Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Separation & Being a Married, Single Mom

There will come a time when my husband and I will have to be separated for an extended period of time; and for multiple reasons. Fourth year med school rotations require him to venture out to other hospitals in other states to get a better learning experience. 

And then there's the Navy. (AKA: Separation Central.) 

Blake and I didn't just wake up one morning and decide Hey! Wouldn't it be fun to join the Navy?! Let's get dressed and go sign the papers! It was something we discussed and prayed about together for over a year. And it's something that Blake thought about long before we ever met. As much research and conversing you can do with men and women whom have gone through the military, you can never be totally prepared. Military or not, that's just life.


The advice we've been given, and the stories we've heard are completely bipolar. 

One person can say:
It's hell on wheels. My husband had such psychological problems that he would wet the bed... He was a completely different person... My kids hated moving from place to place... We ended up getting a divorce.

While another can say:
It was the greatest experience for our family... We got to see the world... My kids loved it!... Just don't move them during their senior year of high school ::wink wink::

From Day One, Blake and I agreed we wouldn't plan our lives based on other people's stories. We would gladly welcome their opinions and suggestions, but we would never allow them to freak us out (or fill our heads with fantasies). I'm very much aware of the life we have chosen for ourselves. But I've also kind of put it out-of-sight-out-of-mind. I don't want to be anxious leading up to the inevitable day he'll leave. Through all of my PPD therapy, I have learned how to cope; how to handle stress. I'll deal with it when I need to, but I don't see the point in *worrying* ahead of time. Making sure everything is in place--yes. But dwelling on things--no!

I can't tell you how I'm going to feel the first time Blake has to be away for 3-4 weeks for a hospital rotation, nor can I predict how I will feel the first time he is deployed for six months. (Or even how I'll feel the second or third time...) All I know is: I know it's inevitable. 

It's the life we signed up for. 

From time to time, Blake and I talk about what we're looking forward to, and what we're afraid of throughout this journey. I always say I'm excited about traveling and moving to different climates and cultures. I'm a Native Floridian. I've never lived outside the Sunshine State. I'm ready to get out! Undoubtedly, I will miss my parents and in-laws tremendously, but you know what Pinterest says: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. 


{& only living twenty minutes to two hours away from family is definitely my comfort zone.}

What am I afraid of? 

Getting used to him not being around.

I'm afraid that Emmy and I will develop "way-of-life" rituals; and when Blake comes home, it'll throw off our whole *ebb and flow*. After all, I'm basically going to be what 'they' call a "Married, Single Mom." I'm faithfully and legally married, but am a single mom. Trust me, I know how that sounds... selfish. I mean HE'S the one that will be away from US. Don't get me wrong... I know it'll be difficult for him, too. {But that's a whole other post} I can be a very set-in-my-ways-kinda-gal. I like to do things a certain way, and my husband knows this. 

We've discussed the latter, and came to the conclusion that I'll keep a diary of what is going on in our lives back home, and how I'm feeling. My husband and I are not phone people. When we talk on the phone, I can't remember what is going on in my life for (er, well) the life of me! 

But by keeping a diary, I hope to hold myself accountable for expressing my feelings. That way, when Blake comes home, he can read the details of our happenings while he was away. We hope this will ease the transition better....

So I ask you fellow & seasoned military wives OR any wives out there who are "Married, Single Moms" if you have any advice for a *newbie* like me?


Loyally,
Katie

p.s. what do you think of the new blog set up? Still not finished, but I'm learning this on my own ;) 

6 comments:

  1. I have only been an AF wife for about two years now but what I have learned is that:
    1. skype is amazing and helps me feel connected to my family and friends 2,000 miles away!
    2. be friendly and open to meeting new people because they will be your second family when your hubby is away and your family is far away.
    3. Be open and accepting to change in all aspects of your life. You may feel like you have no control over anything and that the military makes alot of your decisions but stay strong and those things you have control over embrace them!
    4. I don't have children yet so I can't give you much info on that but I do know there are alot of spouses here on base who have kids and there are lots of activities and play groups to be a part of!

    So excited for your journey ahead:)

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  2. I love the new blog look and set-up! I'm itching to redo mine but I'm terrified since I have zero knowledge and I don't want to break it!

    I don't have any advice but I think the diary idea is great. Russ and I are not phone people at all so long distance for us was rough because the usual tool for communication just didn't work for us. I also think having a support system is important - whether its a church group or fellow Navy wives or extended family.

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  3. Hi Katie -

    I'm a medical spouse too. Hubby is about to finish his second year. We also just had a baby who is 6 weeks old.

    I've really enjoyed reading your blog, which I found on the Lives of Doctor's Wives. I don't have any advice about 4th year rots, but will be reading your blog to see how you cope!

    Hugs,
    Nori

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  4. You know our story and I have to pinch myself every day and remember how I ended up a Navy wife. But the experiences I've had have opened my eyes, caused me to make some great friends, taught me that I can and will be FINE living alone in an apartment in a different state while my husband is deployed, and that everything comes to an end someday. WE can talk more as you guys know where you might be headed :)

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  5. Wow!! I love this website! It's beautiful! I'm looking forward to a weekend when I can sit and enjoy reading through all your stories!! :)

    I found your site today and this article caught my attention because I. Am. A. Married. Single. Mom.

    Unlike you, I didn't sign up for it. I ran into all the problems you are planning for here (plus a lot more)! I commend you for thinking ahead and asking the right questions from the beginning. Smart move!

    I wish there had been more people around to help me answer some of those questions myself... So I wrote a book answering them to help people like you NOT make the mistakes we did!! :)

    My new book is called "Married Mom, Solo Parent: Finding God's Strength to Face the Challenge". It came out in october. (AVailable at my website, Christian bookstores, online and many mainline bookstores as well.)

    I'd also like to invite you to my website where I blog about Married Solo Parenting, parenting, marriage and much more.

    I'm also running a contest for Married Solo Moms right now. I'm giving away a Kindle Touch 3G to MSM's who fill out an interview form to help me with my next book!! :) Feel free to come over and contribute!! :)

    Blessings!
    Carla Anne

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  6. Katie,

    What a wonderful blog you have here! I'm just starting into the craziness that is blogging and I came about yours. I'm not a mother yet, but as you know - my husband is in the Navy. Never easy. Always difficult. Whether at a sea duty or shore command - life in the military has it's ups and downs. I look forward to reading about your first PCS and finding out where you go [even though it seems daunting, the Navy is a small community and you never know - we could end up at the same duty station :)]. I'll pray for you and your beautiful family that you find the strength that I see so many military spouses have through deployments..as I can imagine the first one is extremely difficult.

    <> Pi Love <>
    Alex Kearney nee Wilkans

    ReplyDelete

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