Wednesday, May 9, 2012

...on Being A Military Wife

Life has truly been awesome since we got married.  I have been absorbed into his family like I've belonged with them my whole life.  It's such a good feeling to never have to complain about the "dreaded" in-laws!  They are such great people and I'm fortunate that I am now one of them :)

Moving in was a big change.  I have been away from my friends and family for the first time in my life.  Yes, I know that I'm not "far" by most standards, but like Sam Gamgee says, "It's the furthest from home I've ever been."  I've had to rely on my husband for many things - I don't have friends close by, so he invites me everywhere.  I don't have family close by, so we go to his parents' house a lot.  I don't have a job yet, so he's helping pay my student loans.  All together, it has been a rough transition (and still is!)  I have been financially independent for a long time.  Having to ask someone for money was embarrassing to me!  Being home all day is not fulfilling.  I do dishes, laundry, take care of the cats, etc...  but it never feels like enough.  David never makes me feel this way, but I always feel like I should do more than sit around the house.  I got a job as a lifeguard on base, so I'll be bringing in money very soon.  I can't wait for that.  Luckily, I have the most supportive husband in the entire WORLD.  He has stepped up every single time that I needed him.  When I was unable to cope with so much change, he was there to hold me and let me cry it out.  What did I do to deserve this man?  I don't know... but I am the luckiest girl on the planet to have him.

The fun part about moving in was getting access to things on base.  Free stuff?  YES PLEASE!  It's been such a fun adventure learning about military life - there are so many good people on base who make it a point to welcome new members, teach them about base, teach them about military life, and support them when Uncle Sam calls their spouse to duty.  The LINKS organization really tugged at my heart strings when I took the class for spouses - I'm training later this week to become a volunteer mentor who helps teach parents/spouses/children about the military.  I cherish all of the friendships that I've developed over the past few months.

Mostly, my days are all the same.  I wake up with David around 5-6am and make him scrambled eggs for breakfast while he shaves and gets dressed.  We sit at the table, eat, talk about what our plans are for the day, and he leaves for work.  I rarely go back to bed afterward, so I'll usually check email/Facebook for a bit while I sip coffee and wake up.  Then I start with daily chores and errands.  It can get mundane sometimes, but I like the feeling of knowing that I'm taking care of my husband and keeping him from getting stressed out over what he needs to get done on top of a full workday.  When he was single, he never ate breakfast, would go to work, come home stressed and tired, would sometimes skip dinner and go straight to bed.  He was able to do shopping and errands on the weekend, if he was lucky.  He definitely makes me feel very important for all of the things I do around the house, even the tiniest and most insignificant things!

He'll say: "Awww, we're out of my yogurt."
I'll say: "No, we're not, babe!  Check in the refrigerator door."
He'll say: "Oh my gosh, you're the best wife ever!  I love you."

I'm not even kidding.  That's how it goes.  He's so appreciative of everything, and it's amazing.  To all of the husbands out there, make sure you tell your wife how cool she is for doing the little things... she'll appreciate it, I'm sure!

David and I will text/email each other during the day, and he always calls me as he leaves the gates from base.  I usually have dinner cooking and it's ready when he gets home.  He'll walk in the door, immediately dispose of his uniform on the living room floor, take a deep breath and say, "WOW!  Smells great!"  See, it's the little things :)  We sit down at the table together, talk about what we did that day, listen to music, check the new posts on Imgur, and then go to bed by 9pm.  We wake up and repeat.

Some days I'll bring lunch to the office and hang out with him there... Over the course of the last month, I met and became instant friends with the Family Readiness Officer (FRO) at our unit.  She is a civilian employee (nope! not a member of the military!) and her job is to give the families of the Marines all of the information about deployment and help us have fun!  We did Jane Wayne day where the wives get to shoot guns, run a Combat Fitness Test, eat MREs, and play Marine for the day.  She gets to put on unit events for families, spouses, etc. and then she does other things like morale boosters for the Marines.  Her first program was Combat Cookies where a group of us wives baked cookies and sent them to all of the Marines in our unit.  That was fun!  She helps spouses in so so so many other ways, too.  She helps out when the Marines are deployed and spouses don't know who to contact in case of an emergency (remember that the spouses are hundreds, even thousands of miles from home!)  I've been hanging out with the FRO and have become close friends with her.  We are able to relate on a lot of things (losing friends, coping with deployment, etc.)  She asked me to become her assistant, so I took some training on base to learn how to go about doing that... Again, I met some really great people!  So now I am the unit's AFRO, hahahahaha.  That's what the guys call me, anyway, and I love it.  I really feel like I'm part of the family.

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