"I could never do that." and "I could never move that much."
I truly hate these phrases. I realize they're used as a way of showing empathy and trying to connect. However, these phrases make me feel like I am on a sort of pedestal. A pedestal that they feel is somehow reserved for someone stronger than them, or someone foolish enough to live it. My reply is generally along the lines of "It's not easy but you do what you need to."
This lifestyle isn't something I really married into. My husband was a reservist at the time and had a full time job. I knew that he went to drill on weekends and to trainings sometimes during the month. I knew that deployment was a possibility. We got married and intended to put down roots and stay in our cozy little community in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. However, when the stress, anxiety and depression caused by his job became overwhelming, we made the decision for him to become an active duty soldier. Because of the type of job he has, we've only spent 350 days on a military post, the rest of the time has been "on the economy". That means that instead of being surrounded by military families that have similar experiences, we are surrounded by civilians that don't always "get it".
I didn't grow up dreaming of moving my children in December every few years. The army chooses when and where we go, it's not my choice. I choose to be a stay at home mom and support my husband in a career in which he excels and one he gets incredible job satisfaction from.
I grew up near an Air Force Base, and had some dreams of moving around when I was in high school. I lived in the same house for 18 years. But, after 6 years at 3 different colleges, I was more than happy to settle down to raise our daughter with roots that were deep and wide.
My daughters are getting a much different upbringing than what we had envisioned. They are becoming resilient. Resilient is a BIG catchword in the Army. There's actually "Resiliency Training". My girls are learning about different people, different places and how to step out of their comfort zones much earlier in their lives and with much more ease than many adults I've met.
Moving isn't easy. Moving isn't particularly fun. Not moving isn't an option. I love my husband. I love my little family. I would not choose to keep us apart just to not have to move. "Wither thou goest, I will go. Where thou stayest, I will stay..." Ruth 1:16
What I really want to say is that if you love your family and your husband you will do what is best for both of them, easy or not. You will find strength where you didn't know you could find it. You suck it up, pack the Christmas tree, decorations and the elf on the shelf. You make sure the elf appears in a different spot in all the hotels you stay in along the way, to reassure your girls that Santa will be able to find them at their new house. You make sure the first thing in the house is the tree and that it's decorated, often before another stick of furniture arrives. No matter how attached you are to your current local friends or geographic location you go and do because that's part of loving your family.
|In 2009, we spent the months of November and December in a hotel, part of the rooms décor was a tree, so we decorated it. Fortunately we were able to go to my moms for Christmas eve and day.|
|We decorated the window too!|