Totally, 100% stole the bulk of the title from Diana over at DianaDivulges.com. She’s become kinda my “I want to be just like her” blog mom that I follow. Catholic, hilarious IG stories, real talk on life, lives in Louisiana. I digress…
She just wrote a post titled “Your Shift-Working Husband Deserves Better” and it really spoke to me. I don’t have a shift-working husband, actually I’ve never been the dependent on any shift-working breadwinner of a family, or even civilian for that
matter. My husband is military and so was my father. I really can’t relate to a shift working hubby at all, but this post made me think about how I perceive, encourage, nag, vent to my military working husband. So it made me think… our military husbands deserve better, a lot better.
This life is hard, its rough, they’re gone a lot and we “solo” parent a lot (side note: hate calling it single parenting because that’s a whole other ball game that I, pray to God, will never have to experience. I just have to do it all solo sometimes not completely alone, just physically solo… a lot). And I’m really good at complaining to my husband about it. When he’s on these glorious TDYs (work trips that aren’t deployments for all you non-military folk out there) and he’s eating out, sleeping in a hotel room – I get so JEALOUS. Really jealous. Like gotta go to confession about my resentful-jealousness. I wish I could be in a room alone for days/weeks, eating out, having someone clean my room, talking with other adults for hours at a time. Ahhhh the life. But in the midst of all of my self pity and complaining, I forget that he deserves more than my self pity and complaints.
I forget that he has missed our kids firsts, a lot of firsts. Birthdays, holidays, walking, words, joys, boo boos, memories. I don’t miss any of those. I’m always here. iPhone in hand taking all the pictures. He has to experience these things via photo or video, more often than not.
I forget that, although I am on call mom 24/7, he is on call 24/7 also. And sometimes his “on call” means breaking my or my kids hearts when he has to tell me he can’t be home, or has to leave, or we have to move and leave everyone we know, or is going
somewhere dangerous sometimes for a really long time.
I forget that he leaves us, unwillingly, for months – because his country needs him. Knowing darn well he could loose his life. That is something I can’t even wrap my head around. This man that loves me and our kids with his whole heart, also loves his country with his whole heart too. He knows only 1% of American’s do this and he feels called to be part of that 1% willing to loose his life to protect the liberties for which this country stands.
I forget that he, while deployed, lives through alarms waking him up at all hours because a suicide vest has been thrown over the walls of his compound and they’re on lockdown. Or mortars or rocket propelled grenades… but don’t worry ya’ll – he doesn’t complain. You better believe my annoying, self-pity self, I’m sure that same day, complained about the sweet, innocent, non-bomb-threatening, nursing baby waking me up in the middle of the night. (Cue “what a brat I am” guilt.)
I forget that he thinks about all the things I don’t have to. I don’t have to worry about his career track, being evaluated or when he needs to get whatever done to promote to the next rank – and those are big, heavy things to always have to worry about. He’s actually got to worry about every word/decision that comes out of his mouth that it won’t somehow ruin a career down the line. Sure, I worry about poop consistency, fevers, grocery shopping, physically setting up bill payments, being to Taekwondo on time, health and wellness of my family but I pretty much don’t ever have to worry about if my husband will have a job or money for food or insurance or anything we need. He’s a rockstar and he busts his butt every day and guess what… he doesn’t complain.
I forget that he comes home every day with a smile on, can’t wait to hold and play with these kids, who will – in the 2 hours they get to see him, run him absolutely ragged even after I’ve spent the entire day complaining how awful they’ve been via text to him.
I could take a note out of his book about the complaining, not sure why he wants to come home to us when I’ve spent all day complaining, but he does. He can’t wait to be home and with the kiddos.
“The grass is always greener” but really when I break it down and really think of it, I’ve got it pretty darn good!
Heck, I’ve even complained (like I did at the beginning of this post) about his TDYs which are all work, just different “work” than I do. Very little play (when most of my day is quite literally play, and I’m complaining!). Right now he’s not only going through some schooling the Air Force requires of him which means nightly homework, tests, papers, research, practical evaluations and all that but he’s ALSO working to complete his masters degree online – not in something easy or fun, but in Aerospace physics/engineering something smart people study-ology. All for the future of our family, our security, our happiness.
I may have the weight of the next 24 hours on my shoulders but this man, he carries the weight of our entire lives on his.
He deserves better than my constant nagging or pity party throwing, I really need to cut the poor guy some slack and give him the praise, appreciation and love he deserves.
The media often celebrates the strength and sacrifices military service men and women make and often we spouses sit back thinking “me too!! I sacrifice a lot to!!”. And we do, boy do we – but I think sometimes we let ourselves forget their perspective and loose some of our gratitude towards them.
This life ain’t easy on the ones left behind but it really ain’t easy on the ones doing the leaving.
And our military husbands deserve better.
(PS I love you babe, and I can’t wait until you come home. Sorry for the complaining. I’ll lock it up. You da BESSSS.)