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I’ve always been an army girl, being a daughter of a military pilot and a wife of a lieutenant sort of labeled me with that stereotype. It was cool and exciting when I was a child and all my friends were impressed by my Dad who worked in the Egyptian Air Force, but I never thought that it was that hard. I grew up to become an army mom and here are things you might not have expected about our lives.
Single Mom (One-Man-Show)
Shocking as it sounds, we could be married for 10 years and spend most of them literally as single moms. Sometimes we can’t see our husbands for weeks or months, so we are the only ones who get to witness all the milestones; our kids’ first teeth, first steps, first day at the nursery, or first swimming class. You don’t have the luxury of getting a mani-pedi or attending any important event with your husband because he will be at work. You have to be resilient enough to manage a household single-handedly and if you struggle at first, you will get used to it.
Lowering your expectations will make you happy
One thing I always remind myself of is not to wait. We wait for phone calls on birthdays or planned family vacations that could be canceled in a minute. The bitter disappointments will eventually lead you to a conclusion; your husband’s commitments will always be a lifestyle and you will have to cope with the idea that he just might not be there whenever you or your kids need him. Just let it be.
Where’s my Dad?
“Where’s dad?” my kids ask. Your kids will never understand why he is always away, why his vacations are sometimes short, why they can’t just video-chat like their peers. Just when your kids adapt to his homecoming, they will just wake up the next day with “I’ve to go back to work” message. You do your best to make up for his absence and then all of a sudden someone just remembers that he hasn’t seen him in days, weeks, or months.
Multi-tasking like a pro
It is a well-known fact the women have a multi-tasking gift, but army wives do their husbands’ roles too. They go to the mechanic, they could change a tire, go to school interviews and handle being asked why the husbands are missing. We are just wonderful at handling emergency situations because we learned to be quick, smart, with the strength of a man and to keep our emotions aside.
We can’t do it sometimes
We always look like we have it together all the time, but it is so not true. The amount of stress is indescribable, the vague return dates, deployments, why his phone is switched off for days, your kids’ melancholic moods, the duties. I admit we have distractions, kids to raise, chores, and work but we will always need help to keep us sane. We will always appreciate a phone call, a simple outing, or just a simple “I’m gonna babysit your kids and just enjoy some alone-time.”
We hate these Questions
- “When will he return?”
- “Does it get better with time?”
- “How do you actually live?”
A face full of pity can be the worst thing you do to an army mom, we are just as confused as you are about his next deployment or next homecoming, we don’t know when it gets better or how we actually do it because we simply have no idea but we just do it.