place for a few years you get to know the stores around you. The workers become your friends. They know exactly how you like your drink prepared or what sort of items you're looking for when you enter their store. When you arrive at a new base, you have to find "your" people all over again. You have to find all your favorite stores. This all eventually happens, but usually by the time you find your groove it's time to move again.
8. Yay! Let's pack and unpack all over again.
I hate PCSing only because we have a lot of stuff. I could get rid of said stuff, but I love my stuff. So packing up can take a bit. Unpacking takes even longer. Living out of boxes is never any fun. And if you don't know where you'll be living when you arrive at the new base? It can get chaotic. You can be stuck in a hotel for over a month and when you have kids, it's rough.
Yes, military life can have it's downs. But it mostly has ups. I find the good outweighs the bad. I'll always love this life and when we go through difficult times?
Well, there's chocolate.