Nobody prepares you for just how difficult it gets– The waiting. The wondering what they’re doing. The wondering if they’re okay. The wondering when you’ll hear from them again. The being ready to move at the drop of a hat (if I have to pack one more moving box…..). The having to be okay, and the having to be okay alone. The sleeping alone. The YouTubing how to fix a broken hose on a washing machine at 2 AM because someone’s gotta do it, and well, you’re it! The missing your family more than you ever thought possible. The parenting by yourself. The always having to make new connections, new friends… and.. and.. and…. Boy, do I know.
But hey, it’s nothing a little cookie dough can’t fix!
Just kidding… kind of, not really… *eats spoonful of cookie dough*
In all honesty, though, it took me awhile to figure out, not how to find my joy, but how to find my joy every day. Being on Active Duty myself was one thing, but being a spouse to someone on Active Duty is a completely different ball game. And the ball is no longer smooth and round and easy to throw- no. It’s now square and spiky and flashes blinding lights in your eyes like a disco ball on crack. Days are more exhausting. Nights are quieter and longer- definitely lonely. Activities don’t seem as fun. Pictures you send don’t do it all justice. The “I guess you just had to be there” line gets super old super quick. The instant changing-of-plans is a lot for the brain to bear. It’s just plain hard on the soul. I was so used to living with countdowns. Counting down days until boot camp was over, until my husband would get home from deployment, until my babies were born, until nap time, until I wasn’t so tired, days until someone came to visit us…
One day my Mom said to me, “You have to enjoy right NOW. Your children are only getting older, and you don’t get that time back, no matter who is or isn’t there.” Leave it to our own Mothers to say what needs to be said and how it needs to be said, right? And for some reason that day, it clicked. It clicked, and just like that.. I stopped. Stopped counting down. Stopped waiting. Stopped wanting life to hurry up and be some other circumstance. I decided to truly be, not just content, but happy in whatever the situation around me is. I decided to cherish who I’m with when I’m with them, whether it be my husband, my children, family, a friend, or even a stranger. I decided that I was going to make one intentional memory with my kids a day. I decided not to let my emotional gas tank get to E waiting for my husband to come back and make our life at home feel complete again. I decided to find my joy every single day–not only for myself, but for my kids.
So let’s still count down. Let’s be excited for the homecomings. But we can’t wait to make the most of our days until other people come back. Let’s brew coffee. Change out of pajamas. Light a candle. Read. Sit outside. Talk to God. Engage a stranger. Hold a child. Make them laugh. Smell the food cooking. Encourage someone. FaceTime our friends. Put on some music. Sing in the shower. Dance in the kitchen. But most importantly, we have to decide to smile. Even when we don’t feel like it. It really is all about the little things; they’re there to lighten our loads.
Enjoy the sweetness of your life– YOUR purpose– exactly where you are, how you are, and love on whoever is there at that moment– even if it’s just yourself– because life is a gift and the precious time we get to revel in what we have right in front of us will be gone before we know it.
This blog is a place to find
encouragement and creative inspiration for making the most
of every day Mom Life while married to the military.
Thank you for becoming a part of my journey,
and for letting me become of a part of yours.
Welcome to my Home Front.