There’s a big part of my life that I don’t mention too much on my posts…. Being a military spouse.
I think the reason I don’t mention it much is because I’m just like any other spouse.... there are just some added challenges that come with military life.
The most common thing that I’ve had people say to me throughout the last 11 years of being a military spouse is… “I don’t know how you do it!”
I’ll be honest, there have been very hard times, but it’s one of those things that you just figure out along the way. To this day I’m still just figuring out things.
We have been through moves, deployments, countless TDY’s (shorter trips…and by shorter I mean a few weeks to a few months), missed birthdays, holidays and more…. That’s just naming a few of the challenges that we have faced as a military family.
Like I said before, it isn’t easy, but I truly believe that through hard times, there are some great lessons to be learned.
Here are 5 lessons that I’ve learned from being a military spouse….
- Only you can create your own happiness
- Military life can get very lonely. There are times where you are away from all family, barely have any friends and don’t care for where you are living….but only you can create your own happiness. You can’t depend on other people to make you happy. You must learn how to be happy yourself. Keeping busy helps, but growing confidence in yourself is a huge game changer in being happier.
- You have more strength than you know
- There were times where my husband would be out of the country and all of the sudden everything seemed to fall apart. Sometimes it was in the form of the kids would barely sleep while he was gone or the hot water heater flooding, on the second level of the house and having to go weeks without hot water while pregnant and with a toddler in the home…. True story...I can't make this stuff up. But, one thing that I’ve learned through those hard times is that I am way stronger than I give myself credit for. When you are going through times of unknown, it’s easy to want to throw in the towel, but if you just keep going you’ll quickly realize that you have way more strength than you realize. The key is to not give up…keep going, do the best that you can.
- It’s okay to let yourself feel all the feels
- I’m not one to be very emotional, but even I have had breakdowns before. Learning to be okay with each emotion has been hard for me, but it’s something that we all need to be okay with. It’s okay to feel all the feels. It’s okay to be happy, angry or sad. The only thing that you have to remember is that when you are sad or angry, you can’t stay there… it’s okay to let yourself feel those emotions, but then you must find a way to deal with them and keep going.
- You are not in control of everything, except how you handle things
- It’s just a fact, we can’t control everything. Military life is known for throwing you curve balls…and you have no control over it, except for how you handle it. I wish there was a simple answer on how to handle this but honestly, the best thing that you can do is just plan the best you can and have a whole lot of faith. Extra coffee helps too ;)
- Being flexible is essential
- Like I mentioned above, the military is known for changing things up very quickly, this is when being flexible comes in handy. It’s not only a good skill to learn if you are a military family, but it can come in handy in every day life as well. Being Flexible helps you to go with the flow more and to stress less. Nothing ever goes according to plan, but if you can learn to just go with it, it will save you a lot of stress and will help you to see the good even in the unexpected.
These are just some of the lessons that I have learned over the years in this crazy military life, but honestly these things can help anyone. Learn, grown and find joy in the journey.