Michelle and I worked at camp together back in the day, and it’s been fun to see her journey over the years from college to the Navy to marriage and babies and moves and mamahood – and to cheer her on from afar. It takes one tough cookie to be a military spouse, and as to not minimize the situation, Michelle and all the other men and women in your position, truly, I salute YOU! (To keep cheering on the Hailes, and hear more about their everyday life, check out Pink Hydrangea Shop).
within two weeks, i got out of the navy, quit working and had my daughter. it was a wonderful and overwhelming time. for the first time in my life, i didn’t have a lot to “do”. i mean, there were diapers to change and a baby to feed, but i didn’t have to be out the door by a certain time or deadlines to keep.
it was a lonely time – and it was what i had wanted for 26 years. all i ever wanted was to be a stay at home mom. and all of a sudden, that’s what i was, and it was different than i expected. it was hard to change my view of my community. for so long, i had found community and friends in work or school.
don’t get me wrong: i wouldn’t trade it for the world, then or now, but it took some getting used to, as does being a military spouse.
this spring, after i had our third child, my husband left for a deployment for the first time since we had kids. i had an eight week old, and he was going to be gone for almost eight months. it, again, was a scary time. and a lonely time. thankfully, there were other wives in the same boat, and there are worse places to be left than hawaii!
i am so thankful to be surrounded by a group of amazing women who completely understand what it is like to be husband-less for long periods of time.
one day, the kids awoke throwing up. one of said wives came over to keep the peace (but not too close to the kids) so i could go run for 20 minutes. to quote reese witherspoon in legally blonde, “exercise releases endorphins. endorphins make you happy. and happy people don’t kill people!!!”
then, while i was running, another wife, who had heard we were sick, dropped off dinner so that i didn’t have to cook. it was those kinds of things that made deployment enjoyable: knowing that i had friends, a community, surrounding me. i had people i could call when the days were worst, and people who were around to keep life fun!
i loved standing on the pier with that community when my husband came home. together, we cried and cheered when we saw the ship. we had lived for eight months as a family.
they understood when the phone rang at odd hours and i would rush out to talk.
they would keep an eye on the kids, so i could talk, uninterrupted, for the duration of the five minute phone call.
they listened to my tears when the phones didn’t work and those phone calls didn’t come.
i couldn’t imagine my life without this community. i love being a part of the military community, even with all of the trials and long separations.
Thank you, Michelle. Would you like to write a post about how your community has made the difference in your life? Message Cara today! Otherwise, help Cara’s writing continue to grow by becoming a fan of Be, Mama. Be on Facebook, or by heading the Home page, and clicking on FOLLOW button in the left-hand column.0