The Roller-Coaster of the Army and Parenting

Army Family

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Hello! So, yep, you guessed it..I’m an Army Wife!

Proud to be one since 2008. I’m also a mother to Hero who was born in 2005 and Princess, born in 2006. You read that correctly…they are barely 12 months apart! What can I say? Somewhere along the line, I lost my sanity, but I’m sure it will come back to me someday (I sure hope so!). They do keep me going 24/7, but a mother’s job is never ending, right? I enjoy it most days, but we’re all human and we have our moments. Being in the Army certainly adds to those moments…good and bad. So why did we join the Army? Simple…for our children.

One night, my husband and I were laying in bed. He turns to me and says “Babe, we gotta talk.” Now my husband is not a man who will voluntarily say those words! So I braced myself for whatever was about to come out of his mouth. Last time he said those words he wanted to buy a motorcycle and the time before that he wanted to leave his perfectly good job and run off with circus! Okay, okay… I’m exaggerating about the circus! Point is, he always has these crazy ideas and they always start with “Babe, we gotta talk!”

He leaned over and said, “I want to join the military.” I think I was a little relieved that he wasn’t going to run off with the circus. But then it quickly hit me…this country is in a war and he wants to join the military? I can not say that I was thrilled at the first mention of it. My mind was occupied by one thing only…WAR. I knew that joining would mean he would be shipped off and in harms way and there was no way for me to protect him. I also thought about the children and everything that he would miss out on. I thought to myself, “Why would we do this to them? To our family?” That was my gut reaction.

After we talked about it some more, I realized that joining was something that he really wanted and needed to do. It still took me some time to get used to it all, however. After all, we both had wonderful jobs…our families all lived within minutes of each other…why would we leave all that behind? Simple. Same answer again… for our children.

You see, for us the Army has been a blessing. I know that we appreciate every day that the sun rises and we are all together. I had a husband before we joined the Army, but now I have a husband and a best friend all in one. That is something that we both have worked very hard to accomplish and keep going. We have been married since 2002 and have known each other since 1998. So sometimes you have those moments where you drift apart.

Believe it or not, the Army has strengthened my family in more ways than one. My children get to meet different people from different parts of this world and yet they still have so much in common – Army life.That is something that they would not have had the opportunity to do otherwise. They have a sense of pride when they see their Daddy in head-to-toe ACU. As a matter of fact, when they see any man or women in ACUs, they are proud!

The Army has a lot of programs available to us as well. The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) has been great for my daughter who was diagnosed with Situs In-versus. The program makes sure that we will have access to the medical care that she may need whenever we PCS and while we are stationed here. As for me, I get to spend a lot more time with my children. I had to learn rather quickly though all about the Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, changing a tire, unclogging a sink or toilet, and the occasional jump starting a car! I am a women of many talents now! Army Life has made me into a multi tasker for sure!

Separation is hard no doubt, but it is do able. Yes, they miss their Dad when he is deployed or out in the field. But there is an understanding there. They know Daddy has to go out and train. They also understand that Daddy has a special job. Not like some other Daddy’s who dont ever miss a birthday, first day of school, holidays. etc. They understand that Daddy has to protect the people who can not protect themselves. I had a family member ask me- why we would do this to them? Why would we put the children through the pain of missing their Dad? I said to them when they miss their Dad, it tells me we are doing something right. It tells me that I have taught my children to love. I also teach them that just because their father is away working does not mean he is not here with us. He is always with us in our hearts, mind, body and soul. It gives them a sense of pride that can not be bought.

I hope you stick around and read all about the craziness that occurs in our daily lives. One thing for certain is that there is never a dull moment in my house! Being a parent is the hardest job around. No one gave us a manual on all the how to’s. We have to learn from our mistakes and pray that we are doing the best job we can!

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