Navy Life 101, navy spouse

FIVE MilSpouses You NEED in Your Network

Do you have a Support Network? If you’re a milspouse, your answer NEEDS to be yes because this life can get a little crazy, and you will need help along the way. Whether it’s emergency babysitting or just a shoulder to cry on, the time will come when you have to reach out, and it’s awesome to know just who to call on for help.

Who needs the 7 dwarves when you've got Salty, Momma, Rookie, Crazy, and Honest?

{ONE} Salty Spouse: She’s got the 411 on everything … most likely because she’s been there and done it all. She has all the important base numbers in her phone, and she always knows about the best MWR activities. She knows what to do when you lose your military ID mid-patrol and who to call when you need to begin the PCS process without your sailor.  She might be an Ombudsman, or maybe she was in another life. Either way when you have a question, she has the answer.

{TWO} Momma Spouse: She’s the perfect spouse to call when you just need a shoulder to cry on, when your kids are being monsters, or when you’re just not handling the deployment well. She’s always happy to hand out tissues, listen while you cry it out, and give you fresh ideas for countdown calendars and other coping crafts for your kiddoes.

{THREE} Rookie spouse: Rookie spouse hasn’t been there and done that yet. She probably doesn’t have all the answers, and actually she may need more help than she can give. That’s okay. Rookie spouse reminds you that we all started somewhere and gives you the chance to pass along your experience. Her new girl positivity and vulnerability will help you see deployment and homecoming in a fresh light.

{FOUR} Crazy Spouse: This gal is PERFECT when you just need to let your hair down! She’ll take you drinking at a bar you’ve never been to. She will be the first to suggest inappropriate pictures with a statue. She will post crazy memes on your Facebook wall to make you smile and private message you the really inappropriate ones. And, really, who doesn’t need a good laugh every now and then during deployment?

{FIVE} Honest Spouse: She will call you on your crap and tell you when you’re time to whine is over. Her catch phrase is “Suck it up, buttercup!” Honest Spouse is really important because after Momma Spouse has done the hugging, she’ll come in and get you back on track!

I am so fortunate to have to have all these spouses and more in my Support Network, and I really hope they know how much I appreciate them! I also hope they know I am always here to dole out hugs, offer up support, and, of course, send inappropriate Facebook memes as needed!

Who’s in you Support Network? Do you have an Honest Spouse and a Momma Spouse? Are you still in search of Crazy Spouse? And which spouse are you? It’s important to remember to give as good as you get! 

 

 

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That's Navy Life

Homesick … Milspouse Style

This is a re-post from blog long ago and far away. 

Homesick ... Milspouse Style

Just before Christmas it snowed in Connecticut. It was one of those beautiful, fluffy, toss-the-kids-in-their-snowsuits-and-then-in-a-snowdrift kind of snows. I followed along on Facebook from my comfy chair in Washington as all my friends there posted pictures of sledding and snowmen and rosy cheeked smiles, and my heart twisted.

“I miss the snow! I wish I was there with you!” I posted to my timeline.

“But I thought you hated snow!?!” a new Washington friend replied.

Her comment made me think. She wasn’t wrong. When it snowed here in Washington just a few weeks ago I grouched long and loud. I didn’t want the kids to miss school. I don’t like cleaning the puddles on the floor. I don’t like the slushy mess left behind when it inevitably begins raining on the same day as it snows. I’m really not a fan of snow. I’m kind of like the cranky teacher from the old Frosty the Snowman movie that says, “I like snow. I just want it to stay where it belongs, like in movies and in John Denver songs.”

I replied to my friend that the snow here is different. It really is, too. It’s wet and gloopy and not very fun. Then it rains making it into slush. Then it freezes overnight, and I am stuck in my house. Sounds fun, yes? NO! Connecticut snow is usually fluffy and light and fun for the kids to play. The snowplows there are phenomenal about taking care of the roads. Yay!

But last night, in a completely separate bout of homesickness, I realized something. I didn’t really like the snow in Connecticut either. I don’t like being cold and wet. I don’t like when my ears are so frozen they burn. I don’t like when my fingers are numb. I don’t like snow boots or wearing fourteen sweatshirts and five pairs of socks. I don’t like it at all.

So WHY in the hell does my friends’ Snow Day fun always make me homesick?

The answer came to me quite simply. As a Navy spouse, I can set up house anywhere you stick me. Tiny cramped apartment in Kings Bay? Been there! Two-story townhouse in Groton? Done that! House at the bottom of a hill in Washington? I’m there. I am a master at packing and unpacking. I have owned more curtain rods in more sizes than Wal-Mart. I have moved bookcases and nightstands from room to room to find each piece a spot, and I have bought and sold enough furniture to fill two houses.

But this house is not my home. As a military spouse, my home is the people in my life. Home is the best friend with whom you can watch (and ridicule) “Charlie and Lola”  for hours. Home is the friends who show up for a cookout on a moments notice every night for an entire summer. Home is the friend ready for coffee at midnight after a long shift at a crappy restaurant. Home is the people you can call at any hour, and before you can say, “I need you,” they intuitively say, “How can I help?” That is home to this military spouse. In Connecticut I was home. It isn’t the snow that made me homesick, but the people who posted about it. It isn’t the view of the ocean I miss so much as the people I viewed it with.

So today I am homesick. I miss my “home” in Connecticut. I miss my “home” that moved to Ohio. I miss my “home” that lives in Georgia. I miss my “home” that lives in Arkansas. I am a military spouse. I have homes all over the place, and today I am homesick for each and everyone one of you.

Deployment, navy spouse

What Does Coughing Have to Do With It?

I’m sick today. And grumpy. Grr …

Well, I’m really just recovering from being sick. At this point it’s just a hacking cough that will.not.go.away, but it’s very annoying. Grrr …

You’re probably thinking that whining about a cough has nothing to do with Navy life, but I say you’re wrong. (Actually I say it’s my blog, I’ll whine if I want to, but that’s neither here nor there.)

So what does coughing have to do with Navy life?

Last Tuesday night I noticed a little tickle in my throat before my run, but I ignored it. After my run, I was more tired than I really should have been, but I blamed it on being ridiculously out of shape and trying to keep pace with a much younger runner. Wednesday morning, however, I woke up with a throat so sore I couldn’t swallow. Drinking my morning coffee (aka my LIFEblood) was incredibly painful as was attempting to talk and breathing. My first thought that day was, “I feel like junk.” My second thought was, “My freaking timing is impeccable!” I’m a mom and married and busy, and I am very involved with my husband’s boat’s FRG, and we have soooo much going on right now. I didn’t have time to be sick last week (or any other), but I was.

Grrreeeeaaatttttt….

Whatever was wrong hit me so fast it scared me so I called the medical appointment line immediately. I was lucky enough to get in right away.

After painful coffee and on the way to see the doc, I somehow got the cuh-razy idea in my head, “what if I need to have my tonsils out?” (Insert mid-drive freak out here!) My tonsils felt so swollen, I felt certain the doc would want to yank them, and to quote my favorite youtube video, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

And if he did want to take my tonsils, who would take care of the kids? Josh has been working unbelievable hours lately and taking a day or two off to take care of me is completely out of the question. Aubrey has club meetings twice a week and swim class every single night. Sydney meets with her school choir two mornings and week, and Alli has to be driven to preschool on Mondays and Wednesdays. Not to mention the cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping that needs to be done constantly. Who would do all that?

I immediately started thinking of contingency plans. I can have groceries delivered, and if the surgery could be postponed to Friday, the kids would all be on Spring Break which would take care of clubs, choir, and preschool. Aubrey and Sydney are capable of most of the cleaning and definitely of kid-sitting, even if it isn’t the way they wanted to spend their vacation, and I knew our Helping Hands Committee wouldn’t let my kids starve. I was certain I could rely on a few close friends to drive me to and from the hospital if necessary. I could either re-schedule a planned FRG event or have another member swing by my house for the supplies and fill in. Some things could be printed and mailed versus a one-hour pick up. Other things might simply have to wait.

In short, by the time I reached the clinic, I had an entire schedule of help and helpers in my head for my imaginary-recovery time!

Lucky for me, the doc wasn’t concerned as I was. I was negative for strep (what a fun gag-inducing test that is) so his only instructions were to “take a few Cepacol cough drops and try to rest.” (Thanks. I feel better already.) I spent the remainder of the day either “resting,” otherwise known as comatose on my couch, or crying into a can of Chicken Soup on the Go. Boo.

Which brings us to today (I have been sucking on Cepacol for over a week now, and all that remains is a hacking cough and an annoying Lindsey Lohan voice that makes me wonder how she stands to listen to her own self) and what coughing has to do with it (finally, right?).

Even though I was negative for strep and didn’t even need a tonsillectomy, I’m still sort of proud of myself. As a Navy wife, I am used to bad things happening when my sailor is away or simply too busy protecting our country to be right by my side, and in the span of a fifteen-minute drive, after a split-second of hypochondria, I devised a plan to take care of myself, my family, and as many responsibilities as possible. I looked at my support network and quickly devised a plan to call on my resources.

And I’m not alone. I know most of my Navy wife friends could and would do the same thing in that situation, and it makes me even more proud to be a part of a such a strong, independent peer group! To say we take care of ourselves and our own really is an understatement!

So please strike the first line of this post! I am NOT grumpy. I am a proud Navy wife just thankful to have the resources and support to survive any emergency … be it imaginary or otherwise.