‘I don’t know how you do it?’ These immortal words are guaranteed to make the military spouse wince, just a little. We do it because we have to. We do it because there is no choice. What good does it serve to fall apart when your husband (I say husband but please supplement with partner) is away on operations? My husband needs to feel secure that I am coping so that he can focus on doing what he is paid to do.
We made a pact when the ops became more enduring. I would never nag, complain or show any disappointment when the committments of serving life meant that I would attend yet another wedding alone, or that he would have to make some sacrifice which meant we were not together and I was flying the flag solo. I would stand by him and make it as easy as possible for him to go away in return for the same independence. This means that I can invest in my freedom too and that it is attained without question. When I need to flee the nest, or fulfill some work committment, and he is able to, that he steps up to the solo plate, and without grief and disappointment he also parents our children alone.
He’s just finished a staff tour and it’s back to the frontline for him. It’s not for a while yet but the journey to war has begun. I can’t give it to you from his side. I know that he loves what he does and I think that it is a real privilege so I know inside him burns a candle of excitement. I can give it to you from my side. Inside me burns a candle of excitement for him. The adrenaline of frontline ops.
This is where I am going share my journey and snippets of his, as we prepare for him to go back to war. My 6 year old son is more cognitively aware now so I wonder how he will respond and my 2 year old daughter has never known dadda be gone for so long. I will share it as we navigate the path of explanation to them, and share as candidly as I can, how we are all coping. I’d love to hear from you too, and to be honest I will appreciate the company and support, if you are happy to come along for the ride.