Category Archives: Military Wife Life

Coping with redeployment adjustments

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Ok so a lot of people told me on my last post about Honesty and Blogging that I should just throw caution to the wind and write my feelings, so here is the start of that.

Lately I have been feeling a little overwhelmed, and life has been pretty hectic, I have started some new ventures, the munchkins are back in school, and we are all trying to adjust to life with Daddy back.

A lot of people look forward to the return of their loved one from deployment and I am not unlike those people, I counted hours until the day I would see him again, I even decided to move back because I was sick of being away from him,  A lot of people will also talk about how great it is to have them home, and how much better life is with them home and in some ways they are right, of course life is “better” I mean you no longer have to sleep alone, you no longer have to worry about their safety, you no longer are a single parent, things of that nature, and of course it is nice to have them home, after all you love them, but what people don’t talk about a lot is the adjustment.  You see it’s not so simple when they come home because they are used to being without their family, they are used to being in a war zone, they are used to only having to think about themselves.  You are used to not having them there, you are used to your routine, you are used to doing things your way and by yourself. So when you come back together it is a little like first moving in with someone, you have to learn to live with each other again, and it is not always easy.  While they are away you forget about the things that drove you completely up the wall, and while they are gone they have usually missed you so much that they are convinced they won’t do those things anymore.  As an example my husband happens to be an xbox, tablet, computer addict, It seems like no matter what when he is not at work he has a controller or electronic in his hand, before he left for deployment I told him he would miss us and not his xbox, because he much of the time spent very little time with us.  and while he was deployed he told me how right I was and how much he had been thinking about it, and how he was going to change when he got home, and he did for about a week, then things went right back to the way they were before. He would come home from work and go straight to the game, and usually will stay on it for most of the night,  if we were having a conversation he would have his tablet in his hand doing something else. and I was frustrated, I am frustrated, For one I used to be a gamer too, I loved to play, but once we had children and responsibilities I stopped playing and I feel like I am the only one who had to sacrifice, and it frustrates me, besides that I get upset that I left my family in New York, made a 5 day drive home, and put a lot of work into being able to be here only to watch him play his electronics, I feel like I could have been lonely(maybe even less lonely) had I stayed in New York.  Needless to say this has been causing some tension and he keeps trying to work on it, but I have lost faith in that because he has been saying that for years.  I want to feel like I come before the electronics and I don’t.  With that said I do not think that he should never play, I just wish he could control the amount of time he does.  Another adjustment takes place with the munchkins, they are used to only listening to me, they are used to always coming to me, and he is used to not having to deal with children.  This can be tricky because it’s almost as if he doesn’t always know how to handle them, and he gets upset too easily, It’s also as if they don’t always know how to handle him, mainly because they do not really know what his expectations are because him and I have different parenting techniques( It may be a lot easier if we could get on the same page, but that has always been a hard part) this gets easier as the days go by, and eventually they will all be used to each other again, but for awhile it causes some frustration.  You also have to deal with the fact that your loved one probably seen some messed up stuff during deployment and it changes them a little, you never know how it will change them and you usually learn it a little at a time.  Not all of the changes are negative, but they are changes and some of them can be negative.  My husband tends to get upset and agitated so much quicker these days, and I usually have to find ways to adjust so that I do not end up aggravated and upset as well.  He also views things a little differently, some of them in a better way and some in a negative way, but rather the change is good, bad, or indifferent it is still change and you still have to learn, just like in the beginning of a relationship at about the time it has reached the comfortable time period and the very real part of your partner starts to come out and you learn new things about them a little at a time. Another adjustment is you yourself, because let’s face it chances are you have changed too, and just like you are learning about them again, they are learning the new things about you.

Yes I am thrilled he is home, Yes it is also difficult, there I said it!

I don’t usually write blogs like this, mostly because I do not want my husband to be upset about it, and I also don’t want people to view my husband as a bad person, because over all he is not, but I would like to be able to write them, because far too many people do not write or talk about it because they are afraid that they will look like bad people if they say anything negative about living with their partner again, and  I want other people to know they are not alone, and that adjusting to life after deployment can be hard even if you are extremely happy your loved one is home.

Who’s there? DADDY!

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Even though we did an extremely long car ride to get home C didn’t know that Daddy would be here when we got here.  She knew he was coming soon, but that was about it, so when we first got here we had her knock on the door and I videotaped her reaction.  It was kind of funny because she froze for a couple seconds like she couldn’t process what was going on.

A did know Dad was going to be here, and he was also excited to see him, although he was also pretty darn excited to get reunited with all of his toys, to be honest C was too! After having them in storage for 9 1/2 months it was like Christmas in August for them.

A long trip

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I have barely had a minute to check out the blogs I normally read, or partake in the link parties I usually join this last week, because I spent most of it on the road.

The trip from NY to TX was a long one for sure.  For some reason it felt even longer this time around, maybe it is because I have already done the trip 5 times and there isn’t much left to see that I haven’t already seen.

We did get to take the munchkins to a safari in Oklahoma(Arbuckle Wilderness Park) which was nice because it broke up the monotony of the trip.

Camel cow Donkey llama

The camel ended up stealing my entire cup of food, I wasn’t thrilled, but it was funny, I guess he was pretty hungry.  There were Llamas everywhere, and they loved to eat so they had no problem coming up to the car and sticking their heads in.  The Donkeys would literally walk up and open their mouths just like this so you could toss the food in.  There was a lot of great animals to see and we had so much fun, It would have been nice to see the walk through section, but we didn’t want to take too much more time, and we had the cat in the car.

We were able to find hotels pretty easily and they were pretty nice, except the very last one we stayed in.  That hotel was shady, I was pretty positive my roof bag was going to be missing in the morning and I was going to have a new rash.  The room was AWFUL, and there were like 5 parties going on outside, but there wasn’t a lot of options and it was 11pm.  Had I seen the room before we unloaded everything I probably would have just kept going on fumes and finished the drive home, but my munchkins were happy to be out of the car, as was the cat and when I even brought up getting back in drama ensued, so at the shady hotel we stayed. As you can see we survived, and bonus I didn’t get a rash 🙂

The cat was amazing on the trip again, she just sleeps the whole drive, the munchkins on the other hand didn’t sleep a single minute in the car.  Overall they were pretty good though considering.  By the time we got home we were all exhausted, and completely over being in the car, there was a point in Illinois where I was pretty sure I just wanted to live there so I wouldn’t have to drive anymore, thank goodness I kept going though because the look on my daughters face when she seen Daddy for the first time since last November was absolutely worth the 4 1/2 days in the car.  I will be posting all about homecoming and the new house soon!

Home is where the heart is

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As I sit in my room I stare at boxes, bags and a to do list, a to do list that just seems like there is not enough time to complete, boxes that beg me to begin but still I have no idea where to start.  I should, I have done this countless times before, and even with the overwhelming feeling crushing me I know deep down. the to do list will be finished on time.  I always make sure it is, sometimes with the faintest idea of how I managed to pull it off, but isn’t that how life works, how people work, always managing to do what they have to, even if they thought they couldn’t.  Moving had seemed like such a great idea, the problem is moving wasn’t the great idea, being a family again was the great idea, everything that came with it actually SUCKED! I hate moving, I have always hated moving, the problem is I do enjoy the final product of moving.  I like change, I honestly thrive in it, which sometimes makes me feel like an outsider considering most of the people in my life are opposite of this. Most people fear change or at the very least are more content to stay and keep things the way they are.  Comfort I suppose, but I find little comfort in doing the same exact thing every day, being in the same place for years.  When things become predictable and constant I feel caged, I feel as if it drains me, maybe it is because I spend my energy daydreaming about doing something different, something new or going to a place I have never seen.  Sometimes it feels like something in my head is screaming out for just a little spontaneity, something to shake things up.   So this move should really be enjoyable or at least the product of moving, the end result should be.  It’s not, because I despise the place I am going back to and I spent 5 years there, enough time apparently to easily feel caged before I even arrive.  I didn’t realize I would feel this much contempt about where I was going when I decided to make the move, then again even if I had it really wouldn’t have changed anything at all, I would still be making the trip, I would still be going to the place I have been calling home recently.  Each time the word home releases from my lips I get a lump in my throat, since when did that become home? I guess it only makes sense that it must have become home, when he stepped off of the plane there, because our family together wherever we are is “HOME”

Where do you consider home and why?

Change happens all the time

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So now that I got the word that we were approved for the apartment, I can finally share my good news.  I thought long and hard about our Situation I knew that what we were currently doing just wasn’t working. Above everything else I wanted our family back together again, so we made it happen! We rented an apartment in El paso, and it couldn’t have went better.  We were able to find a nice one offering no application fee, no security deposit(other than for the cat), and $299 moves you in for the first month.  Perfect, like it was made just for our situation where I didn’t wanted to sink a ton of money into an apartment we may only be in for a month, 6 months at the longest.  My husband is moving in today and we are leaving New York on August 15, I have to have time to pack up, and my Dad is driving out with us so I had to give him time to get some things in order.  We will be back together as a family by the 19th and I am feeling so much better about this decision.  I am not looking forward to the drive, or to packing, but it will be nice coming home to him and for the first time ever an apartment already ready for me.

I am also seriously looking forward to having a pool and a fitness room, the park is an added bonus for the munchkins 🙂

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He’s home!! We are apart again and I am not liking the unknown

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On a very good note: He’s home!!!!
hes home

Seeing him for the first time in 9 months was absolutely wonderful, it is that feeling that always keeps me going. The first kiss, the first time I get to hold his hand, his arms around me for the first time at night again.  It’s almost surreal when it is happening.

I enjoyed every second of my time with my husband in El paso, among other things we cuddled, and watched movies, went out to dinner and talked, and it was almost like dating having no kids staying in a hotel.

“So dawn goes down to day, Nothing gold can stay”  ~Robert Frost

Saying goodbye AGAIN was hard, I didn’t want to leave him there, and my heart hurt, not that I couldn’t handle it but more of I am sick of handling it, I am sick of saying goodbye and I am sick of having little control over our lives together.
I am currently in freak out mode, this is mostly because I am an intense planner and a self admitted control freak, I want need to be in control, and when I am not in control I stress, that is why being an Army wife is so difficult for me.  I do not handle sitting back and waiting well and if you have any experience with the Army you know that is exactly what it is, hurry up and wait and write everything in pencil.  At the moment I have no idea when or where I am moving to, or when I will get to be with my husband again.  There are 3 factors and each one has different results:

1. He is putting in a request to be released which means hopefully we would be able to leave really soon, this is the option that we are praying for, the one that would make me a very happy girl

2. If they declined his paperwork to leave early he will put in for 60 days leave, basically making him able to leave in early December, not the best because I would still stay here and we would be apart for 4 more months, I know it is crazy to opt to stay separate, but we have reasons, such as the schooling there being a year behind schooling in the north, we do not want our children to be set back again, as A had a very hard time catching up this year, medically my daughter and I do not do well with the air in El paso, and financially it is the smarter option.  If this is the case we will probably fly him here a couple times to visit

3.  The worst case…they deny both and he can’t move to Washington until February, if this happens then we will move back to El paso because I refuse to give up that much time with my husband, which you can probably guess is just going to be a mess

The thing is I just want to know one way or the other.

I am curious to know if any of you have ever opted to stay in separate states before?  I know some do  because as I kissed my husband goodbye before boarding the plane in El paso, I watched another girl do the exact same thing and get on the plane with me.

I must admit though I am feeling a little alone on this and a little like I have no idea what the best decision is and if we are making it, or not.

We are together and together we are perfect!

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It just occurred to me that the last time I seen my husband I was not a blogger. I was 15lbs heavier.  I had lighter hair. I had not  been to college, let alone succeeded and finished college. I had no idea what it felt like to see one of my babies wheeled away into the operating room, or to break my ankle.   I had 3 less tattoos and 2 less piercings, and I was still able to have a baby.

So much has happened in 8 1/2 months, it is almost surreal.

I have to wonder how much I have changed in that amount of time, I mean I obviously have, all of those things can’t happen and leave you exactly as you were, and if I changed how much has he changed? What is different about him?

I guess it really doesn’t matter, because while I have changed I am still me, and while he may have changed he is still him, and for the moment no matter how brief we are together, and we are perfect!

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Operation Create Your Own Path

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I am so excited to be participating in Operation Create Your Own Path: 30 days, 30 small business owners, 30 ways to Create Your Own Path

Having a job in the economy today can be a struggle, add to that moving every couple years which is common for a Military Spouse, and it can spell real trouble.  Being a Military Spouse with a career is not easy, but it can be done!

Each day a new Military Spouse Business Owner will be interviewed by a blogger, Today I am that blogger and Melanie of  Treasures By Melanie is the Military Spouse Business Owner.

1. Can you tell us a little about your business : Started a little over 5 years ago, “For Every Home” features soy/coconut blend candles and cubes and a patented OAM (odor absorbing molecule) spray and gel. These items are made from natural ingredients and scented with essential oils, making them biodegradable and much safer to use around pets and children. In fact, nothing really compares to our OAM line because it has been manufactured to get rid of the scent of a skunk but be safe enough to ingest. (Don’t recommend it, the stuff tastes like crap).  Just recently, the company added a new division that I’m really excited about, they call it “For Every Style”. Consisting of high quality costume jewelry, all of the designs are exclusive to “For Every Style”.
 
I gave you the info about corporate so you would know a little about the products that I sell. I am in a “home party plan” business but it is also so much more to me. The products to me are the way of the future. As a whole, we need to decrease our reliance on those things that are damaging our environment and the natural aspects of all of the products that I sell are very important to me. I have seen these products make a difference in the lives of those that have not been able to enjoy them (items of this nature) before, and that to me is “what it is all about”.

2. How long have you been working for yourself? I left the corporate grind in late 2010 and found that I didn’t miss it one bit even though I missed associating with people. It helped that I was in the process of moving at that time, but I have discovered that I really need “people”.  I’ve tried a couple of other things, but when I stumbled across my current products, I realized the passion that I had not had with the other products and my new vocation was born!3. Did you begin working for yourself before or after becoming a military spouse? I guess that you could say that I was married to my husband and he was married to “The Corps”. I am now and have always been a wife and mother first and foremost, until it was finally time for me to become an individual.4. Did you work outside of the home previously? I have worked outside the home before and really enjoyed what I was doing because I’m a “people person” and find that I really need the interaction with others in order to thrive. I was successful with what I was doing, but there does come that time when you need to make a change for any number of reasons, and that (change) was what led me to where I am now.5. What made you decide to start working for yourself? When I moved to my current location, the job market was really slow (almost non-existent) and even though I didn’t need to work, I wanted to have something to do. That’s when I started down the path that I’m on now.

6. There are a lot of work at home and small business ideas, what made you decide on this particular business? I’ve always said that I didn’t choose the company, the company chose me because the products made the decision for me! I love candles but I do not like burning paraffin (even the so called food grade) candles. They emit a black smokey residue that is dangerous to breathe and leaves sticky smokey gunk on surfaces. You do not have that problem with soy or soy/coconut candles. I also wanted products that are eco-friendly because 

the area that I live in is environmentally fragile.

7. Being a military spouse myself I know there are a lot of obstacles being a military spouse that works outside of the home, Would you say working for yourself alleviates any of those issues?  If so which ones? Working for someone means you don’t have the flexibility in scheduling that you have when you work for yourself. That alone has the possibility of being the best benefit. When you become a parent, it is even more important that you are able to be flexible and working for yourself allows that also.

8. Is there obstacles to working for yourself due to being a military spouse? Whether you work for yourself or work for others, there are always obstacles. I think that working for yourself allows for more flexibility with what you do and how you do it. And then you get orders…..working for someone else means quitting and hoping that you can find another job at your new duty station, and if you are in a profession that requires credentials of some type, then you often find yourself “jumping through hoops” before you can start working again. Seniority? Forget about that since you will often find yourself back at the bottom starting over. 

 

Working for yourself, you pack your products/samples in the car and change the stickers on your catalogs when you have your new address. If you are fortunate to be with a company that is as “military friendly” as For Every Home is, then you just notify corporate as to where to send your next commission check. The fact that I have no territorial boundaries that I must abide by means that I can recruit and sell all over the US, and that is just what I do! I currently have a front/downline that reaches coast to coast and I’m enjoying helping them to grow their own businesses.

9. Was it difficult to begin working for yourself? What went into becoming a small business owner? Starting to work for yourself isn’t hard in the beginning because you have the desire and haven’t hit the “slowing period” yet. Where you find the discouragement is when you hit the slow times and it becomes necessary to start “thinking outside the box” to get back on track. This is the stage where you discover the real passion for what you are doing. If you make it through, then you will keep going and thriving. If you feel like you are a failure, then it is time to (if you truly believe in yourself and your products) find yourself that “thing” that will help you to discover other ways of getting past the roadblocks that will always crop up when you least expect them. That “thing” could be a book, an inspirational quote, a mentor, a friend or a group of friends, or a stranger that you meet and talk with. You never know what it is that is going to help you and that is why it is important to remain focused and not give up the battle.10. Does your spouse have any part in your business? Do you plan on them having a part in it  if they were to separate from service? My spouse is older and has now retired. He will help me sometimes, but this is my business and I need to be able to make it on my own. It is also vital to me (after the last year of my corporate experience) that I be able to say “This is my business”!

11. Would you continue to work for yourself if your spouse was no longer in the military? I think that it is vital that I continue even though he has retired. Just because he has retired doesn’t mean that I must retire also. 

12. What would you say is the most difficult aspect of working for yourself? Daily motivation…..there are always going to be those days that you just don’t want to work or you don’t feel good. You might call in sick if you are working for someone else, but when you work for yourself, you can’t do that! You also need to have a “cheerleader attitude” at all times, because there are going to be those moments when you question yourself, and then you have to grab your own boot strings and pull yourself up. You don’t have someone looking over your shoulder all the time telling you if you are making a mistake or doing good, so you have to be strong enough to carry on without that feedback.

And of course what most of us want to know

12. What is it that you love about being a military spouse that works for yourself? Benefits? When you are married to a military man, you become known as “wife of” and of course, there will always be the ever present reference to rank. When you are married to a military man and work, especially for yourself, you have more to offer that “new person” that you are talking with. You’re also not as intimidating to “LCpl Smith and his/her new young spouse” when your husband is several grades higher in rank. Your “business owner” attitude serves you well because you have something else besides the military to talk about and opening up that avenue of communication can make it much easier in the long run for everyone.

 
Owning your own business also give you an additional focus that can become the lifeline needed in case of deployment (or worse), adding stability at a time when everything is in turmoil.
13. What advice could you give other Military Spouses looking to begin working for themselves? Do what you love and love what you do but be ready to work harder and smarter than you ever did in a “9 to 5 job”. More important, remember two things…..
 
1) It takes money to make money….and the more “money” (translated as smart/consistent time) that you spend, the more “money” (translated as cash$$$$$) you are going to be able to reap.  
 

But most important of all is 2) Just because it didn’t work today doesn’t mean that it won’t work, it just means that today wasn’t the right day for it to work!!!!

Thanks so much Melanie! You were a pleasure to interview and gave some great advice.

Tomorrow head over to:

I run this mother to see the next interview in Operation Create Your Own Path

My exciting news

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If you read my blog post July the month of go aways giveaways birthdays surgeries and a special surprise  Then you know that my husband should be home from Afghanistan VERY soon, and you also probably know that I am in NY and he’s going back to FT Bliss TX, and I am moving to Washington State next month, I was pretty sad about that especially since it could be another 4 months before I see him.  So I did something about it, I bought plane tickets, rented a hotel room, and gave my husband some great news last night, :I’ll see you when you get home!” He was super excited to find out I would be there, and I am super excited to see him, even if it means 2 ten hour plane trips, at least I can read or something because I’ll be alone right? The munchkins are staying with their Grandpa, Grandma, and Titi in NYC, so they will be well taken care of.  My only hope is that it doesn’t make it worse, seeing him for only a couple days.  It will definitely be a different feeling because this is the first time he will be saying goodbye and putting me on a plane…good luck baby, good luck!

Also stay tuned, tomorrow I will be posting a GIVEAWAY!

Feelings and Experiences of a Military Spouse

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Things you may not know or experience if you aren’t a military spouse:

The meaning of TDY, PCS, NTC, ETS, BCT, FOB, COB, and the list goes on
The joy of seeing a dirty pile of uniforms and combat boots on the floor, because it means they are home
How to pack a house in a day
Eating whatever scraps you have left in the house for a couple days to avoid going to the commisary on pay day
How it feels to spend countless holidays alone
What it means to have the news completely terrify you
The feeling of holding your breath while you wait for what will either be bad news for you or for someone else, and the grief that follows the relief when the bad news is not for you
Writing everything in pencil because things are constantly changing
Saying goodbye far to often
Being able to make lifetime friends in short periods of time
The sinking feeling when you hear the news that they have to go away
The heartbreak you endure kissing him/her goodbye and knowing it may be the last time
Having to explain to your children that their Daddy/Mommy can’t be there and they don’t have a choice and even though they leave a lot they still love them
How to make any house a home
The tears that fall from hearing the National Anthem
The pride that overwhelms your heart when you think about your spouse and all that they have sacrificed
The anger when your plans get cancelled for the 100th time because they need him/her there
Waiting and watching your soldier but not being able to touch them while they turn in equipment and stand in formation listening to speech upon redeployment
and last but not least
The feeling you get when you kiss them for the first time in what seems like forever….that is the feeling that makes it all worth it in the end!