March 13, 2017
It’s been a while since I wrote in this series. I wanted to keep it up during our last deployment but I just couldn’t. Being one person and taking on as much as I did last deployment was just plain stupid. We built our home, I moved TWICE, closed on TWO houses, own and ran my full time photography business, mothered a toddler and 2 dogs, took care of a rental home (that had HVAC issues and tree’s falling constantly), and so much more I can’t even list. It was the toughest four months of my life and things like blogging took a back seat. But not this time… I’ve learned to slow down and make time for myself and my writing.
In my very first installment of this series back in 2015, I wrote this:
“The Independent Dependent just seemed so fitting. I’m a ‘dependent’ of my husband in military terms. I “depend’ on him in the eyes of the military. But who do I depend on when the Navy takes him away from us? The word ‘dependent’ just confuses me. There is no woman stronger or more independent than a military spouse. For several months out of the year, every year, we have to remain 100% independent. This means I play the role of mommy and daddy. That I cook the meals and do the dishes. I throw the trash in the kitchen trash can and take it out as well. I take care of the house and the cars. I do everything. Playing the role of two people doesn’t seem very ‘dependent’ to me.”
Let that sink in for a moment. If you’re a military spouse, its already sank in because chances are, you’ve had to do at least one deployment or spent some time apart. If you’re not a military spouse…count your lucky stars and never ever take your spouse for granted.
Marriage is about team work. Dividing up the chores 50/50. He takes the trash out, I vacuum. He takes care of the cars and the yard and the outside of the home and I take care of the inside. I cook, he does the dishes. He bathes Aubree, I get 20 minutes of alone time that I haven’t had all day. He picks up my cravings because I’m pregnant and I indulge. I wash clothes, we fold together before bed. But when he’s deployed… I do it all by myself.
Alone. Lonely. On my own…everything.
It’s tough. The team work in our marriage is taken away by the military. There is no more us or 50/50. I think its one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn over the years of doing this. Add children and it just gets harder. There’s no longer a set of hands to help with things. Any mom knows we all need a break sometimes. We all need that 20 or 30 minutes each day to just hand the kid(s) over to dad when he walks in the door so we can decompress. But how do we do that when dad is deployed?
Here are some things I’ve learned to cope with the loss of team work from our 3 deployments in the last 2.5 years:
Just remember, while you’re holding down the fort and literally doing everything on your own, you can’t pour from an empty well. You need to fill your well in order to pour into the lives of your children. This is hard for them too, so take care of yourself in order to make sure you’re able to take care of everyone else around you.
Deployments don’t last forever, love. They have an expiration date (another AMEN!) and luckily, we get closer to it with each passing day. I’m rooting for you and cheering you on, independent dependents! This shit aint easy, but I think you’re rocking it!
Until next time, health and happiness. Xo.
PS: What topics would you like to see written in this series? What tips do you need to help you through these tough months? Comment below in the comments section — I’d love to hear from you! :)