As soon as I said “Yes!” to my then fiancé, I knew I was up for the most challenging time of my life. My husband is on active duty. And to start a life as a military spouse, I just can’t fathom it. Getting married and moving to a different country to start a new life are already complicated. So, the thought of being a military spouse – an active duty military spouse, for that matter, is just overwhelming!
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Hence, life started. We got married. And me and my husband started living together as husband and wife. I was on cloud 9! Besides anything, it was one of the happiest times of my life!
However, reality hit me hard when he gave me his deployment schedule. I was on tears! Big, big time tears! I never knew it would come sooner. I was not ready.
Then, we found out we’re having a baby. It was a mixed of emotions (maybe it was the pregnancy hormones after all). I was sad, mad, excited, surprised, joyful all in one! I was sad and okay, mad about the fact that he would be leaving soon for deployment. But I was very ecstatic to learn that we were expecting our first baby.
Lawwrd, I did not know what to do nor what to expect anymore.
Nevertheless, I was (and still am) very thankful for my “Ates” who were also active duty military spouses. I learned a lot from them. They were my mentors. Their expertise and pieces of advice showed me the ropes on how to navigate things, where DEERS was, when were the spouses’ meetings, latest news and deals on base, and all that sort.
Fast forward to 2020. After 4 duty stations, several deployments, 5 houses (3 rented, 2 owned), full-time job, few side gigs, and a baby (who’s now about to be 7), and a doggie, here, we are! Here we are in San Diego, living and loving our lives!
To be an active duty military spouse is surely no joke!
And these are what I learned over the years:
- You gotta have TRUST. You need to fully trust your partner that he is or will be out there to do his job, that’s all. And your partner should be able to trust you, too.
- You need to be strong and patient. I never learned those words until I became a military spouse.
- You have to be both the Mom and Dad for your kid/s when your partner leaves. And that is just plain HARD. Running errands here and there can be very time-consuming, so online shopping has been my go-to!
- If you have a job, you have to be prepared to let go of your career if circumstances ask you to. I don’t know what to think about it.
- Take care of yourself, too. This helps a lot of our mental and emotional health. Treat yourself to a nice lipstick or top you’ve been wanting to buy. Be nice to yourself. You deserve to be pampered.
- You should be brave for we don’t know what the future brings. We have to be ready all the time.
- You should be organized and a great problem-solver. I am still in the process of mastering this. I am no expert on this. Multi-tasking is difficult and balancing all your different roles takes a lot of work. With all the hats I have on, a planner is a must. If you have suggestions, please feel free to chime in/comment/ or send me a message!
- You have to be able to pack all your things, furniture, and appliances in 3 hours. Oh, no, this one is a joke. But it can happen. *wink* One tip: Getting your house organized makes a lot of difference!
So, what gets me going? What drives me to do what I do? What motivates me as a military spouse?
- My family. Period. I am doing all this and more because my family is my world. And they’re my everything! I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make them happy and safe. Yes, I work full time and I have side gigs, but I am willing to set my career aside if that’s what I need to do. And in the end, it’s all about being contented on what we have. As for my partner, I support him 100%. I do what I do not only because I love him but because I believe in him. I believe in everything he does is for our family. And for my kid, as long as she’s safe, healthy, and happy, I’m all good.