Posts Tagged ‘deployments’

It’s So Quiet!

The kids are in bed.  I’m watching one of my favorite movies from when I was in high school (“The Breakfast Club”).  And it is so quiet.  I’m having a hard time with the quiet.  No one to talk with.  Just me and my thoughts.  And I really don’t want to listen to the things going on in my head right now.

It’s during the quiet that I have the hardest time.  I think of all the things that could happen to my husband.  I fire up the computer and read what’s happening in the world and then I start to worry more.  I am a Christian and I do believe that it is in God’s hands.  I just wish the silence wouldn’t allow the fear and worry to creep in.  The say that worry is doubting God.  I really need to push it out of my head.

So for now, I’ll try to get lost in the movie and pray the worries away.


And I Thought it was Just the Kids Making Me Tired…

Added to the depression that I’ve been dealing with for years, last year, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  When the doctor first asked me, “Have you been feeling tired?, I laughed at her and said, “I’m the mother of 4!  Am I supposed to feel any other way?”  I had no idea that I shouldn’t be as tired as I was.  After a few months of taking meds and more blood tests, we got, what we thought, as the right dose.  I was sleeping better and waking up refreshed!!

About a month ago, I started to get very tired again and I started gaining weight for no real reason.  My husband was deploying, we were eating out more, and just plain busy, but I never felt it was anything that should be knocking me on my butt the way it was.  For the past few days I’ve been so tired that when I woke in the morning I could go back to sleep with in the next hour.  Not something that a mother of 4 needs can afford to do except at night!  So I made a doctor’s appointment!

I went this morning and by this evening, I got the message from my doctor that my thyroid test came back at a level of 6.89… that is HIGH!  Regular levels for adults is anywhere from 0.4 – 4.2.  While I’m bummed that my thyroid has gone wonky again, I’m really glad that it’s only going to take a med adjustment to fix this.

Here’s to a better nights sleep!!!

Getting Use to Him Being Gone

We all are getting use to Hubby being gone.

K can’t wait for the phone to ring in hopes that it’s Daddy.  R is not ignoring the phone and not wanting to talk to Daddy.  A is acting as if nothing is different.  Then there is T, she has become my new appendage!

Being almost 4, she just doesn’t understand why Daddy has gone.  It’s like she’s afraid I’m going to leave too.  She follows me everywhere again, as if she was a toddler again.  I’m doing the dishes and she’s there.  In the laundry room, she’s there.  And of course, we all know that mothers can not go to the toilet on their own.  (I believe that’s in the child handbook!)  I do love that she wants to be with me, but getting the chores done is becoming difficult.  But in the end, we will make it work.

As for me, I’ve got my ways too.  Since it’s summer time and all the shows are in reruns, Netflix will be my new best friend.  I started watching “Mad Men” tonight.  It was one of those shows that I always wanted to watch, but didn’t get the chance.  Filling my quiet evenings with things to do is hard for me.  It’s so quiet.  No adult conversation.  Then there is going to bed.  I try real hard to go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Unfortunately, getting into the bed is easy… falling asleep is the hard part.  I miss having his warm body next to me.  Fingers crossed, I will learn to fall asleep easier as the time goes by.

He’s Deployed… Again…

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’ve been busy.  When hubby is home, I tend to want to do more with him.  With him leaving, I need to have an emotional and creative outlet.  So here I am again, facing our third deployment.

And wow, have things changed from our other deployments.  During the first, I had one toddler.  The second I had two toddlers and a kindergartener.  Now, I have 3 in school (5th, 2nd, 1st) and a preschooler!!  While I don’t think any deployment is easy (being separated from your loved one never is), with each stage of our lives, it gets more challenging.

Drop off was this morning.  My husband has yet to deploy with a unit.  That means that our deployments consist of us driving him to the airport and saying good-bye there.  No rallies or grand send-offs with our Army family – just us.  My oldest K (11 1/2), she started crying first.  She remembers the last time and what it’s like to miss him.  She’s also old enough that she understands world events and even goes to school with children whose parents didn’t return from deployments.  She has sadness and fear in her eyes.

R (8 1/2) is my only son.  He has been insisting for months that Daddy can’t go to war because he’ll get killed.  How to do calm his nerves, but in the same breath have to understand that there is a chance that his father could get killed?  We kept telling him that while it is dangerous, Daddy was going to do his best to stay safe and that we just keep praying to God that he does remain safe.

Then the last two A (almost 7) and T (almost 4) are sad to see Daddy go, but just don’t have the grasp of exactly what is going on.  This is also the first time that T has ever seen her father leave for more than a weekend. She didn’t want to let him go at the airport.  I haven’t seen her hug him that long and hard since she broke her arm!!

I’ve also changed.  I’m older and a bit more cynical.  I put on a brave face and try to keep my tears to myself.  My faith has gotten me through this twice and I know it will do it again.  It will take me a few weeks to get used to sleeping alone; without his arms around me as a drift off to sleep.  And then, before long, we will get into a routine that doesn’t include him.  But in the end, we look forward to having him back to learn our new routine!!

Deployments and Being Lonely

Lately I’ve been reading military spouse blogs about how lonely they are without their husbands.  Now don’t get me wrong — I do get lonely without my husband, but it’s not a constant feeling.  And I don’t dwell on it.  I get out and keep myself from being lonely.  Everyone has the right to their feelings, but to say in general statements that all Army Wives are lonely is a big mistake.

To start, let’s look at the word lonely as “Webster” sees it.

Lonely — \ˈlōn-lē\

  1. being without company, cut off from others
  2. not frequented by human beings
  3. sad from being alone
  4. producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation

During a deployment, I am never without company — I have children that are there and I make sure to surround myself with friends that do understand what I am going through.  One of the pluses of living in a military community is having those types of people around.  That covers the human beings part and not being alone.  I, personally, never understand those people who “move home” when there husbands are deployed.  I think that this causes more problems for the one left behind. 
Living in a community that has a military installation makes life easier.  All the resources you need are there.  Support groups, commissary, childcare, clinics, etc.  I don’t feel that enough people take advantage of the opportunities that are given on the military bases.  FRG’s (if run correctly), AFTB, and Family Support Centers can help everyone — and it turn, getting involved can give you an opportunity to give back by volunteering at those some places.  You can pass your knowledge onto other spouses that may be currently going through something that you were able to deal with earlier in your life. 
Besides all the benefits living near a military installation, I don’t move because that is my home.  I don’t want to up-root my family any more than I have too.  We’ve been married for almost 10 years and we’ve lived in 6 different places.  I hate moving on a good day, so why move anymore then I have too! 
Do I miss my husband?  Yes.  It is not easy to have him half way around the world, but I can not stop living because we are apart.  I lived on my own before I was married and I can do so now.  It just means that I need to be my own person. 
There is a time that I do get lonely — is late at night, when I should be asleep, but the bed is cold without him.

Just a Little Rant About Women!!!

I have always believed that if women would be better mentors to each other, we could take over the world!  I run into too many women that would rather stab you in the back and think that they are better than you!!!  I’m not that kind of women.  It gets me hurt sometimes, but I feel that my friendships are stronger for being the way that I am.

I bring this up because of a blog that I ran across recently.  I’m not even going to share the link because it’s not worth it.  This blogger happens to be both a soldier and an Army wife.  And instead of understanding how difficult it can be for Army wives, she bashed us.  She felt that we were all a bunch of whiney women that sat around “drinking iced tea and catering to our red, white and blue families”.  Nice, huh?  Overall, I found that she was bitter and angry because she choose a path that did not make her happy.  She complained about how some Army wives said that the were “on their second deployment”.  Stating that we (Army wives) weren’t on a deployment”  Sorry lady, but we (Army families) go through deployments together, even if, we ourselves are not “deployed”. 

Now don’t get me wrong, are there some Army wives that are chronic complainers.  “Oh woe is me, my husband is gone and all I am is lonely and unable to live normally.”  We all know those types of wives, but I’m not willing to disregard their feelings to make myself feel better or look like I am a better person.  And we all have those moments, but some of us choose to remain positive and live the best we can with or without our husbands.  One piece of advice I was given before I married my husband was, “You have to learn to live with him and learn to live without him”.  This is so true!  (Check out my post about that statement here.)  So when I meet the “chronic complainer”, instead of criticizing her, I try to help her see the bright side and help you make it easier for her. 

To me, this soldier/wife blogger is no different then the women that fight over who has it harder, the working mom or the stay-at-home-mom.  Everyone has their difficulties and everyone has it easier in different ways.  So let’s stop bashing each other, try to be more sympathetic and empathetic.  It would make the world a better place.

Living with the “New Normal”

Another blogger was brought to my attention through a military e-mail that I received.  Her name is Rebekah Sanderlin.  She blogs for the Fayetteville Observer, is married to a soldier that has completed 3 tours in Afghanistan and is a mom of two.  Her commentary “Military Families Learning to Live With ‘New Normal'” hit the NPR airwaves this week and, for me, she hit the nail on the head!

For those of you that don’t know, I am living at my parents’ house in NY, while my husband is already at his next duty station in the United Kingdom.  We are waiting on our visas so that the kids and I can join him.  Well, after dropping off my son at pre-school, my little girl wanted to go get bagels (we are really hoping they have bagels in the UK, but I fear she will be very disappointed!)  At the bagel shop, we ran into my cousin, Billy.  Billy is a dying breed — he is a farmer on eastern Long Island.  Just like his father and both of his grandfathers before him.  Being surprised to see me, he asked what we were doing in town.  I explained to him briefly what was happening and his response was, “Moving around must be so hard on the kids”.   For Billy, the idea of relocating your family multiple times (let alone just once) is foreign.  Billy and I grew up on the same street; amidst the farmland that was our families.  I left for college at 18 and only come back to visit.  Billy moved from his parents’ home to his home with his bride.  For Billy, my life is anything but normal!

After parting ways, I thought about what he said and realized that moving is normal for my children.  They know that we change houses and make new friends all the time.  Then I listened to Mrs. Sanderlin’s NPR commentary and realized what is normal for us, goes much farther then relocation. 

Military families face new issues with the repeated deployments.  And, taking from what Mrs. Sanderlin said, this is our normal.  We are use to our loved ones going on year long deployments and not knowing if/when they will be back.  Our younger children are unsure when daddy/mommy is home if he/she will be at the dinner table that evening or if it will be months before we see each other again.  Personally, the one comment that hit me the hardest was when she said, “we don’t know the long term effects” that our lifestyle will have on our children.  We are the first generation that has had to deal with repeated and lengthy deployments. 

But our children do have the so called “normal” life too.  We have little league, dance lessons, school plays, etc.  It’s just that sometimes, it is only one parent that can be there — that is different then “one parent that could be there” or “one parent that choose to be there”.  As military parents, we try hard to give our children all of those fun things, regardless of the uncertainty that our lives have.