My head has been in a “fog” the past few weeks. I suppose that makes sense. We are getting ready to move…again. Last year we moved from Alaska to Pennsylvania, and now we are planning a move to the Washington D.C. area. Ah, the life of a military family!
Here’s the thing: many articles written about military spouses seem to tout their abilities to move from one continent to another and perfectly set up house in 48 hours. Sorry…I am calling BS on this. I know that there are plenty of folks who can do this…my own mother was one. But there are plenty of us who can’t (or who choose not to).
Just because I am am Army wife, and have been one for nearly 20 years, does not mean I automatically have the ability to perfectly organize all of my household goods. And you know what? That’s okay.
There is enough pressure involved in packing up our families and all of our worldly goods and transporting them to a new location, usually sight unseen, and trying to create a peaceful transition to a new home.
-Many times this happens in the middle of a school year and there is the added pressure of trying to get kids settled into their new schools immediately.
-And don’t forget about the working spouse who has to find a new job and possibly a new day care facility (because often there is no space in the on-post facility).
-And of course, our Soldiers have to jump into their new assignments, so they are sometimes not immediately available to help with the “home” side of things.
So why must we go on and on about how quickly and perfectly we are able to set up house and jump into a “new life.” It’s okay if it takes us a few weeks, or even months, to get things comfortable. I think most of us have that one box (or two…or ten) that has been following us around, unopened, for several moves. And again..that’s okay.
Having perfect curtains, an organized spice rack, and perfectly sorted seasonal clothing can be nice…but these things do NOT define you as a successful military spouse.
Your success as a military spouse depends more on your ability to be supportive of your Soldier while also speaking up for your needs as a person.
It depends on your willingness to be flexible and understanding of the changes that the military has to face daily based on decisions made by politicians, world events, and our country’s enemies.
It depends on your willingness to treat other military spouses with respect and hospitality, regardless of whether their Soldier outranks yours or vice versa.
Ultimately, your success as a military spouse depends on your success as a spouse. Your vows did not include hanging Stivers’ prints perfectly or promising to have a fabulous Polish pottery collection on display. They did, however, include fidelity and the promise to care for one another, come what may.
Now, please excuse me while I go sort through a couple of boxes that have been sitting in my rec room for nearly 6 months…we are moving again soon!