Monday, March 18, 2013

Not A Normal Job

Being a Navy wife so far has been an interesting journey. It's definitely something I never thought I'd be doing or involved in and I still don't even feel like I really fit into the stereotypical 'Navy Wife' mold that I've seen from a lot of women around me. From the looks of various blogs, forums, and other social media it seems like a lot of women use the term Navy Wife as their only identifier besides "Mommy." They live, breathe, and bleed the military. 

Chicago during Boot Camp Graduation weekend.
That seems so foreign to me because we've never lived on base, only been to a handful of military family events, and try to treat the Navy as Russ' job rather than lifestyle as much as we possibly can. 

But, it's not a normal job.  

Since becoming a Navy wife I've had to do and learn a lot of things. I've had to become a Swiss Army Wife. I've had to learn how to cut his hair to save money (because it would cost us normally around $20 a month for every two weeks), learn how to sew and properly place uniform insignia, and to become flexible and patient with the ins and outs of the way the military runs. 

Paper work takes forever, some rules are ridiculous, not all sailors are nice, and "hurry up and wait." I've paid more attention to foreign affairs knowing that what goes on internationally can directly affect our family. (And I'm watching you, North Korea.) We've had to rearrange and cancel plans many times and live our lives around his crazy, ever changing schedule which is even worse now that he's on a ship. I've sacrificed starting my career because of our circumstances. I've celebrated his victories like ribbons, pins, and rank promotions right alongside him as if they were my own victories. 

And, it's only going to get harder from here on out. Sea Duty means he actually has to be out on the sea so... he's going to miss a lot this year. I can deal with all the other stuff that goes along with the military but this distance is going to suck. We're going to have sporadic contact for most of the year. Yeah, there's email but as I noticed with this past week he was underway- that's iffy. Sometimes messages don't get delivered and that makes the distance feel even further. 

Statues in Virginia Beach dedicated to "those who wait" for their sailor's return.

I've also noticed that in the total of around two weeks that he's been gone this year, it has made me appreciate the time we spend together even more. Now that his next underway is knocking at our door only a mere week after he got back from his last one, I can't not think about him being gone. Every laugh, joke, or smile makes me realize that he'll be gone for the next one. We won't have our little chats in the car or snuggles on the couch while watching TV. 

When we got married and I knew that in a two to three years he'd be off Shore Duty and onto Sea Duty that time felt so far away. We're fortunate that he had Shore Duty first and that we got to spend that newlywed time together but it was over too soon. 

While he's gone I'll just have to stay busy and try not to stall my own life just because he's not here. Which... I know I'll try to do because I'll irrationally think, "If he's not here, I can't possibly [watch this show, visit this place, try this restaurant]!" It's definitely going to be a battle. 


  1. I'm with you on a lot of these points. Never had I dreamed that I'd be married to a sailor. Never ever ever. We're just a few months in but in some ways I was expecting it to transform my family's life and in some ways it has and in some ways it hasn't. I know what you mean about appreciating the time you do have together as a family; my husband has never been so present with us. The lesson I've just learned (which I should have realized going in) is that I will always be the primary parent. A sailor's schedule is never his own and you simply can't rely on any constants. My husband is happy and it makes me happy that he's found a fulfilling job : ] I'm here virtually if ya need me!

    1. Yeah, it's definitely different being married to someone in the military. It's hard to be a military spouse because no matter what your career and life are always second and dependent upon where the military sends you. Is your husband going to make the Navy a career?