February 4, 2011

Finding What Works For You

After years of being an Army wife I've learned that you really have to find your own style so to speak. When your husband is gone you have to figure out how to survive. Speaking from experience, you may not figure it out on the first few weeks, or even months of the first deployment or other long separation, but I promise that eventually you will.

I've tried too many things to count to get me through the lengthy times away from my husband. Each wife has her own hobbies, pass times, parenting styles, and interests. Some wives get deeply involved in the FRG (family readiness group) which is just military speak for a family support network. Some wives move home to be with their families, some wives become involved at church. There is a whole world of activities and things to do to get through. The key is finding a place for yourself in the world without your spouse.

It's taken me a while to figure out how to get through the separations and still have my sanity. For example, I blog. I write to share my experiences with women like me. It's always nice to know that you're not alone when you feel that way, with no family near by to help take care of the kids. That is just one of the ways I survive. But what I do to keep myself together and get through each day is different from what the wife next to me may do.

At every post you go to, there will always be the wives who volunteer for everything, take all the pictures for home comings and other events, cook all the food for the luncheons. And then there are the wives who don't want to be involved at all. I've found my place somewhere in between. I love to volunteer to be part of the family groups. It helps me stay connected to what is happening to my soldier while he's gone. But I like to do things where I am removed from the Army as well. I also enjoy my solitude.

To let you in on a little secret, sometimes my house is a mess. Some days I just plain give myself a break. I don't fold the laundry, I don't worry about the dishes, or mopping the floors. I let my 4 year old have cupcakes for dinner. I just spend the day having fun with my children. They need it as much as I do. On these days I am a kid too.

No matter what gets you going, always remember that there are others out there that are going through the same thing that you are. You are not alone. I've found that the internet is a military wife's best friend when looking for people or places that appeal to me. So if you feel alone, look around. We're out there.

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